Nanobots

Everything tiny.

Latest News

Biodegradable microrobots could deliver drugs – Independent – 22-Nov-2017
Biohybrids are biological cells  with magnetic particles engineered on to guide them.
Able to use the naturally fluorescent biological interior of spirulina algae.
Devices released cancer-fighting compounds as they degraded.
Also able to sense changes in the body which could be useful for diagnosis.

IBM predicts injectable AI nanobots in 20 years – IB Times – 15-Oct-2017
Senior inventor at IBM has predicted artificially intelligent nano-machines within the next 20 years.
Nanobots could be injected into humans to repair and enhance muscles, bones and cells.
Humans and machines will essentially be “melded” together.
Highlights risk of massive widening of digital divide.

Funding to build biological nanorobots – Silicon Republic – 28-Sep-2017
Founded in 2014, France-based Eligo Bioscience has received $20m Series A funding.
Aims is to treat a number of diseases using the human microbiome.
Eligo’s biological nanobots (aka eligobots) are made from DNA and protein.
Able to deliver a customised therapeutic payload to specific types of bacteria.
Nanobots can either kill the bacteria or transiently turn them into drug producers.

Nanomachines constructed to destroy diseased cells (VIDEO) – RICE UNIVERSITY – 30-Aug-17
Motor is a paddle-like chain of atoms that spins when activated by a light source.
Spin between at 2-3 million times per second to overcome molecules and outpace Brownian motion.
The nanometer wide motors could locate specific cells of interest.
Takes at least a minute for a motor to tunnel through a membrane.
Highly unlikely that a cell could develop a resistance to molecular mechanical action.

Tiny robots heal stomach ulcers in mice – New Scientist – 16-Aug-2017
Micromotors are autonomous vehicles the width of a human hair.
They use bubbles to power the transport of drugs.
Approach was more effective than regular doses of antibiotics.
Spherical magnesium core coated with several different layers that offer protection, treatment, and the ability to stick to stomach walls.
Cores react with gastric acid to produce hydrogen bubbles that propel the motors around.
Micromotors were dissolved by the stomach, leaving no harmful residues.

Stem cell brain implants could slow ageing – The Guardian – 26-Jul-2017
Implanted stem cells that make fresh neurons in the brain. Lives of older mice extended by 0-15% compared to untreated animals. Natural production of neural stem cells slows down dramatically in adults. Planning to create supplies of human neural stem cells in the lab for clinical trials.

Tomorrow’s Mini Medical Robots Could Squirm Like Maggots – Wired – 25-Jul-2017
Franck Vernerey models his machines after maggots’ squirming movement. Robots are tiny cylinders of hydrogel that sucks up or spits out water. Can be induced to creep through tubes. Could crawl through flesh to deliver medicine or shred apart a tumour.

Tracking of medical nanobots comes a step closer – The Engineer – 13-Jun-2017
One problem with nanobots (aka capsule endoscopes) is tracking their location once ingested.
ATOMS (addressable transmitters operated as magnetic spins) technique uses magnetic fields.
Integrated sensors and resonators mimic the magnetic resonance properties of atoms.
The chip has a surface area of 1.4 mm²
In future could incorporate sensors into small pills that detect pH, temperature, pressure and blood sugar concentrations.

Nanobot Delivers Drugs to Cells Then Self Destructs – Seeker – 30-May-2017
Radboud University researchers assembled a synthetic nanoscale vesicle – a kind of bladder that can be filled with liquids.
Self-propelled with a chemical nanomotor that uses hydrogen peroxide for fuel.
Operates autonomously, reacting to specific chemical triggers in the vicinity of cancer cells.
After penetrating through the cell wall glutathione, found in cancerous tumors, dissolves the bladder’s bonds.
Vesicle self-destructs, releasing its payload of anti-cancer drugs.

Molecular-Level Nanobots Programmed With DNA Created – Inverse – 10-Mar-2017
Could be used as artificial white blood cells defending your body from disease.
Uses different proteins and molecular signaling to change its shape on command and shuffle around.
Empty sac in nanobots would allow them to carry medication or nano-cameras.

World’s first light-seeking synthetic nanorobot – Indian Express – 9-Nov-2016
Same size as a blood cell potentially allowing them to be injected into a patient’s body.
Novel nanotree structure means the nanorobots respond to light shining on them like moths being drawn to flames.
Nanorobots are composed of two common and low-price semiconductor materials: silicon and titanium oxide.
Could help surgeons remove tumours and enable more precise engineering of targeted medications.

Nanofish could swim through body to deliver medication – MedGadget – 12-Sep-2016
Made from gold and nickel nanowire sections the devices flex like a fish when powered by a magnetic field.
200 nm in length they can achieve speeds of 30 μm per second.
The technology has potential to travel through the body and deliver medication or perform a procedure.
Developed by University of California and Harbin Institute of Technology.

Nanobots could swarm like bats to hunt out brain tumours – New Scientist – 2-Sep-2016
National Technical University of Athens working to develop nanobots that could be injected into the brain and then crawl along neurons, pinching them to see if they are healthy or not.
Brain damage can occur deep in the brain and be difficult to see in scans.
Team has created a computer simulation using bat swarming behaviour to direct nanobots by following acoustic signals.
Just four bots would be needed to find a small tumour within a matter minutes.
Theoretical at the moment as uncertain how tiny devices could sense these acoustic signals.

Mind-controlled nanobots could release drugs inside your brain – New Scientist – 25-Aug-2016
Technology demonstration released a drug inside cockroaches in response to a person’s brain activity.
Nanorobots built out of DNA form shell-like shapes that can hold and lock in drugs – lock is released by electromagnetic radiation.
Human subject wore EEG cap and was able to switch on electromagnetic coil by thought alone – triggering drug release in cockroaches.
Future miniaturisation could enable mental health patients to wear a hearing aid-like EEG device to monitor brain activity and detect when drugs are needed.

Nanorobots used to administer anti-cancer drugs – Digital Journal – 17-Aug-2016
100 million flagellated bacteria propel drug laden nanobots through body fluids, helped by the use of magnetic fields.
Nanobots can detect the most cancerous areas and release the anti-cancer drug.
Avoids harming healthy cells and organs.
Trials in mice devised by Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal together with McGill University.

Ingestible origami robot – MIT News – 12-May-2016
Biocompatible material fits inside a capsule for swallowing.
Propels itself using stick-slip motion as well as liquid propulsion.
Steered by external magnetic fields.
Successfully removed button battery stuck to wall of synthetic stomach.
Every year, 3,500 swallowed button batteries are reported in the U.S. alone.
Daniela Rus: “For applications inside the body, we need a small, controllable, untethered robot system”

LifeForce: the Nano Robot – University of Toronto – 3-Mar-2016
Medical robotics at the cellular level.
Robot can pick up individual sperm and inject it into an egg cell.
Capable of extracting a single chromatin from within a cell nucleus.

Tiny Bot Glows To Diagnose Tuberculosis – Popular Science – 2-Mar-2016
Gold nanobot has 2 strands of DNA – one to identify a disease, the other to fluoresce.
Extremely simple to use.
Simply add to a test tube of blood and it glows within 20 minutes if substance detected.
Much faster thane existing tests which require specialist lab technicians.
Next plan biomarkers of cancer, Parkinson’s and heart disease.

Spermbots could help women trying to conceive (video) – American Chemical Society – 13-Jan-2016
Sperm that don’t swim well rank high among the main causes of infertility.
Motorized spermbots can deliver poor swimmers to an egg.
Metal helices, just large enough to fit around the tail of a sperm, controlled by a rotating magnetic field.

Nanobots that could unclog arteries – Fortune – 12-Jan-2016
Tiny groups of magnetically charged particles band together to break up clogged arteries in 2 stage process:
1. deliver drugs to soften clogged arteries
2. drill into heart blockages to blast away
Controlled by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines
Mice trials at South Korea hospital in this year. Human trials expected 2019.

Medical capsule robots with dozens of uses – HealthData Management – 12-Nov-2015
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have built over 20 function-specific capsules.
Uses include:
– collect biopsies
– screen for colorectal cancer
– screen for stomach cancer
– check PH levels
Hardware and software are open source
3-4 years away from human trials.

Rise of the Nanomachines (VIDEO) – American Chemical Society – 13-Oct-2015
Great video introduction to some of the advances in nanobots and how they may be used in your body such as delivering drugs.
Motors, switches and shuttles, many orders of magnitude smaller than a human cell, have already been created in the lab.
Nanomachines could work together to cause collective motion – in the same was as tiny muscles fibres produce macro-scale movement.

DNA-based nanodevices for molecular medicine – Kurzweil AI – 25-Sep-2015
Researchers from Aalto University compare biological DNA-nanomachine developments and their uses.
DNA-based devices could be used for detecting single molecules and modulating cell signaling.
Highly sophisticated DNA robots could even be used in creating artificial immune systems.

‘Microswimmer’ robots to drill through blocked arteries within four years – KurzweilAI – 30-Jun-2015
corkscrew-shaped bacteria, are being developed by an $18-million, 11-institution research initiative headed by the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technologies (KEIT).

3D-printed swimming microrobots can sense and remove toxins – 3D Print – 29-June-2015
Fish shape nanobots manufactured using microscale continuous optical printing (µCOP) at much smaller resolution than traditional 3D printing. Devices created from three different types of functional nanoparticles allowing them to be customized to suit their intended purpose.
Self-propelled. Chemically powered. Magnetically steered. Detect and destroy toxins.

Swarm of dumb robots can penetrate tissue – IEEE – 25-Jun-2015
Magnetic robots manoeuvred in MRI machine to form Gauss gun. Big at the moment but technology only gets smaller so will eventually be bloodstream scale. Video.

ETH Zurich develop magnetically controlled nanoswimmer – KurzweilAI – 17-Jun-15
Polypyrrole (Ppy) nanowire able to move through biological fluid environment. Includes video.

Nanorobots in the Body: The Future of Medicine – MEDICATradeFair (YouTube) – 20-Mar-2015
Researchers at Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany, have developed two types of microswimmers:
1. microscallop
– 300 micron wide x 600 micron long
– open and close at different speeds (shear thickening) to move in non-Newtonian body fluids
2. nano propeller
– 100 nanometres wide x 400 nm long
– helical structure moves forward when rotating magnetic field applied

Bacteriobot cancer-treating nanorobot – Reuters – 5-Jan-2014
Bacteriobot uses genetically modified salmonella bacteria’s brain and flagella to target cancer tumours with microscopic capsules filled with drugs.
STATUS: tested on mouse tumours

Could DNA nanorobots cure cancer – Amrit Singh (YouTube) – 10-Jan-2015
Interviews and animations of DNA origami – self assembled into open ended barrel shape with payload area and latch. Target cells express keys to open the nanorobot so hardly any healthy cells damaged.
Successfully tested their method in cell cultures and animals

Google developing cancer hunting nanoparticles in a pill – The Boston Globe – 1-Nov-2014
Google X’s  life sciences division has partnered with Entrega.
Entrega have developed a pill which dissolves leaving drug soaked wafers attach to small intestine.
Hoping to combine with magnetic nanoparticle that travel through the bloodstream searching for early signs of cancer.
Now entering a second phase of animal testing.

MagnetoSperm – APL Video – University of Twente (YouTube) – 3-Jun-2014
322 um long microbot that navigates using weak magnetic fields.

 

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