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Biotech Medicine Robotics Technology

Magnet-Steered Nano-Fish Could Deliver Drugs and Sweep Body Toxins 37

dkatana writes: David Warner writes on InformationWeek how "nanoengineers" from UC San Diego have created microscopic fish powered by hydrogen peroxide that use magnets to steer themselves. "The "fish" are powerful enough to swim through your bloodstream, removing toxins or bringing medicine directly to crucial parts of your body, as cells in your blood stream do. Given enough time, the fish could be used to deliver drugs directly to cancer tumors or parts of your body that are too fragile for surgery."
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Magnet-Steered Nano-Fish Could Deliver Drugs and Sweep Body Toxins

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  • So is there hydrogen peroxide naturally in blood, or it can be safely introduced, to drive these things? (It reacts with platinum particles in the tail to provide thrust, and are externally guided by magnetism via iron in the nose.)

    Drug delivery is by ramming into the area in question and dissolving, releasing the payload (already proven in previous, simpler experiments.)

    Bad particle "eating" is done by binding the fish with some chemical that attaches to it.

    • So all we need is some kind of embedded AI vision system to detect cancerous cells and kill them.

      Should make for some interesting CIA and FSB asssasinations.

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Sunday August 30, 2015 @08:56AM (#50420627)

    "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish"

  • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @09:09AM (#50420707)

    You know what else hydrogen peroxide reacts to? Blood []!

    Blood contains he enzyme catalase which really likes to react with hydrogen peroxide to make a foamy mess that would not be the healthiest thing to have in your blood vessels.

    • Coward! I myself am planning to use the peroxide fish as a source of oxygen so I don't need to breathe.

      And don't you tell me not to hold my breath.

  • Powered by hydrogen peroxide that comes from where? There is no information in the linked article. If a person's blood is flowing why do they need to be "powered" at all if steered by magnetism? No one needs tiny devices that release hydrogen gas into their blood stream. So, remove the "powered" part, just steer it and it just might work without causing hydrogen embolisms.
  • "Of course, nanobots are often the source of speculation about the death of all humanity. There is the "grey goo" theory that one day nanobots will learn to self-replicate and quickly eat everything organic on the planet in a never-ending urge to procreate. There are several explanations about why this couldn't happen, including the fact that we could stop it with a fairly simple electromagnetic pulse. But it is fun to think that with this step toward a viable 3D-printed microscopic delivery device we are either one step closer to curing all the diseases of mankind or one step closer to just destroying ourselves entirely. Or both."

    It's the way of too many of our watershed technological breakthroughs. When you ask if we are ready for the responsibility of a potential Doomsday Device, be certain to solve for (we).

  • by kencurry ( 471519 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @10:20AM (#50421007)
    at first, nanobots delivering drugs in the bloodstream and all...

    But then, I read that they were "3D printed" nanobots, and I was all like "Whoahh, these guys are onto something!"
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Huh? If anything, "3D printed" should immediately raise healthy skepticism.

What hath Bob wrought?