Modern robots are not only learning new tricks like parkour, but are on the path of miniaturization. Repeatedly on pages of our site we wrote about a variety of microbots that can work inside our bodies to monitor vital signs or drug delivery. But all these miniature robots have one significant drawback: they need to be manufactured almost manually, which complicates their introduction into wide practice. However, a group of researchers from MIT have found a way to mass-production of microbots the size of a human cell.
Some time ago, engineers at mit have created tiny robots diagnosticians, called syncells (synthetic cells). And recently these same scientists have figured out how to make such robots in huge numbers by the process of the controlled rupture of a graphene, or, as called by the researchers themselves, “autoperforation” (autoperforation).
Technology is this: electronic sensors for the diagnosis are placed in an inert polymeric material, and then deposited on a flat sheet of graphene with the help of tiny printer. Simply put, the whole electronic circuit is “ink”, graphene “sheet of paper”. After that, superimposed on top of another layer of graphene. Further, for the production of syncells just need to break this “sandwich” in the right places to obtain the microbots. Previously it was done manually, but then after applying the layers the scientists decided under special conditions to compress the material. After it explodes, but it happens in certain places, leaving instead “a three-layer microbeta” neat holes, as if made by a hole puncher for paper (hence the name of the technology) At the edges of two graphene sheets together, wrapping the electronic circuit inside.
“This procedure is the use of the controlled gap method as the method of production can be extended to materials of any length. Method potentially can be used with virtually any 2D content” — said one of the authors of the study albert Liu in an interview with the New Atlas.
Moreover, these microbots syncells are reusable. Them, for example, you can type in a person’s blood, to collect the necessary data, or to deliver the drug, then the bots only need to filter back to read the data, disinfected, recharged and reused. Well, about the actual process of creating microbots you can see from the video below.
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