These microrobots transport drugs through the body using light

Review Science Robotics shared the results of an amazing research project. From micro robots are able to navigate both blood and other body fluids the human organism. They are considered to be micro-swimmers. Their missions are to carry drugs then drop them off. These nanorobots circulate thanks to light.

Once again, science has demonstrated that it is capable of major innovations. In fact, these machines are able to reach difficult biological areas access. According to the researchers, it would be an excellent way to fight cancer cells. Who knows ? These micro-swimmers could become the long-term solution against cancer.

This study was conducted by two teams of scientists. One comes from Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) and the other from Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research (MPI-FKF).

Microrobotics exceeds its limits

A few years ago, this kind of project would have seemed impossible. First of all, the salts contained in the human body hinder the efficiency of light energy. Salt is found in the blood, cellular fluids, digestive fluids. Then, setting up this kind of study is quite tricky and expensive. A fortiori, the control of micro robots via the exterior is no small feat.

Now, all of that is a thing of the past. Researchers at the Max Plank Institute have developed a new generation of microparticles. These can circulate in the blood and other fluids of the human body. In fact, these nanobots are salt tolerant. This result was achieved using porous two-dimensional carbon nitride (CNx). Thanks to this advantage, the change in pH has no effect on the microrobots. In addition, the carbon nitride captures the light necessary for the proper movement of these microparticles.

Other challenges remain

A drug is effective only when it reaches its target. It also needs the right dosage. However, the study demonstrated that the nanorobots rapidly release the medication upon contact with acids. However, the degree of acidity in the human body varies depending on the location. So what must be done to ensure that the drug is only released at the desired location? This is the new challenge for scientists.

Ultimately, the use of microrobots is not an easy thing. For it to be effective, several conditions are required. Nevertheless, this kind of study is indeed the future of science. Indeed, it makes it possible to deepen the effect of light on biocompatible materials. In addition, we will learn more about the operation of intelligent semi-autonomous systems.

“We hope to inspire many smart minds to find even better ways to control microbots and design a responsive function to benefit our society. »

Mr Sitti, director of the department of physical intelligence at the Max Planck Institute


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