Ingestible Tiny Robots Can Now Save Your Life
Sep 21, 2016 | 11:10 / Interesting information
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Thanks to rapid advances in nanotechnology, it's entirely possible that at someday soon, some wiseacre doctor will say these words. In today's tag-team edition of DNews, Trace Dominguez and Julian Huguet investigate the realm of medical nanobots.

In broad terms, medical nanobots refer to very tiny machines that you can swallow, inject into your bloodstream, or otherwise introduce to the body. These bots are designed to practice medicine from the inside, as it were, and we're closer than you might think to deploying this science fiction technology.

For instance, in 2015 scientists from MIT devised an ingestible origami robot that folds itself down to the size of a pill. The origami design not only allows the bot to get small, it provides a method of locomotion while inside the body. The researchers ran a series of experiments using a simulated human stomach and esophagus, and a set of external magnets to guide the bot along the stomach wall.

Over in Europe, meanwhile, researchers from ETH Zurich have invented robots so small that three billion of them can fit into a teaspoon. The design team hopes the bots will someday be injected directly into your eye, where they can swim through the vitreous humor and poke the blood vessels to break up blood clots.

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