Could the Future of Medicine Lie in Nanobots?
According to futurist Ray Kurzweil, we should have armies of microscopic robots flowing through our bodies by the year 2030. These tiny bots will be used to diagnose diseases and deliver drug treatments directly to where we need them.
A technology which could prove useful to treat Asgardians living on habitable platforms in low-Earth orbit.
Except for the most significant obstacle currently in the way is that we don’t have a suitable method for getting the drug-administering bots where they need to go. But now, researchers from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) think they’ve found a solution in the form of sugar pills.
The researchers recently published their study in the journal ACS Nano.
In a study conducted before this one, the UCSD team used micromotors, also known as tiny self-propelling robots, coated with antibiotics to treat ulcers in lab mice.
The tiny robots carried out their task. However, the gastric acid and intestinal fluids resulted in some of the bots releasing the drugs before they reached the ulcers. What’s more, some of the micromotors got stuck in the mice’s throats if they got into the body by being swallowed with a liquid.
To circumvent these problems, the UCSD researchers placed tens of thousands of micromotors into pills designed out of lactose and maltose. These two sugars were chosen because they’re nontoxic, easy to mould into tablets, and can disintegrate as required.
As they performed new tests on the lab mice with these sugar-coated pills, the scientists discovered that the micromotors enveloped in sugar did a better job of delivering their drugs than the ones delivered through liquid solutions or tablets created out of silica.
Now that we have a more effective way to deliver micromotors exactly where we want them, we can move one step closer to Kurzweil’s vision of robot armies monitoring our insides and keeping us healthy.
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