|Bubble-powered microrockets zoom have potential to zoom through the human stomach, other acidic environments|
|Thursday, 09 February 2012 17:17|
ScienceDaily (Feb. 8, 2012) — Scientists have developed a new kind of tiny motor -- which they term a "microrocket" -- that can propel itself through acidic environments, such as the human stomach, without any external energy source, opening the way to a variety of medical and industrial applications. Their report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society describes the microrockets traveling at virtual warp speed for such devices. A human moving at the same speed would have to run at a clip of 400 miles per hour.
Joseph Wang and colleagues explain that self-propelled nano- or microscale motors could have applications in targeted drug delivery or imaging in humans or as a way to monitor industrial applications, such as semiconductor processing. However, some versions of these small-scale motors are not self-propelled and require the addition of a fuel (commonly hydrogen peroxide). Other versions cannot withstand extreme environments such as the stomach, which is very acidic. That's why the researchers developed a new, tubular microrocket that can move itself without added fuels in very acidic conditions.
They tested the new microrocket in various acids and in acidified human blood serum. In such environments, a microrocket spontaneously produces bubbles of hydrogen gas, which propels it like the gases spewing out of a rocket's motor nozzle. The microrocket is ultrafast -- it can move farther than 100 times its 0.0004-inch length in just one second. In contrast to current devices of this kind, the microrocket's interior is lined with zinc, which is more biocompatible and "greener" than other materials and leads to the generation of the hydrogen bubbles. Wang's team also developed a version with a magnetic layer, which enabled them to guide the microrockets toward cargo for pick-up, transport and release.
Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers. Five Filters recommends: Donate to Wikileaks.
Bitcoin disrupts home-made Segway
Rideable multicopters transition waves
Bitcoin rules soliton waves
2015 - The year of the drone
The news and interviews in this episode were first broadcast on August 25th 2014:
Biohackers modify their vision to see more colours by Ian Woolf.
Ian Lyons explains how to start flying quadcopter drones,
Dominic Fretz talks about OpenROV underwater drones,
Production checked by Charles Willock,
Produced and hosted by Ian Woolf
Support Diffusion by making a donation