I guess most of us remember viewing a science fiction movie where special miniaturised vessels can navigate a person’s bloodstream to fix problems.
Well, now the Technion Institute of Technology Research in Israel, http://www1.technion.ac.il/_root/Pages/site-map.html, has announced the development of a tiny robot, 14mm in lenght and 1mm in diameter, that can do just that.
It is made of silicon and metal and it is biocompatible, that means it can stay in your body (and mine as well) for years. It can be directed to reach a certain area of the body either by applying a magnetic field or by its on-board navigation computer.
The objective is to use this tiny robots for inspection and for delivering drugs right to where they are needed.
It is interesting to see the progress bio-engineering and computer science are doing. This will likely change our idea of medicine in the next decade bringing new players into health care and shifting the drugs into service offer, being them coupled with monitoring and possibly remote control of delivery. Remote monitoring will thus be very important and sensors equipped robots, as well as sensors equipped ambient will change the meaning of “watch yourself”!