Nanobot Travels inside Human Cells - Medical/Robotic Innovation
|Source: University of Toronto's Magnetic Tweezers Controlling New Nanobot|
Bot 100 Times Smaller Than Width of Human Hair
This medical breakthrough is from a team of roboticists at the University of Toronto. They've developed a tiny, magnetic nanobot - a nano-bead - that can explore inside a human cell. The nanobot is precisely controlled by what the team calls "magnetic tweezers" while inside a living human cell. The control is 3 dimensional and the precision is unprecedented. The nanobot is 100 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
The technology has already been used to study the properties and structure of cancer cells. It may lead to new treatment methods and diagnoses. The magnetic control through the tweezers enables the nanobot to make much more precise movements without damaging the cells.
Twenty Year Robotic Journey
Members of the U Toronto team have been building robots that can manipulate individual cells for twenty years. Until now their approach has been manipulating the cell from the outside. The breakthrough is the new nanobot explores the cell from the inside. The researchers believe their technology could lead to new ways of studying cells as well as diagnosing and treating various diseases, but particularly cancer.