Micro-robots able to scrub teeth of plaque could one day offer a more comfortable alternative to sharp and invasive dental scrapers.
Developed by teams from the University of Pennsylvania, the scrubbers consist of a pair of robotic systems both based on iron-oxide nanoparticles. While the Penn State Dental Medical team was working on using the nanoparticles to destroy bio-films, the school’s Engineering team had developed magnetically controlled, iron-oxide nanoparticle robots. By combining the technologies, the group created their Catalytic Antimicrobial Robots (CARs), which can be steered magnetically to break down biofilms and remove the accumulated material—making it more difficult for more biofilms to form.
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