These days, we can't produce a drug-delivery newsletter without news of a new "Fantastic Voyage"-style tiny submarine swimming around our insides. This instance of real-life-meets-SciFi comes from Michael Kummer and his team from Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems in Zurich, as reported in New Scientist.
This drug-carrying micro-robot is being thought of as a possible solution for age-related macular degeneration, a condition currently treated through a drug injection in the eye. The treatment is problematic, however, because it requires regular injections, and compliance is a major issue. Well, stick a robot in your eye, and it can stay there for months for targeted release, or be used to position a biodegradable drug capsule and then quickly removed.
"The micro-devices can be thought of as magnetic drug reservoirs that can be electro-magnetically controlled to the location of interest on the retina," researcher Christos Bergeles tells New Scientist.
So, yes, reality is slowly catching up with 1960s science fiction movies. Amazing and true, yes...although the science fiction version did also come with Raquel Welch.
- read the story and see the video (of the microbot, not Raquel) in New Scientist
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