Scientists have developed 3D-printed micromachines, or tiny biobots if you will, capable of being activated through external magnets.
The main goal behind the creation of the biobots is to eventually be able to implant them under a patient’s skin in order to deliver doses of drugs.
Comprised of hydrogel and a Geneva drive, the biobots are essentially soft robots capable of being activated by their external magnets and ultimately releasing drugs through six small chambers.
You can watch the process being demonstrated in this video:
Each biobot is merely 0.6 inches long and takes approximately 30 minutes to 3D print. An ideal application would be in treating a tumor where a doctor could release drugs into the problem area as needed from the device’s external magnet.
At the moment, the tiny biobots have only been tested in mice with bone cancer, releasing the chemo drug doxorubicin under the mice’s skin.
So far so good, as there have been positive results such as less tumor growth and fewer damaged cells in other organs compared to mice that received standard chemo treatment.