New Bio-Robot Could Treat Patients From Underneath The Skin
A new biobot from scientists at the Columbia University in New York City will be able to deliver drugs on demand from underneath the patient's skin.
It's a 3D-printed machine made from Hydrogel - a soft, but yet resistant solid that's safe to be implanted inside the body.
And it's not your typical robot, it doesn't work with any electricity or batteries - it can be activated through an external magnet!
It works with the Geneva Drive, which is a mechanism consisting of two gears that makes watches tick precisely in seconds.
The whole printing and assembling process takes about 30 minutes, using the latest 3D printing techniques.
The futuristic project has just been published in Science Robotics yesterday.
How it works
In the video below, you can see a demonstration of th Biobot in action.
A magnet from the outside (the silver piece in the video) will move a gear (the black part), which has iron nanoparticles inside it.
The Biobot has 6 different chambers, and with every click of the gear, one chamber releases its dose of medicine!
The revolutionary new Biobot has been tested in mice with bone cancer.
The mice were split in two groups - one group would recieve regular chemotherapy (where the whole body is exposed to it), while the other would be implanted with the biobots which were loaded with chemotherapy drugs.
The big difference here is that the drug can be delivered specifically where and when it's needed, instead of affecting the whole body with its negative side effects.
And the results were promising: In the 2nd group of mice, more tumor cells died, the tumors were growing at a slower rate and fewer cells elsewhere in the body suffered from damage!
While this technology is obviously stilll a long way from being commercialized, it is still a breakthrough and opens up a lot of new possibilities for medical robots.
It's also a big step forward for personalized medicine, and could be used for many different causes in the future!
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