Swimming nanobots are the future of medicine


China’s Harbin Institute of Technology is trying to avoid fragile surgery, thanks to the new tiny, swimming robots. Influenced by the famous swimming stroke, the front crawl or commonly known as freestyle, these nanobots travel in the same manner. Their magnetic arms rotate and propel them forward while researchers apply a magnetic field on their arms.

This tiny piece of tech is pretty swift too, as it is able to swim at an incredible 10 micrometers per second. Due to their powerful arms and speed, the bots have a momentum strong enough to pass through thick liquids like blood. And body fluids are far more difficult for these pieces of metal to swim through compared to water.

"It's exciting due to its speed and its really small size, just about the same size as a blood vessel," says Eric Diller, a microbot researcher at the University of Toronto. "It's small enough basically to go anywhere within the body."

And because of their compact size, this makes them a good candidate for future medicine and nanobot medical researches. It is also said that these nanobots will have to be built from biodegradable materials before they can be safely sent into the bloodstream.

Diller said that in the next five to ten years, these bots may begin trial on less difficult areas of the human body, such as the eyeballs or the urinary tract.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons