• Researchers fed a dozen mice a small drop each of a very special liquid. Inside the drops, invisible to the naked eye, were thousands of tube-shaped, microscopic motors. The motors made their way to the mice’s stomachs, embedded in their stomach linings, and released their tiny payloads: nano-size flakes of gold. The research represented a major step toward putting microbots to work in human medicine.
  • The research is still in its early stages. Other research teams have only tested their motors in solutions they’ve mixed up in lab, or in cells they’ve grown in Petri dishes. The University of California, San Diego, study is the first to try such motors in animals.
  • Six hours after getting their drops, the UCSD mice didn’t seem to have any damage in their stomach linings, showing that it could be safe for animals to ingest micro-motors. In addition, the UCSD researchers found more gold flakes stayed in the mice’s stomach walls when they swallowed motors than when they swallowed the gold nanoparticles by themselves.

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