|One project revealed that micro-robots can help a person clean their teeth and now it is on process / Photo by: Nina Buday via Shutterstock|
A project led by Hyun (Michel) Koo of the School of Dental Medicine and Edward Steager of the School of Engineering and Applied Science is exploring the possibility that micro-robots could now help you have clean teeth, too, as their study published in Science Robots features a “microscopic robotic cleaning crew” concerned only with cleaning the mouth.
The project, which was also reported in Science Daily, featured two types of robotic systems that both clean the teeth. The first one was designed to clean the surface of the teeth, while the other is confined to hard-to-reach spaces.
What do the robots clean, though? And how are they able to do it? The scientists revealed that the micro-robots were equipped with technology that allows them to conceivably eradicate everything from “biofilms” to “sticky amalgamations of bacteria enmeshed in a protective scaffolding.”
Although it’s essentially seen as the perfect solution for that coveted thousand-watt smile, scientists of the project also hope that the technology could also be translated into water filtering systems, particularly in the process of making sure that the pathways of the water are kept clean. Hence, the technology is being thought of as a possible help for water filtration systems because of the concept that it could also maintain dirt that could stick to the sides of pipes and catheters.
"This was a truly synergistic and multidisciplinary interaction," says Koo. "We're leveraging the expertise of microbiologists and clinician-scientists, as well as engineers, to design the best microbial eradication system possible. This is important to other biomedical fields facing drug-resistant biofilms, as we approach a post-antibiotic era."
As is the trend of increasing technological advancement, this also falls under the goal of making our industries more efficient.
With this in mind, Steager adds that the technology will also be just the right call to help dental professionals focus on more important healthcare procedures as this technology will help cut down, or at least ease, the additional “manual labor” put into treating biofilms.