Transformable drug-delivery robot could take a fantastic voyage through the bloodstream

create

May 30, 2019

"An international team of engineering researchers has created a heart-cell-propelled soft robot that transforms when exposed to infrared light — allowing it to start and stop on demand," writes create.

"While it is a lot smaller than Optimus Prime or Bumblebee, the researchers say their prototype could swim through the human bloodstream and carry out highly targeted drug delivery.

"'We literally dropped bombs on cancer cells,' said Zi Chen, an Assistant Professor of Engineering from Dartmouth in the US.

"Chen and his collaborators 3D printed their soft robot in the shape of a fixed wing aeroplane. To allow the robot to swim through the bloodstream, the researchers coated its tail fins in heart muscle cells. As the heart cells expand and contract, the tail moves in a whale-like undulating motion and pushes the robot forward."

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