The Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) has developed a capsule-type micro-robot that can seal cells and drugs and deliver them to desired parts of the human body.
The robot was by three teams – one led by DGIST Robotics professor Choi Hong-soo, another led by Moon Je-il, a DGIST professor of brain and cognitive science, and the other team led by professor Bradley Nelson of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
The new robot is based on a cap structure that can seal cells and drugs and has propellants that mimic bacterial movements.
Unlike exiting micro robots, the newly developed robot features a lid that can be opened and closed.
The conventional method mounts cells and drugs on the outer surface of delivery micro-robots, but this approach has a weakness as cells and drugs can be lost due to external environments when controlling such micro-robots in the human body. .
In a laboratory test, the capsule-type micro-robot developed by the research team moved particles of several tens of micrometer (one millionth of one meter) via a pick and drop motion. It passed a biocompatibility test of sealing actual olfactory nerve cells and delivering them to desired positions without killing them.
The research team expects that the robot will help treat diseases such as retinal degeneration in fluids that do not flow well in the human body such as the brain or eyes as the robot is capable of minimizing loss and delivering correct amounts by using a fluid vortex phenomenon.
The research results were published as the cover story of the May 9 issue of Advanced Healthcare Materials, an international scientific journal in the field of biomaterials.