Although the mere thought of a swarm of microrobots burrowing into an eyeball is enough to make some people squirm, scientists believe tiny, controllable delivery vehicles could be the future of eye medicine. Now, researchers have developed a tiny, rotini-shaped spiral that could one day be deployed in the thousands for targeted drug delivery.
Current treatments for eye diseases such as glaucoma or diabetic macular edema are delivered through direct injection or eyedrops. Those methods are effective but imprecise, often blanketing the entire eye in medication.
So scientists used nanoscale 3D printing to create spiral-shaped robots small enough to pass through the dense jelly known as the vitreous humor that makes up most of the eyeball. The researchers added a slippery coating and magnetic materials so they could propel the microbots through the eye using a magnetic field.
SOURCE: Frankie Schembri