Drug Delivery can be Achieved using Swimming Microbots

Release Date: 26-Sep-2019

Microbots, which are able to swim and deliver the drug, have developed by Swiss scientists. They are tiny sliver of elastic material, which swims along inside a narrow tube. They are able to coiling up and changing shape in response to the thickness of fluid and the contours of the tube around it as it moves towards its goal.


These miniature robots have a shape similar to the bacteria and prepared by a team of scientists of Switzerland, which are emerging as a new method of drug delivery to diseased tissue. The make there way from blood vessels and swim to reach other system of body. 


The research team is led by Selman Sakar at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Bradley Nelson at ETH Zurich, two leading science and technology research institutes. The research and findings were published in the journal Science Advances.


According to Nelson, Nature has evolved a multitude of micro-organisms that change shape as their environmental conditions change. This basic principle inspired our microbot design. The key challenge for us was to develop the physics that describe the types of changes we were interested in, and then to integrate this with new fabrication technologies.


The microbots are made from hydrogel nanocomposites that contain magnetic particles. Therefore, the movement of microbot can be guided with a magnetic controller. The team is now working on improving the microbot’s ability to swim through the variety of fluids found in human body.


To improve the swimming ability of the microbots, some advancement is done on the design of microbots. The flexible robot has hundreds of 1mm-long hair-like pointed legs. In 2018, the team constructed the robot from a type of silicon embedded with magnetic particles. The rubbery material is flexible and can be cut to form different shapes and sizes.

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