Meet the robot that can move inside the human body

If the idea of ​​mini-robots moving around inside a human body was seen as a work of fiction, all indications are that within a few years this could be a recurring procedure, depending on the researchers from Vanderbilt Universityin Tennessee.

They have recently announced a new version of their “Milirobot“, a millimeter-long robot that operates by remote control and has the ability to climb into the human body, specifically designed to move inside the gut and alveoli of the lung for the use of drugs and even sensors.

In his previous version, he had difficulty moving due to his lack of adhesion to the inner surface of the human body and fluids, so any sudden movement would loosen him. This is solved in its new version, which now has small pillows filled with needles that stick to the mucus and do not come off easily during movements similar to breathing or digestion.

Second Metin Sittiof Max Planck Institute of Intelligent Systems, in Germany, the positive results with Milirobot Sign up “a major milestone in lightweight robotics“.

A significant advance for treatments

ISLAND Milirobot is made of an ultra-thin, elastic magnetic metal, is 3.7 mm long and 1.5 mm wide and can carry three times its own volume and up to 20 times its own weight, according to the research co-author, Yingdan Wu.

To be controlled, researchers must use a machine that manipulates the electromagnetic field near the body, making Milirobot rotate, that is, when one foot is on the ground, the robot pulls the other foot from the surface and rotates the body to take a “step” inside the body.


Continues after announcement

As for the obstacle to doing so so that the mucosa could be attached and also released, then it was long. According to the research co-author, Xiaoguang Dong from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee:

“The team first tried to add pillows to the paws that grip the tissue, inspired by the way some intestinal parasites settle. But they had trouble reproducing the high forces needed – and it was also difficult to get the robot to break free.”

The solution that the research team found came from something that we Brazilians, at least those who have gone outdoors, know very well, the burur.

To simulate the same adhesive and liberating effect, the “cushion” of needles was covered with a thin layer of chitosan, from the shell of crustaceans, which gave an extremely positive result during the tests, as it now created friction and viscosity. enough to hold the mucus layer inside the pigs’ lungs and digestive tract.

During the various tests performed inside the laboratory, the team was very excited about their results. just like Milirobot it adheres only to the mucous membrane, it causes no damage to the internal tissue and it makes it possible to use it for various types of treatments or even just take materials into organs such as a heart.

You can not rule out the idea that in the future we may have lots of people with tiny robots dealing with the most diverse diseases.

The entire study can be read here.

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Source: The New Scientist, Science Org

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