There are many developments that have occurred in the medicine field in the modern times. Each and every day there are new discoveries all geared towards promoting health in the entire world. One of such development is the new study that shows that robots that are powered by bacteria might be the next major breakthrough in medicine. This sounds a bit ironic due to the fact that bacteria is a leading cause of many health problems in different parts of the world.
Robots Powered by BacteriaResearchers from Pennsylvania University Denis Wong and Elizabeth Beattie are trying to use bacteria to provide energy to microscopic robots in an approach that might result to the most intelligent and accurate medicinal robots in the world. Their main aim is to make use of bacteria as micromotors for synthetic structures and move them around the body. Despite that it might sound just like a fictional story to build cyborg bacteria, scientific facts hold that bacteria are not dangerous in themselves. Therefore, they could be used to treat many diseases instead of causing them.
The researchers hold that bacteria have a lot of qualities that make them effective for navigating and powering biorobots. It is cheap and easy to grow and they also respond to environmental stimuli. This is the ability that is hard to be replicated in robots. Despite that they do not have a lot of power on their own, they have swarming ability that would make them be able to move synthetic structures inside the body. When they are in a swarm, they get hyper flagellated, meaning that they grow several tails that offer them more propulsive power. They work as a group to carry out great physical feats compared to their small size.
According to Wong and Beattie, the swarms of bacteria have the ability to be manipulated to control such synthetic structures with simple shapes. A robot with a shape like that of a gear can be changed by bacteria on either direction, depending on the shape of the teeth of the gear. The ability that bacteria has to sense their environment makes it possible for researchers to have full control of the swarm movement by shining a blue light on a certain part of the structure. This is what makes them have full control of the movement of the robots. If the research succeeds microscopic biorobots that are powered by bacteria could bring great change and development in the face of medicine.