Microrobots clear the lungs of pneumonia-affected mice in just three days.
The robot was made using algae cells and antibiotic nanoparticles. The microrobots swim to the site of the infection before the drug is delivered to kill them. Moreover, this phenomenon clears the organ of infection effectively.
With the help of the microrobots, the treated mice survived. Whereas those not treated died within three days.
The researchers used natural algae cells, which provided movement to the robots through the lungs to the bacterial cells. Furthermore, they also said that standard medication may not have the same effects.
After that, the team packed the nanoparticles into tiny spheres, which were made of polymer coated with white blood cell membranes. This membrane can absorb inflammation, which also includes molecules that bacteria produce. Therefore, these microrobots don’t only kill the pathogens that invade, the nasty molecules prone to causing damage are also mopped out.
The team has also worked on the same bots in the past, which catered to the stomach and blood. However, this time they have given attention to the lungs.
How did they do it?
They took a set of mice with Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. It causes a fatal form of pneumonia during hospital ventilation mostly. Then, they delivered a dose of this robot to their windpipes.
A week after, the mice were clear of the infection completely. The experimental mice survived after thirty days, whereas the rest died within three days.
The robots can catch the bacterial cells in three-thousand times lower amount of IV antibiotics required otherwise. Moreover, since antibiotic resistance is on the rise, this is a quick and efficient method.
Victor Nizet, author of the study said,
The team is now focusing on eventually bringing this technology to human trials.