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Plant-Based Microrobots! Wait, What?

Canadian researchers are opening new frontiers in medical robotics for non-invasive procedures and targeted drug delivery.

University Of Waterloo
University of Waterloo

According to a recent Medgadget article, researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada have developed plant-based microrobots for medical applications. The robots, made of a biocompatible hydrogel containing cellulose nanoparticles from plants, can respond predictably to chemical cues like changes in pH. This enables the robots to change shape for better adaptation to their environment. 

Magnetic elements allow external control and the delivery of drugs to specific areas in the body. The soft, plant-based material is non-toxic, biocompatible, and self-healing. The robots, up to one centimeter in length, show promise in navigating complex pathways, opening possibilities for tasks such as biopsies or surgical procedures inside the body. A video with more information can be seen here.

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