Miniature robots can revolutionize modern medicine
The evolution of technology in recent years provides far more opportunities for scientists and doctors to explore, diagnose and treat various diseases in the human body. A team of researchers at the EPFL and ETHZ are working together on an interesting project to transform the whole of modern medicine with a new generation of miniature robots. Their idea is to create small robots to be placed inside our bodies to monitor vital parameters and inform them about the health of patients.
Scientists have already created working prototypes that are so small that they can only be seen by a microscope and are inspired by the way microorganisms in nature are built and operated. In fact, they pay attention to a bacterium called “African Trypanosomes,” causing the African sleeping sickness – the symptoms are sudden mood swings, sleeping patterns, confusion and, in some cases, even death. The reason they create their robots based on the structure of this bacterium is the unique ability to control its whip, which is important for its movement.
The team of researchers recreate this mechanism in their miniature robots, as they want to control their trajectory as far as possible once they fall into our bodies. Their concept is to manage them with an electromagnetic field, they have the ability to change their shape when they are exposed to different heat, which is also quite interesting. Their length is between 1 and 100 nanometres, and for comparison a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometres thick, and this makes them suitable for treating various diseases. Further experiments with them will still be carried out.