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Scientists created sperm-based ‘biobots’ in Germany

Dec 13, 2013 16:24 IST

Scientists led by Oliver Schmidt created the biological robots or biobots powered by sperm in the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences in Dresden, Germany on December 2013.

It is also called as biohybrid micro-robot.

The researchers created magnetic nanotubes that were 50 microns long by 5 to 8 microns in diameter and dropped these into a fluid containing bull sperm.

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The tubes were narrower at one end to stop the sperm from escaping and can be rotated by using magnetic fields.

The tail-like flagellum of the sperm cell sticks outside the end of the tube and power the bibot like a propeller

Benefits

These “biobots” can be used to guide individual sperm or to deliver targeted doses of drugs or fertilizing an egg. Schmidt Said that sperm cells are an attractive option because they are harmless to the human body, do not require an external power source and swam through viscous liquids.

Till now researchers has only managed to persuade groups of cells to cooperate with the help of chemical gradients and magnetic fields.

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