This breakthrough could completely change the face of the medical community.
Scientists have found a way to create tiny 3D-printed robots that are shaped like small fish that could swim through your bloodstream, delivering drugs.
These “microfish” were created by a research team out of the University of California San Diego. The microfish could deliver drugs to the body and remove toxins, and the team was able to create hundreds of these miniature robots in seconds, accoridng to a Wired report.
The study was published in the journal Advanced Materials and described the robots as just 120 microns long by 30 microns in width — thinner than a human hair. These microfish were created with platinum nanoparticles in their tails, and hydrogen peroxide causes their tails to move, while tiny oxide particles in the “heads” of the fish allow the fish to steer themselves via magnets.
And these microfish would have amazing capabilities. They would be capable of sensing toxins and detoxifying. The study found that the bodies of the fish glowed fluorescent red when placed in a contaminated liquid because of toxic-neutralizing particles.
In addition to the fish, the program can create 3D-printed robotic rays and sharks, and possibly birds in the future.
The microfish could be part of a new generation of robots that could lead to new techniques in the medical community. There’s also the possibility that medicines could be placed inside the microfish and they could be used for drug delivery in the human body.
This isn’t going to happen overnight. Synthetic microfish are simply a way to prove a concept and it doesn’t represent an immediate change in health techniques. But it is an impressive show of technology that could have big ramifications for the medical community down the road.