Microbots to the Rescue!


DENVER, Colo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Robots have changed the medical field, and now, those robots are becoming smaller than ever before – they’re called microbots. They’re microscopic in scale and thousands of them could be delivered by swallowing a single pill. They could one day deliver life-saving medications to hard-to-reach places throughout the body.

The Fantastic Voyage! Microrobots deployed inside a body was once science fiction and only imagined in the movies. But now it’s becoming the basis of real science inside this lab.

Wyatt Shields, IV, PhD, Chemical & Biological Engineer at University of Colorado, Boulder says, “Medical microrobots are, essentially, microscale devices. So, we’re talking devices five to 10 times thinner than the human hair.”

(Read Full Interview)

A team of engineers at the University of Colorado, Boulder has designed a new class of tiny, self-propelled robots that can zip through a body at incredible speeds. The bots are made out of polymer materials that are biocompatible using a technology similar to 3D printing. They look like small rockets with three tiny fins.

“And the result is that these robots move really fast. So, on the order of several hundred body lengths per second, I think 120 or 140 body lengths per second. So, that would be equivalent to a six-foot-tall person running 400 miles per hour,” adds Professor Shields.

Although there’s still more testing to do, this work could one day turn what was once science fiction into science that changes the world. Right now, the microbots leave the body through the urine, but the team is working to make them completely biodegradable so they will dissolve inside the body after releasing the medication.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer & Editor.

To receive a free weekly e-mail on medical breakthroughs from Ivanhoe, sign up at: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk




REPORT:        MB #5368

BACKGROUND: Nanorobots, also known as nanobots or nanorobotic devices, hold immense potential for revolutionizing various aspects of healthcare and medicine. These tiny robotic devices, typically on the scale of nanometers, offer precise control and manipulation at the molecular and cellular levels. One of the most promising applications of nanorobots is in targeted drug delivery. Nanorobots can be engineered to navigate through the bloodstream and deliver medications directly to specific cells or tissues, minimizing side effects and enhancing therapeutic efficacy. Nanorobots show great potential in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, hold promise for performing precise surgical procedures at the cellular or molecular level, and they can enhance diagnostic imaging techniques by acting as contrast agents or molecular probes. Statistics show that 80 percent of hospitals are using or plan to use some kind of AI application in their practices.

(Source: https://resources.10to8.com/blog/medical-technology-statistics/


https://osf.io › download

DIAGNOSING: Nanorobots hold great promise in revolutionizing diagnostic capabilities within hospital settings and in diagnosing patients and administering medications. Nanorobots can be engineered with biosensors capable of detecting specific biomarkers associated with various diseases. Nanorobots equipped with biosensors could navigate through the bloodstream or biological fluids, identifying and quantifying biomarkers indicative of conditions such as cancer, infectious diseases, or cardiovascular disorders. They also offer the potential for continuous, real-time monitoring of physiological parameters within the body. These miniature devices could patrol the bloodstream, monitoring vital signs, blood glucose levels, or concentrations of biochemical markers. Nanorobots can be utilized to deliver contrast agents or imaging probes to specific tissues or cells for diagnostic imaging purposes. They have the ability to transport imaging agents directly to target sites, enhancing the visibility of pathological changes and improving diagnostic accuracy.

(Sources: https://ijprajournal.com/issue_dcp/Nanobots%20Revolutionizing%20Disease%20Intervention%20in%20Future%20of%20Medicine.pdf



NEW TECHNOLOGY: Medical nanorobots are now furnished with active power systems that allow them to harness external power sources like infrared light, ultrasound, or magnetic driving forces.

(Source: https://jhoonline.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13045-023-01463-z#:~:text=Medical%20nanorobots%20are%20furnished%20with,body%20%5B165%2C%20166%5D.


Daniel Strain


If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Wyatt Shields IV, PhD, Chemical/Biological Engineer

Read the entire Q&A