Tumbling Microbots deliver Meds Through the Colon

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The tiny magnetic robot developed at Purdue University, seen beneath the "U" on this US penny
The magnetic robot developed at Purdue University, seen beneath the “U” on this US penny
Purdue University/Georges Adam

Using tiny robots to deliver drugs is promising pathway when it comes to limiting side effects and increasing effectiveness, and some take a more theatrical approach than others. Scientists at Purdue University have come to the party with a back-flipping microbot that can tumble its way through the colon to release its payload when desired, all while being controlled externally by a magnetic field.

Minuscule robots that can be loaded up with therapeutics, sent to a precise location in the body and then release medication as needed could mean big things for the treatment of many diseases, and there’s no shortage of inventive solutions on the horizon. We’ve previously looked at corkscrew-inspired robots that skewer cancer cells to drop drugs inside, others that can crawl, roll and jump, and ones that creep along like a caterpillar.

Back in 2018, we looked at a magnetic microbot from Purdue University that moved via a tumbling motion, which enabled it to overcome uneven terrain and even take on steep inclines, demonstrated in dry air and silicone oil. The same research group has continued to improve the technology, and has now demonstrated its capabilities in biological tissue for the first time.

The researchers chose the colon for their first in vivo experiments, because of the easy access and also because its messy nature poses a unique challenge.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).