Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart are one step closer to creating microbots for the treatment of various diseases. At the moment they have successfully tested miniature robots that can safely move in the eyeball. Moreover, their dimensions are so small that they do not even damage the dense and viscous substance of the vitreous when they "work".
Miniature robots are 200 times thinner than a human hair and have a "drill" made of inert material at one of their ends and nanobanks of 500 nanometers wide on the other. The coating of the nanobots is "smooth and streamlined", allowing them to move without damaging the surrounding tissue.
In addition to the main function of movement, the propellers mentioned above are also a reservoir for therapeutic agents and capable of delivering targeted (i.e., where necessary) drug delivery. And when we talk about such developments, which can be used in flowing fluids such as blood, in this case targeted delivery is associated with a number of problems. The first is the viscous consistency of the inner part of the eyeball and the dense molecular matrix through which the robot has to pass. The second is that the chemical properties of biopolymers in the eye do not allow the nanorobots to develop. But the third is a kind of "standard" for such machines: the robot has to be managed in some way.
Experts have overcome the last spoken limitation by the addition of materials such as iron, which respond to the influence of a magnetic field. The other two helped to dissolve the biomaterial from insect-eating plants.
"The idea of coverage, we saw in nature.Some plants of the sarratseni family have a very smooth surface to catch insects.It looks like a teflon coating pan.We have made this smooth coating again and it is crucial for the efficient movement of our robots in the eye, because it minimizes the adhesion between the biological protein network in the vitreous and the surface of our nanorobots. "
Installation for the introduction and control of nanorobots
At the same time, the universal design of robots ensures that they can be used in other parts of the human body.
"We want to be able to use our robots as tools for minimally invasive treatment of all types of diseases, where there is a hard to reach area surrounded by dense tissue."
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