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Title: Medical micro/nanorobots in complex media
Medical micro/nanorobots have received tremendous attention over the past decades owing to their potential to be navigated into hard-to-reach tissues for a number of biomedical applications ranging from targeted drug/gene delivery, bio-isolation, detoxification, to nanosurgery. Despite the great promise, the majority of the past demonstrations are primarily under benchtop or in vitro conditions. Many developed micro/nanoscale propulsion mechanisms are based on the assumption of a homogeneous, Newtonian environment, while realistic biological environments are substantially more complex. Moving toward practical medical use, the field of micro/nanorobotics must overcome several major challenges including propulsion through complex media (such as blood, mucus, and vitreous) as well as deep tissue imaging and control in vivo . In this review article, we summarize the recent research efforts on investigating how various complexities in biological environments impact the propulsion of micro/nanoswimmers. We also highlight the emerging technological approaches to enhance the locomotion of micro/nanorobots in complex environments. The recent demonstrations of in vivo imaging, control and therapeutic medical applications of such micro/nanorobots are introduced. We envision that continuing materials and technological innovations through interdisciplinary collaborative efforts can bring us steps closer to the fantasy of “swallowing a surgeon”.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1931214 1931292 1830958
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Chemical Society Reviews
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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