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Health news: microbots provide life-saving care

Health news: microbots provide life-saving care


DENVER, Colo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) Robots have changed the medical field, and now those robots are getting smaller than ever. They are called microbots, also known as nanorobots. They are microscopic and thousands of them could be administered by swallowing a single pill. They could one day deliver life-saving drugs to hard-to-reach places in the body.

The fantastic journey! Microrobots deployed inside a body were once the stuff of science fiction and only imagined in movies. But now it's becoming the basis of real science within this lab.

Wyatt Shields, IV, PhD, a chemical and biological engineer at the University of Colorado Boulder, says, “Medical microrobots are essentially microscale devices. Thus, talking devices were five to ten times finer than human hair.

A team of engineers from the University of Colorado Boulder has designed a new class of tiny, self-propelled robots capable of traversing a body at incredible speeds. The robots are made from biocompatible polymer materials using technology similar to 3D printing. They look like small rockets with three tiny fins.

And the result is that these robots move very quickly. So on the order of several hundred body lengths per second, I'm thinking 120 or 140 body lengths per second. So that would be the equivalent of a six-foot-tall person running at 400 miles per hour, Professor Shields adds.

Although there is still more testing to be done, this work could one day transform what was once science fiction into world-changing science. Currently, the microbots leave the body through urine, but the team is working to make them completely biodegradable so that they dissolve in the body after releasing the drug.

Contributors to this story include: Marsha Lewis, producer; Matt Goldschmidt, videographer and editor.




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