Home Uncategorized New Micro-Robots can swim through Blood Vessels for efficient drug delivery

New Micro-Robots can swim through Blood Vessels for efficient drug delivery

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Researchers from Max Planck Institute that has been
conducting experiments with micro-sized robots, that can swim through
body fluids and can either be used for the delivery of drugs or for
medical relief by targeting a certain area.

The microbots that are being designed by the team can be classified as
swimmers, which are scallop-like devices. The mechanism that they use
for swimming is paddling for the non-Newtonian fluids such as blood and
plasma (water acts the same way on a micro level as well). So in a
nutshell these robots are moving through a fluid that has a variable
viscosity based upon how much force is being exerted on it.
In order to achieve the above stated task, the microbots require a
propulsion method that has to be incorporated into the tiny bodies while
still allowing them to use the non-Newtonian fluid properties to their
advantage. The process employed by the research team has been named as
‘modulation of the fluid viscosity upon varying the shear rate.’ The
micro scallops, to explain it in simpler words, open and close the
‘shells’ to compress the fluid and push it out behind them thus helping
the microbots to propel along.

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Professor Peer Fischer, Leader of the Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems
Research Group said, “The shell is only a few times larger than the
thickness of a human hair. A liquid like water is about as viscous for
these devices as honey or even tar is for us.” The team made use of
magnetic actuators to open and close the shells of the microbots. If
done at a reasonably fast pace, the microbots can easily swim across in
the fluid.
The microbot has a size of 800 microns and this renders it capable of moving through
the blood stream, lymphatic system or even in the surface of eyeballs.
Also, the small size and relatively simple design allows for 3D printing
them. These microbots are the future of drug delivery and medical
treatment and we will soon be seeing them in mainstream medicine!
Fingers crossed till then.

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