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Planck researchers in Stuttgart has built a tiny submarine, shown in the drawing on the right. Small magnets, shown here as red and blue cylinders, open and close the two halves (shells) of the device. © Photo: Alejandro Posada / MPI for Intelligent Systems

Tiny vehicles for medical applications

Micro- and nano-swimmers can be propelled through media similar to bodily fluids

Micro- or even nano-robots could someday perform medical tasks in the human body. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have now taken a first step towards this goal. They have succeeded in constructing swimming bodies that simultaneously meet two requirements: they are small enough to be used in bodily fluids or even individual cells, and they are able to navigate through complex biological fluids.


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Peer Fischer
Professor, University of Stuttgart<br/ >Max Planck Research Group Leader
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Tian Qiu
Postdoctoral Researcher
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Andrew Mark
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Debora Schamel
Postdoc. fellow Harvard
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John Gibbs
Now Assistant Professor in Physics at Northern Arizona University