Bacteria Guided Through Bloodstream W/Magnetic Fields

Small bacteria - Strain MC-1 - can be guided through the bloodstream of a living creature using magnetic fields. Sylvain Martel's team at the École Polytechnique de Montréal thinks that these bacteria can be loaded with drugs or some other payload and then be made to swim to a specific destination in the body.

Take a look at this video, showing bacteria being guided by magnetic fields:


(Bacteria guided by magnetic fields)

Regular Technovelgy readers should recall experimental work done to try to duplicate the flagellar 'propeller' of bacteria, to create a tiny machine able to move through the bloodstream like the shrink ray-reduced Proteus, the fictional craft from movie Fantastic Voyage. See the work done by Dr. Friend in Australia in Microrobot To Swim Like Bacteria With Flagellar Propeller and the research of Dr. Shoham of Israel in Propulsion System For 'Fantastic Voyage' Robot.

However, Dr. Martel thinks that the original organism might be better than a biomimetic robot:

"Instead of trying to build a nanomachine it makes more sense to spend effort trying to control what nature provides," says Martel. He and his team are focusing on a bacterium dubbed MC-1 – a microbial speed demon that swims 10 times faster than most species and can travel at top speeds of 200 micrometres per second using its twirling flagella.

Apart from speed, the bacterium has another property that makes it a perfect candidate for the role: each cell contains a chain of magnetic nanoparticles, allowing the bacteria to sense and swim along magnetic fields.


(MC-1 cell. FB=flagellar bundles; M=magnetsosomes [Frankel et al., 1997])
Compare with Proteus, below

Here is the abstract from the research study:

Although nanorobots may play critical roles for many applications in the human body, such as targeting tumoral lesions for therapeutic purposes, miniaturization of the power source with an effective onboard controllable propulsion and steering system have prevented the implementation of such mobile robots. Here, we show that the flagellated nanomotors combined with the nanometer-sized magnetosomes of a single magnetotactic bacterium can be used as an effective integrated propulsion and steering system for devices, such as nanorobots, designed for targeting locations only accessible through the smallest capillaries in humans while being visible for tracking and monitoring purposes using modern medical imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging. Through directional and magnetic field intensities, the displacement speeds, directions, and behaviors of swarms of these bacterial actuators can be controlled from an external computer.
(From Flagellated Magnetotactic Bacteria as Controlled MRI-trackable Propulsion and Steering Systems for Medical Nanorobots Operating in the Human Microvasculature)

The initial trials were done in rats; the MC-1 bacteria naturally die after about 40 minutes in the blood and are then cleaned up by the immune system.


(Proteus from Fantastic Voyage)

Via New Scientist.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/4/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.

EXPLORER, The First Total-Body Scanner
'The object is built up of an infinite series of plane layers, at the focus of the ray...' - Jack Williamson, 1930.

Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue." - Clifford Simak, 1961

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1963.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.'

Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.

Negative Matter Fluid Theorized In New Paper
'Of course, being negative matter, when you push it, it comes toward you..'

Grow Structures Upon Planetfall - Myco-Architecture
'They'll also start pulling in gases and liquids from the local atmosphere...'

MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...'

EXPLORER, The First Total-Body Scanner
'The object is built up of an infinite series of plane layers, at the focus of the ray...'

UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'

Sonitus Audio Interface Positioned Beyond The Noise
'... an instrument having relatively small bit pieces adapted to be gripped between the teeth.'

Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag'

Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...'

Music Not Impossible (MNI) Vibrotactile Wearable Experience
Don't you want to experience the 'feely' effects?

Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

A Look Back At Apollo's Emergency Escape Vehicle
'A simple mechanism... it drove the iron ball through space like a ship.'

InMotion Glide 3 Electric Unicycle For The Last Mile
'...gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'

China's Social Credit System - A Facebook-1984 Mashup
'Prestige, face, mana, repute, glory: the Sirenese word is strakh.'

Musk Declares Tesla Supercharger Capacity Will Double By Next Year
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.