The very first self-propelled, nanoparticle delivering nanobots ever
Researchers working at the University of California, San Diego have claimed a world first in proving that artificial, microscopic machines can travel inside a living creature and deliver their medicinal load without any detrimental effects. Using micro-motor powered nanobots propelled by gas bubbles made from a reaction with the contents of the stomach in which they were deposited, these miniature machines have been successfully deployed in the body of a live mouse.
The picayune robots used in the research were tubular, about 20 micrometers long, 5 micrometers in diameter, and coated in zinc. Once the mouse ingested these tiny tubes and they reached the stomach, the zinc reacted with the hydrochloric acid in the digestive juices to produce bubbles of hydrogen which then propelled the nanobots along like miniature rockets.
Reaching speeds of up to 60 micrometers per second, the nanobots headed outwards toward the stomach lining where they then embedded themselves, dissolved, and delivered a nanoparticle compound directly into the gut tissue.
According to the researchers, of all the nanobots deployed in the stomach of the mouse, those that reached the stomach walls remained attached to the lining for a full 12 hours after ingestion, thereby proving their effectiveness and robust nature.