Microrobtics - Medicine's Future
|Source: Dartmouth College|
Promises Targeted Drug Delivery in the Body to Fight Cancer
Engineers at Dartmouth College and the City University of Hong Kong have invented a tiny, shape-changing, swimming microrobot that can instantly stop and go inside the human body. Researchers believe this tiny, soft robot can deliver drugs much more accurately in the human body. It is light- controlled, swims, changes shape and can instantly stop and go on command. It is cutting edge medicine and robotics.
Targeted Medical Therapies to Defeat Cancer
The researchers combined cardiac tissue engineering, a 3D printed wing and a light-sensitive gel to produce the soft robot. Near infra-red light causes it to change shape and stop and go in fluid like the bloodstream. It is specifically designed to target and destroy cancer cells by accurately delivering medication.
Tiny Whale-like Tail
The robot is remotely controlled. It's driven by a tail fin similar to that of a whale. The wing shaped structure is coated with heart muscle cells. The cells beat when exposed to light causing the tail to move forward through the bloodstream. The key innovation is the ability to stop and start the robot on command by instantly changing the shape of the wing. That promises highly accurate, targeted drug delivery.