American researchers have created robots five times thinner than a human hair, and which move under the action of sound. They are able to move around the body to deposit drugs in a targeted manner.
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Many medical researchers are trying to create robots so small that they can move around in the human body, like in the series Once upon a time the life, and deposit drugs in a targeted manner. In an article published in the journal Smallresearchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder have succeeded in creating microrobots capable of transporting drugs and which evolve thanks to sound.
These microscopic robots are only 20 micrometers wide, and can move at the speed of 3 millimeters per second. They are created from biocompatible polymers with a 3D printing system, and are composed of three blades and an air bubble stuck in the center. Under the effect of an acoustic field, such as ultrasound, the bubble vibrates and propels the robot forward.
Towards biodegradable microrobots
The researchers introduced swarms of thousands of microrobots into mice. They placed dexamethasone, a steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, into the bubble in the center of the microrobots, which was then transported into the bladder. The microrobots stuck to the walls of the bladder and then released their cargo over a two-day period.
A microrobot is printed, then moves under the effect of an acoustic field. It moves in a circle because one of the blades is shorter than the others. © University of Colorado Boulder
According to the researchers, this would allow drugs to be delivered in a more targeted manner and over a longer period of time, leading to better results in patients. ” If we manage to make these particles work in the bladderMr. Lee said, then we can get more sustained release of the drug, and maybe patients won’t have to come to the clinic as often. The next step will be to make the microbots biodegradable, so they can dissolve in the body.