July 31, 2021


World News

Scientists develop ‘magnetic spray’ that turns objects into millirobots

A group of Honk Kong scientists and researchers led by Associate Professor of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the City University of Hong Kong, Dr Yajing Shen, developed a magnetic spray that has the ability to transform small objects into moving millirobots, as filmed in the University laboratory on Wednesday. The so-called “M-spray” is a glue-like matter, consisting of PVA (Polyvinyl alcohol), gluten and magnetic particles. An object coated in the M-spray can then be manipulated by magnetic fields, causing them to move on different surfaces, as Shen’s student demonstrated. The movement of these millirobot is then controlled through the magnetic field which then affects the magnetic particles from the spray. “So, we designed one kind of M-spray. And if you’re coating M-spray on mini objects, then you can use the magnetic field to control the move,” explained Professor Shen, adding that robots can move even through surfaces such as stomach and other inner organs. Future research is hoped to improve the treatment of certain health conditions, by biomedical applications of the magnetised objects which Shen describes as “active capsules.” “We can develop some active drug delivery system. For example, we can convert the capsule to an active capsule and we can control it to release in our stomach or another place. And also we hope we can develop some active castor, and then we can use it in our blood vessel,” explained the professor. (ruptly.tv)