In the new work, scientists tested tiny robots that can deliver drugs directly to the central nervous system.
The study showed that the robots were controlled using a magnetic field, so they could move against the flow of liquid, climb slopes and move along nerve tissues such as the spinal cord, and distribute drugs in certain places.
Diseases of the central nervous system are difficult to treat. Oral or intravenous drug delivery, such as for the treatment of cancer or neurological diseases, can affect areas of the body and nervous system that are not associated with the disease. If we learn to deliver drugs in a targeted manner to specific points in the body, then this will lead to increased efficiency and reduced side effects by reducing the dosage.
In the new work, the authors used tiny robots that can target drug delivery in the human body. Researchers have developed various types of micro- or milli-robots. However, the main problem is controlling their activity as they travel through body tissues.
The authors emphasize that magnetic fields are a promising way to control robots inside the body. Under the influence of magnetic fields, they can safely move through the body and, ultimately, reach their goal.
During the experiment, the researchers tested how robots could climb an increasingly steep slope or move against a flowing liquid. They also tested how robots move through tissues using the brain of a rat and the spinal cord of a mouse. As a result, the robots successfully passed the tests.