Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Could These Tiny Biological Robots One Day Replace Risky Open Surgeries?

Could These Tiny Biological Robots One Day Replace Risky Open Surgeries?
Science has been exploring the idea of putting tiny robots inside the human body, assigning them tasks ranging from delivering drugs at target spots and performing surgery to 3D-printing inside living tissues and assembling medical devices while floating in the bloodstream. We have even heard of capsules that vibrate inside the gut to solve issues like chronic constipation. But the human body doesn’t always play nice with foreign objects, especially when they happen to be an amalgamation of electronic circuits.
To obviate this critical incompatibility, experts at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute and Tufts University have created biological robots using cells extracted from the human windpipe, or trachea. Called anthrobots, these miniature biological robots can glide over surfaces and help nerve cells grow, but so far, that progress has only been observed in laboratory dishes. The size of these robots ranges from as thin as a human hair to the tip of a sharpened pencil.
Each anthrobot is made to perform specific jobs based on the unique roles of its cells and their collaboration. That’s groundbreaking, and thanks to the potential versatility at their hands, scientists are hoping that in the near future, anthrobots can be deployed at target sites for regeneration, healing, and disease treatment.

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