29 May 2023

Micro robots for drug delivery

Researchers have created a tiny micro-robot that is driven by sound. It mimics the orbital movements of biological swimmers, such as bacteria and spermatozoa.

Researchers have taken medical micro-robotics a step further by developing a tiny, fast, self-propelled bot that could one day deliver medicine right to where it is needed inside the body.
Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder said the next big step in microbot development is to create a tiny, self-propelled microbot that can deliver drugs quickly and efficiently.

"Microbots have generated a lot of interest in scientific circles, but for us they are interesting because they can be designed to perform useful tasks in the body," explained S. Wyatt Shields, correspondent for the study. The scientists were inspired by the way natural biological "swimmers," such as bacteria and spermatozoa, move in a complex internal environment using nonlinear movements.

The microbot, made of biocompatible polymers, has a spherical cavity in the center that traps air when the bot is immersed in liquid. When the air bubble encounters an acoustic wave such as ultrasound, it vibrates, propelling the tiny robot forward. And, yes, at only 20 micrometers in diameter - several times the width of a human hair - it's tiny.

To maximize non-linear motion, the bot is equipped with symmetrical and asymmetrical fins that make it orbit and give it the appearance of a very small rocket. The fins also allow the microbot to move at about 3 mm per second.

Source: These tiny, medical robots could one day travel through your body | CU Boulder Today | University of Colorado Boulder

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