A new project has created microfish capable of administering medicine and fighting toxins.
According to Wired, a recent effort from scientists at University of California, San Diego succeeded in using 3D printing technology to make microfish which could be used to deploy medicine and clean up the toxins in human body. The project has been described as a new revolution in drug delivery.
This 3D printing technology, called “microscale continuous optical printing,” is a newly developed technology which can print hundreds of microbots within seconds, each of which is smaller than the width of a hair.
According to the research team, “As a proof-of-concept demonstration, the researchers incorporated toxin-neutralizing nanoparticles throughout the bodies of the microfish. Specifically, the researchers mixed in polydiacetylene (PDA) nanoparticles, which capture harmful pore-forming toxins such as the ones found in bee venom.”
The nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego deserve credit for the development of this miraculous new technology. To test their project, the scientists placed the microfish in hydrogen peroxide and added platinum nanoparticles to their tails. After the particles and the liquid finished reacting, the microfish were propelled forward. After this test, they added magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles to the microfish heads, which enabled them to steer the microrobots with magnets.
Toxins were effectively cleaned out from the solution after the researchers incorporated toxin-neutralizing nanoparticles into the microfish bodies. A red glow was emitted after the particles interacted with toxins. The intensity of glow was directly proportional to the presence of toxins.
Wei Zhu, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student who co-authored the report, said that “With our 3D printing technology, we are not limited to just fish shapes. We can rapidly build microrobots inspired by other biological organisms such as birds.”
The researchers are confident that these new microfish could also completely change the way medicine is administered in the future.