Washington: Researchers have developed 3D-printed magnetically controlled fish-shaped microrobots that could be used for directed drug delivery in humans.
Nanoengineers used an innovative 3D printing technology to manufacture multipurpose fish-shaped microrobots - called microfish - that are chemically powered by hydrogen peroxide and magnetically controlled.
These proof-of-concept synthetic microfish will inspire a new generation of ‘smart’ microrobots that have diverse capabilities such as detoxification, sensing and directed drug delivery.
Researchers led by Shaochen Chen and Joseph Wang of the University of California, San Diego, were able to custom-build microfish that can do more than simply swim around when placed in a solution containing hydrogen peroxide. They installed platinum nanoparticles in the tails of the microfish, which react with hydrogen peroxide to propel the microfish forward, and magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in the heads, which allowed them to be steered with magnets.
“We have developed an entirely new method to engineer nature-inspired microscopic swimmers that have complex geometric structures and are smaller than the width of a human hair,” said the co-first author Wei Zhu.