Friday, December 06, 2013

Robots to the Rescue!

If you have taken Dr. Wasser's class this semester, then you obviously remember the nanorobot project! Well, the theoretical research and design our groups created this semester might not be as far into the future as we thought!

Researchers at Berekely are currently researching this area of medicine, but mostly on the micro scale rather than the nano. They are building what they call "soft robots" that are small enough to squeeze through the body. Their goal is to get them smaller than 100 microns, which is the size of a human hair. The soft robots are designed primarily as a drug releasing mechanism. They are constructed from materials that can absorb or release water when heated or cooled. Once inside the body, an infrared laser is shined upon them which causes them to contract and release the medicine.

This topic interested me because we just spent four months researching and designing a device similar to this! From our research, we all know the benefits this advance in medicine could have. The bots would have a more localized target. They would also be able to release the drugs on a more varied time scale. The benefits are fantastic!!

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