A pill for delivering biomedical micromotors

7th September 2018
Posted By : Enaie Azambuja
A pill for delivering biomedical micromotors

Using tiny micromotors to diagnose and treat disease in the human body could soon be a reality. But keeping these devices intact as they travel through the body remains a hurdle. Now in a study appearing in ACS Nano, scientists report that they have found a way to encapsulate micromotors into pills. The pill’s coating protects the devices as they traverse the digestive system prior to releasing their drug cargo.

About the width of a human hair, micromotors are self-propelled microscopic robots designed to perform a host of biomedical tasks. In previous research, Joseph Wang, Liangfang Zhang and colleagues used micromotors coated with an antibiotic to treat ulcers in laboratory mice.

They found that this approach produced better results than just taking the drugs by themselves. However, the researchers noted that body fluids, such as gastric acid and intestinal fluids, can compromise the effectiveness of micromotors and trigger early release of their payloads.

In addition, when taken orally in fluid, some of the micromotors can get trapped in the esophagus. To overcome these issues, Wang and Zhang sought to develop a way to protect and carry these devices into the stomach without compromising their mobility or effectiveness.

The researchers created a pill composed of a pair of sugars — lactose and maltose — that encapsulated tens of thousands of micromotors made of a magnesium/titanium dioxide core loaded with a fluorescent dye cargo. These sugars were chosen because they are easy to mold into tablet, can disintegrate when needed and are nontoxic.

When given to laboratory mice, these pills improved the release and retention of the micromotors in the stomach compared to those encapsulated in silica-based tablets or in a liquid solution. The researchers concluded that encapsulating micromotors in traditional pill form improves their ability to deliver medicines to specific targets without diminishing their mobility or performance.


Discover more here.

Image credit: American Chemical Society.


You must be logged in to comment

Write a comment

No comments




More from American Chemical Society

Sign up to view our publications

Sign up

Sign up to view our downloads

Sign up

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2019
5th February 2019
United Kingdom Farnborough
embedded world 2019
26th February 2019
Germany Nuremberg
Wearable Tech Show 2019
12th March 2019
United Kingdom London
AMPER 2019
19th March 2019
Czech Republic Brno Exhibition Centre