Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Golden Balls

Microbots guided and propelled to target tissues where they can deliver drugs

19 October 2019

Golden Balls

Getting medicine to precisely where it’s needed in the body is like trying to get a hole-in-one in golf. You have a much better chance of hitting the target if you can nudge it along the way a few times. Now researchers have developed medicine-carrying ball-shaped microbots that can be pushed towards where they’re needed most. Using a new imaging technique that highlights both microbots and tumours in the digestive tract, researchers track the tiny spheres of gold-coated magnesium (pictured). Bubbles shooting out of a hole propel the spheres towards trouble, and when they arrive at the target area the drugs are released as researchers fire a burst of infrared light through the body, melting a waxy sealant layer. This precision approach could make drug delivery much more accurate, making more efficient and effect treatments par for the course.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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