We're all familiar with personal drones up in the sky, but how about a tiny little drone inside your body?
"We're going to make a tiny, tiny swimmer that actually navigates inside the human body," said Sung Kwon Cho of the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering.
It swims in bodily fluids.
"Bloodstream or any body fluid inside the body," Cho said.
Cho has just received a grant for nearly three-quarters of a million dollars from the National Science Foundation to develop that technology.
Besides more precise bio-imaging, the swimmer drone can also deliver a drug to a specific target, like a cancer or tumor.
"Sometimes you need to deliver the drug to some specific target. It's not in the entire body. So basically this drone can carry the drug and then only release it in the targeted area," Cho said.
So how big is this drone? About 1 millimeter and the width of a hair.
The goal is to inject the drone into the bloodstream and then navigate it through the body with different frequency of sound waves.
"We give sound waves basically power. We just give ultrasound outside. That's actually the power source," Cho said.
So what happens to the drone after it does its job?
"We are eventually making this drone as biodegradable, so once you use it you basically automatically dissolve it so you don't have to open your body. You don't have to take it out," Cho said.
A body drone that dissolves inside your body.
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