Prompt delivery of medicines toa diseased area of the body is the key to effective and rapid recovery. Scientists conducted the first experiments on mice using miniature robotic devices moving through the digestive system.
The main task of the tested robots is to helpcure intestinal tumors. The devices offered for testing do not have complex mechanisms, electronics, and they do not require additional energy sources. The design of microrobots is quite simple. This is a two-layer ball with a diameter of up to 20 micrometers, the inner surface of which is made of magnesium, and the outer surface of a parylene material resistant to gastric juice. Between the layers is the medicine.
In the outer shell of parylene drilledhole (diameter 2 microns), filled with paraffin. In the course of the experiment, mice that got hungry after the 8-hour “diet” “fed” a portion of microrobots. The trajectory of the movement of devices inside the devastated bowel was monitored using optoacoustic tomography. When the balls reached the control point, they were irradiated with an infrared laser that penetrates the living tissue, but is absorbed by the magnesium ball. The microrobot was heated and the paraffin “plug” melted. The liquid coming through the hole in the ball reacted with magnesium, in which gas bubbles were released, escaping from the existing hole.
The robot, which turned into an object overclockedjet stream at high speed, stuck to the intestinal walls. When this broke the shell of parylene, and the medication came to the control point. The remains of the microrobot left the body naturally.
So far, the exact orientation of such robotsimpossible, only some of them delivered drugs to a given point. The rest landed nearby. However, such delivery remains much more effective than simple ingestion of pills, spreading the drug throughout the body, which sometimes has negative side effects.