In the new work, the authors observed in vivo the collective behavior of a group of nanorobots that moved autonomously in the mouse bladder.
The new work is important for the development of the field of treatment of pathologies, such as cancerous tumors. In the future, such a swarm of robots can quickly investigate areas of this kind of disease.
We have demonstrated for the first time that nanorobots can be monitored in vivo using positron emission tomography (PET): a highly sensitive non-invasive technique currently used in biomedical environments.
Jordi Lop, Principal Investigator, CIC BiomaGUNE Laboratory for Radiochemistry and Nuclear Imaging.
In order to demonstrate the collective work of AI, the researchers conducted in vitro experiments: they controlled a swarm of nanorobots using optical microscopy and positron emission tomography (PET).
Both methods showed how nanoparticles mix with liquids and are able to collectively move along trajectories. Next, nanorobots were injected into mice intravenously and, finally, into the bladder of these animals.
Because the nanorobots are coated with an enzyme called urease, which uses urea from urine as fuel, they literally float alongside each other, causing fluid to flow inside the bladder.
From several experiments, the authors concluded that the collective movement was coordinated and effective.
Such a swarm of robots can be used in the future, for example, in viscous media, where the diffusion of drugs is often limited by poor vascularization, for example, in the gastrointestinal tract, eye or joints. However, according to the authors, in the future, robots can be customized for any environment.