Nerds use sugar to transport tiny robots to heal your body

Tiny robots that heal you absolutely exist, but they’re indirect. Thanks to the pioneering minds in the US, we’re ever closer to being assisted by nanomachines. Yay?



If you happen to subscribe to the scribblings of Hideo Kojima, teensy tiny nanobots within us will be travelling through our veins, making us either a problematic cyborg ninja, a man with a mullet or the carrier of an unbelievably named disease. That, and they’ll be able to heal us from the inside out.

Strangely, one of those things are actually close to being a reality. The drug-delivering bots might exist, but ferrying them to the correct location is difficult. However, the dorks from the University of California San Diego believe think they’ve found a solution: sugar pills.

They published their study

In a previous study, the team used micromotors — tiny self-propelling robots — coated with antibiotics to treat ulcers in lab mice.

The bots did what they were supposed to, but the mice’s gastric acid and intestinal fluids caused some of the tiny bots to release the drugs before they reached the drop zone. Additionally, some of the micromotors got stuck in the throats of the rodents, and failure was again the outcome.

To circumvent these pickles, the researchers placed tens of thousands of micromotors into pills created out of lactose and maltose, two non-toxic sugars that easily disintegrate. When they tested the pills in lab mice, greater success was made. The drugs got to (or nearer to) the destination. With that problem figured out, it’s simple to step to hyperbole, as the world that Kojima fancied, where tiny robots control our destiny might be met.

Just cut down on the cutscenes. Or the superfluous nudity.



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