Researchers working at the Penn State University have succeeded in propelling tiny robots inside living human cells using sound waves. These tiny machines—referred to as nanomachines or nanobots—could mark a new chapter in treating diseases and drug delivery.
According to Tom Mallouk, a researcher who was a part of the team at Penn State, the first-generation motors that were developed by them could not move around inside biological fluid, and they only worked on fuels that were toxic to the human body. This restricted the ability of researchers to study nanobots inside living human cells.
However, researchers seem to have found a way around the problem by pumping the nanobots with ultrasonic waves of varying intensities. This showed results as the tiny machines were able to spin around in biological fluid and penetrate the interiors of cells. Researchers also found that they could use magnetic waves to steer these nanobots to a very precise degree.
These nanobots could potentially be used for destroying cancer cells and other diseased cells, while leaving the healthy cells unharmed.
This technology could provide several new avenues for advancement in the medical field. For instance, these nanobots could deliver drugs to the precise location required inside the body. With more development, they could also be programmed to act as miniature surgeons that could work from the inside to repair impaired parts of the body or to remove blockages in organs.
According to researchers working on the project, there are several applications that can be developed now that they have found a precise way to control particles on such a small scale. The challenge would now be to further understand how this technique works.