Researchers from South Korea have reportedly developed a unique technology that will foster the development of biodegradable microrobots, which may further contribute towards enhancing the effectiveness of regenerative medicine like stem cell therapy.
A team of researchers from the Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic University of Korea, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), and ETH Zurich has created a method for producing more than 100 biodegradable microrobots in a minute.
This is around 10,000 times quicker than current medicinal microrobots manufacturing technology.
Scientists have installed magnetic nanoparticle technology inside the latest microrobots in order to control their activities inside the human body with the help of magnetic pulls.
The study has shown how microrobots having stem cells on their surface can move to the desired position in a micro maze by regulating the external magnetic field.
DGIST stated that the new technology is a notable improvement from current stem cell therapies that have issues in selectively delivering cells to certain places.
Furthermore, the biodegradable microrobots attached to stem cells would completely decompose within six hours of being cultivated with decomposition enzymes. The nanoparticles inside them could be retrieved via a magnetic control system.
The stem cells would become neural cells after undergoing cellular differentiation after around 21 days, which confirms that the microrobots could work for stem cell therapy’s target precision treatment.
The scientists further saw that after 28 days of cell culture, the stem cells placed on the microbots’ surface exhibited electrical signals.
Choi Hong-soo, the study’s lead writer and Robotics Professor at DGIST, while expressing about the team’s expectations, stated that the technologies developed through the study will significantly boost the efficiency of target precision therapy in the future. It can be anything ranging from precision driving by electromagnetic fields to mass production of microrobots to stem cell differentiation & transfer.
The findings of the study, sponsored by the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT, the National Research Foundation of Korea, and the National Science Challenges Support and Network, have been published in the international science journal Small.