Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 29 in category All (newest first):
The immune system's activation of macrophages, a type of immune cells that are on the lookout for pathogens, is a major obstacle for developing functional medical microrobots that can operate in vivo for a prolonged period of time. Researchers are trying to overcome this challenge by 'camouflaging' therapeutic nanoparticles with special coatings so that they avoid detection by macrophages. In new work, researchers report the development of stealth microrobots that can fly under the radar of the immune system, and hence prolong their window of operation since they do not get eliminated.
Oct 26th, 2020
Researchers have developed a hybrid sperm micromotor, which can carry a payload and efficiently and controllably swim against flowing blood. Sperm-based micromotors hold several advantages, in particular their powerful propulsion generated by the beating of the sperm flagella. Sperm are also able to swim for several days with a drag force up to 100 pN. The most important feature of sperm micromotors to operate in the bloodstream is their ability to swim against flow as well as close to boundaries, where the blood velocity is lower than the average velocity, due to shear stress.
Oct 8th, 2020
Biology serves as an important proof-of-principle, and design challenge, for artificial intelligence and shape changing robots. Numerous organisms successfully exploit shape change as a mechanism for adaptation and survival. However, for robotics designers one fundamental question to start with is that it is unclear when and how robots should change their shape. A recent progress review provides an overview of the literature related to robots that change shape to enhance and expand their functionality.
Oct 6th, 2020
By applying concepts developed in micro- and nanorobotics, researchers demonstrate the controlled motion and delivery of cargo payloads embedded in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). The helical MOF-based micromachine, propelled by artificial bacterial flagella, can swim and follow complex trajectories in three dimensions under the control of weak rotational magnetic fields. These swimmers are tumor-responsiv and can act as selectively automated and targeted drug delivery platforms.
May 20th, 2019
Electronic device versions of the human eye's photoreceptors could potentially be used in a wide range of applications from robotic humanoid vision to artificial retina implantation for vision restoration or even vision extension into a wider range of wavelength. Researchers have now demonstrated that high-performance filterless artificial human photoreceptors can be realized by integrating a novel optical metal/dielectric/metal microcavity structure with vacuum-deposited perovskite photoresponse devices. These easy-to-fabricate artificial photosensors mimic the spectral responses of human color cones and rods.
May 1st, 2019
New work on self-propelled biohybrid microrobots has been inspired by recent developments of biohybrid cyborgs that integrate self-propelling bacteria with functionalized synthetic nanostructures to transport materials. Taking inspiration from the science fiction concept of a cybernetic organism, or cyborg, researchers developed a self-propelled biohybrid microrobot, named rotibot, employing the marine microorganism rotifer as their engine.
Apr 3rd, 2019
A recent review article highlights the role of electrochemistry in synthesizing materials for self-powered micro- and nanodevices; the aspect of charge transfer and changes in electrochemical potentials for locomotion; control of self-propelled motion using electrochemistry and electric fields; and possible applications in electrochemical sensing and energy generation using micro- and nanoscale motion. The authors discuss various electrochemical techniques, which allow for the fabrication of large amounts of micro/nanorobots from diverse materials, with and without the use of templates.
May 16th, 2017
Researchers show how spermatozoa can be useful parts of microdevices: As biocompatible propulsion source, but also entailing other functionalities such as their natural destiny for fertilization, their ability to respond to stimuli, or their ability to take up drugs open up fascinating new applications. They demonstrate first examples of using sperm cells as robotic components. The so-called spermbots are also systems that enable biophysical studies, e.g. of sperm motion in confinement.
May 3rd, 2017