Nanobots Deliver Targeted Treatment Within A Living Mouse

Posted on 31 January 2016

Credit: Mayne, R. and Adamatzky, A

Credit: Mayne, R. and Adamatzky, A

Researchers have used tiny, synthetic motors to deliver a payload into the gut tissue in a live mouse for the first time

The latest study from the University of California details use of miniature tubes propelled by a chemical reaction to an acidic environment. These tubes are about 20 micrometres long and are coated in zinc, which reacts with hydrochloric acid in the stomach to form self-propelling gas bubbles. This bubble powered movement can reach 60 micrometres a second and enables them to embed themselves in the stomach wall for a long period. 

These bots have been tested in the lab before on tissue, but never inside a living animal

You probably don’t want tiny metal tubes stuck in your tissue long term, but the advantage of these tiny synthetic motors is that they completely dissolve over time, leaving no toxic remnant behind. 

The technology is in an early stage, but it provides a great proof of concept. Micromotors like this could be a great way of delivery medical payloads to targeted areas of the body. 

Read more at Gizmag

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