A new study published in the journal Advanced Science details the creation of tiny biological robots that are designed to assist the growth of wounds and tissue and even help cure diseases.
VIEW GALLERY – 2 IMAGES
The study details these micro-robots called “anthrobots,” and according to the new paper, the researchers behind them have already been able to demonstrate their repair capabilities on damaged neurons. However, these tests were carried out in a petri dish and not within a human, where there are many factors at play.
While the demonstration has been limited to a petri dish, what the team has achieved is nonetheless impressive as the microbots were constructed out of human cells, meaning doctors will be able to take cells from a patient to make custom bots for that individual. Having the robots made out of the patient’s cells reduces the chances of the body rejecting them.
“Some people thought that the features of the xenobots relied a lot on the fact that they are embryonic and amphibian,” said study co-author Michael Levin, a professor of biology at Tufts University, to CNN. “I think this is a much more general property of living things.“
“We don’t realize all the competencies that our own body cells have,” he added.
“Anthrobots self-assemble in the lab dish,” explained co-author Gizem Gumuskaya, a synthetic biologist. “Unlike Xenobots, they don’t require tweezers or scalpels to give them shape, and we can use adult cells – even cells from elderly patients – instead of embryonic cells,” she added.