The university reported on Sunday that Tel Aviv University researchers had created a “hybrid micro-robot” the size of a biological cell that can seize damaged cells.
According to the university, the tiny robot, 10 microns across (or 0.000393701 of an inch), can move between the cells in a biological sample while carrying a specific cell for research like the genetic analysis.
Prof. Gilad Yossifon and his research group from the departments of biomedical engineering and the school of mechanical engineering created the technology.
“Biological micro-swimmers like bacteria and sperm cells inspired the creation of the micro-capacity robots for autonomous movement. According to Yossifon, this is an inventive field of study that is fast growing, has a wide range of applications in areas like medicine and the environment, and serves as a research tool.
Dr. Yue Wu, a postdoctoral researcher at TAU, and student Sivan Yakov worked together on the study, as did Dr. Afu Fu, a postdoctoral researcher at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
The study was released in the Advanced Science journal.
“The technology will support, among other things, the following areas: medical diagnosis at the single cell level, introducing drugs or genes into cells, genetic editing, carrying drugs to their destination inside the body, removing polluting particles from the environment, drug development, and creating a ‘laboratory on a particle’—a microscopic laboratory designed to carry out diagnostics in places accessible only to micro-particles,” Yossifon said.