Looking back to past few years, no one even could have imagined of something like laparoscopy and endoscopy but here we are today, with medical science having progressed to an extent that it is doing wonders by using modern technologies like robots to deliver drugs.
Recently, the research fellows at The City University Hong Kong have developed tiny caterpillar like robot, specially designed for targeted drug delivery. The drug delivery robot have tiny legs like that of caterpillar to reach the target area where the drug is to be released. The multiple legs and soft design are used by the researchers as multiple legs would help the robots any obstacles and soft body will make it easier for the robot to move through the body. Capsules surely work on a bit similar principle but these robots are specialized and can be directed to a site by the use of magnets.
The feet of the robot are also made up of permanent magnet, so whenever an external magnetic field is applied, both torque and force work on the magnetic body and we can easily move it in the local magnetic field. A specific type of magnetic particle-assisted molding method is used to make these mini robots and an organic compound is mixed with magnetic particles with diameter being maintained up to 6-10 micrometers. Also, they are working on the material of the robot to make it biodegradable in order to assure that it gets degraded soon after delivering the drug.
Interestingly, the robot can carry a load of more than 100 times its own weight and can deliver drugs to areas where it is most needed. The only limitation is that the drugs are attached to the surface of the robot as it doesn’t yet possess a biodegradable design, but in the future design of these robots might possess completely biodegradable material. And that is why it is not surprising to believe that the future of drug delivery is machines and robots.