Chinese scientists have created a unique technology that makes it possible to turn any object, the size of which does not exceed the size of insects, into a moving, externally controlled microrobot.
A group of scientists from the City University of Hong Kong(CityU) has developed a simple but effective method for creating small robots by coating objects with a special "agglutinate magnetic spray" (M-spray). The magnetic coating is biocompatible and can break if necessary. This technology has great potential for applications in biomedicine.
M-spray is created on the basis of polyvinylalcohol, gluten and iron particles and is a sticky substance capable of enveloping small objects and forming a uniform coating with a thickness of no more than 0.25 mm. At the same time, the objects themselves do not change their shape and remain small in size.
Putting on a kind of "magnetic jacket" onsmall objects, scientists turn them into controlled robots that respond to changes in the magnetic field. After applying the spray to the object, it is magnetized by a directional magnetic field. The object is then heated to harden the spray.
Currently, scientists have already testedoptions for using the M-spray when working with a catheter used for insertion into the human body. The spray applied made it possible to control the catheter when making sharp or smooth turns. Catheter control performance was virtually unaffected by fluid flow simulating blood flow. In the next phase of testing, the drug was successfully delivered to the stomach of the rabbit. Upon arrival at the destination, the M-spray shell was destroyed by vibration of the magnetic field, and the drug entered the body.