Newsletters
Customer Relationship Management News NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home CRM Systems Customer Service Contact Centers Business Intelligence More Topics...
Innovation
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Tiny, Swimming Microbots Could Revolutionize Medicine

Tiny, Swimming Microbots Could Revolutionize Medicine
By Amina Khan

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

Tiny robots of the future that swim around in your body delivering targeted drugs have come a step closer to reality with MagnetoSperm. These infinitesimal robots squirm around just like sperm and reach parts of the body that are difficult to access. Further miniaturizing these mechanical swimmers could potentially revolutionize medicine.
 



Meet MagnetoSperm! No, it's not a precursor to a movie called 'X-Men: The Next Generation' -- it's a tiny, swimming robot inspired by sperm cells.

Described in the journal Applied Physics Letters, such microrobots -- if further scaled down -- could become valuable tools for in vitro fertilization, delivering targeted drugs into the body or even performing minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Ick factor vies with cool factor in this bioinspired bot's story.

"Sperm was chosen because of its streamlined shape," lead researcher Sarthak Misra, a roboticist at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, said of the team's inspiration. "And we found it is also quite efficient in terms of traveling distances in environments that [have] varying fluid flow.... Sperm cells are adept to that and can move really well."

The microrobots measure just 322 micrometers long, 5.2 micrometers wide and 42 micrometers thick, and their heads are coated with a 200-nanometer nickel-cobalt layer that allows them to respond to a magnetic field.

Microrobots are often limited to larger-than-ideal sizes because they need to have their power and navigation systems attached, which can get bulky, said Misra, who spoke from Hong Kong while attending the International Conference on Robotics and Automation. Misra's team solved this by using four electromagnetic coils to generate an oscillating field that was as weak as a refrigerator magnet but strong enough to get the tailed robots to waggle and swim.

Size, of course, matters: At 322 micrometers long, these spermbots are still roughly six times the size of their biological peers (in humans, anyway). Further miniaturizing these mechanical swimmers -- which the researchers hope to do by developing magnetic nanofibers to replace the spermbot's current tail -- could potentially make such microbots useful for a variety of applications in the body, including cleaning out clogged arteries and helping conventionally invasive surgeries become scar- and trauma-free.
 


© 2014 Los Angeles Times (CA) under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Innovation
1.   Glass Adds Voice Access to Contacts
2.   Samsung Buys SmartThings
3.   BioBattery Tattoo May Power a Phone
4.   Rufus Cuff a Crowd-Funded Success
5.   IBM Chip Design Mimics Human Brain
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Find Malicious Android Apps Can Hack Gmail
A new study shows that a weakness in the Android mobile operating system can be used to steal sensitive, personal info from unwitting users. Gmail proved to be the easiest app to attack; Amazon, the hardest.
 
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
With businesses wanting computing solutions that do more for less money, Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that it says offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Screen Shortage Briefly Puts Brakes on iPhone 6
RAM? Check. Antenna switch? Check. Screen? Oops. Parts suppliers for Apple have found themselves facing a shortage of screens for the new iPhone 6 as next month's release date for the new smartphone looms.
 
Bounty Offered to Coders for Oculus Rift Bugs
Coders who find bugs in software for the Oculus Rift VR immersive headset could receive a reward of at least $500 under Facebook's White Hat bounty program. Facebook acquired Oculus in March.
 
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Contact Centers | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Customer Data | CRM Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.