A recent WIRED article discussed a chemist at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia in Barcelona who has been working on developing medical nanobots for over a decade. The tiny spherical silica particles are outfitted with proteins that propel them through the body’s viscous fluids to deliver medications such as cancer drugs or antibiotics. His lab’s latest research, published last month, used experimental antibiotics to treat infected wounds on mice. They administered nanobots to one side of a wound and observed them traveling around it, clearing the infection as they go.
This event marked the first reported time nanobots were used to kill bacteria in animals. This is significant because drugs typically depend on diffusion to passively spread through the body’s fluids. The nanobots provide an active method for spreading drugs through the viscous fluids of the body for more efficient healing.