Nanobots are constantly brought up in science fiction, but the once-hilarious sci-fi tech is now a reality. Thanks to research by the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia in Barcelona, real nanobots have been created that can smartly kill bacteria around a wound. One day, these nanobots may even be able to directly target cancer cells to fight deadly tumors.
How nanobots will save your life
According to a report on Wired, researchers Samuel Sanchez recently showcased his nanobots smartly treating open wounds on mice. The report says these nanobots managed to travel through the skin of these mice and treat the wound’s entire area. It’s what we’d expect from a video game so hearing that it’s happened in real life is thrilling.
César de la Fuente, a bioengineer at the University of Pennsylvania who worked with Sánchez on the nanobots, discussed the effectiveness of the machines. “We see that the whole wound gets covered," they said. "The machines can actually travel around the wound and clear the infection as they go.”
More complex drugs like antibiotics often target one specific area, ignoring any possible pieces of bacteria that might be lingering around from the disease. It’s why perfecting these nanobots is important since they can track bacteria and maybe fix them completely. “In places where the viscosity is high or the diffusion is very low, that is where you need motion,” says Sánchez. “If you don't have motion or propulsion, then you’ll never get from point A to B.”
Turning science fiction into reality
Due to their constant use in comics and video games, it’s easy to see why most people still view nanobots as fiction. Sanchez admits that it’s part of their job to make some of these fantastical concepts into reality, saying “What seems science fiction today, hopefully, in a number of years, becomes reality.”
Since the two scientists are still working on lab rats it’s clear that they have a long way to go before we see these nanobots become the norm in hospitals. Hopefully, we’re only a few years away from these becoming reality because it would be great to have these when people become very sick.