“Mini Force Field” Created to Control Microbots That Could Be Used To Cure Cancer: Many researchers believe nanotechnology applications in medicine might be spare human being from sufferings caused by diseases and accidents. Many of us know or might have heard about the significance of nanotechnologies in Medicine, which is already being used as the basis for new and more effective drug delivery systems.
Researchers at Purdue University have just made a new leap by discovering a way to control micro robots about the size of a dust mite by using the magnetic force field. It is a big breakthrough in nanotechnologies that could allow scientists to control swarms of microbots, to perform major tasks inside human body like comprehensive monitoring, group control, construction, repair, and defense which needs cooperation.
“Mini Force Field” Created to Control Microbots That Could Be Used To Cure Cancer
In the past days, scientists had been able to control a group of microbots in unison, but new technology makes scientists able to control individual micro robot of a microbot team. Lead researcher David Cappelleri said,”This technique works like how a colony of ants operate.”
“The reason we want independent movement of each robot is so they can do cooperative manipulation tasks,” he said. “Think of ants. They can independently move, yet all work together to perform tasks such as lifting and moving things. We want to be able to control them individually so we can have some robots here doing one thing, and some robots there doing something else at the same time.”
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The magnetic field not only controls the micro-robots but does more than that, it actually work as a power source for these microbots. As these tiny robots are too small to have their own onboard power source so they needed to be charged from outside. So researchers used magnetic fields to generate forces on the robots. It’s like using mini force fields.
Previously, researchers have positioned planar coils on the outskirts of the “workspace” where the robots have been deployed. But this technique exerts only a general force field. Cappelleri and his colleagues came up with a new technique for yielding more intimate control. Researchers are able to control force on each individual robot by changing the amount of electric current passing through tiny coils.
“The approach we came up with works at the microscale, and it will be the first one that can give truly independent motion of multiple microrobots in the same workspace because we are able to produce localized fields as opposed to a global field,” Cappelleri said. “What we can do now, instead of having these coils all around on the outside, is to print planar coils directly onto the substrate.”
The microbots, that researchers at Purdue University used are shaped like disks and are just 2 mm in diameter. The goal is to use microbots as small as 250 microns in diameter to make it more beneficial.
After achieving perfection, the scientist can go further for additive manufacturing of these tiny robots. That will be a great news for medicine industries. As they can be used for Cancer cell detection based on stiffness of cells (as cancer cells have different stiffness as compared to healthy cells) or as sensors in biopsies and looking for cancer cells in a petri dish.