back to article What links ML, lasers, and tiny gold-plated micro-bots? Answer: Smart medicines

Tiny so-called microswimmers coated with gold can be moved around in a liquid using a laser system controlled by a machine-learning system – and scientists hope the technique will be used in some way in the future to transport drugs inside humans. Some experts believe nanomedicine, an area of research involving tiny devices …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    This sounds an interesting concept but there are so many challenges to overcome before it would be a practical method to apply drugs or other treatments within the body.

    I think other systems such as engineered viruses or viral particles that target specific organs or cell types are likely to beat this to the punch.

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Boffin

    against the grain of the Brownian motion

    Er, they're claiming Brownian motion has a default direction? Sounds like a contradiction in terms...

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    That's all well and nice

    It must be fun zapping golden balls to play water polo, but I do not know of any electromagnetic radiation that can go through human skin that is not dangerous in some way. You probably can't use x-rays at any dose, that's for sure.

    Besides, playing in a tank of water is one thing, those little balls won't be going against the flow of blood simply because their backside is warmer.

    I have no idea what will come of this, but zapping minuscule golden balls inside blood vessels to make them move around seems very unlikely to me.

  4. Little Mouse Silver badge

    "The motions of the microswimmer were first modeled in software"

    OK, so this button here makes it go up, and that one makes it go down, see? Those two are for left and right, and this button shoots the lasers.

    Sounds like fun. I've written a few similar computer "models" in the past.

  5. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    And it's all thanks to Tony Blair

    He promised us "special robots to cure cancer, made out of gold" back in 2003 - it's in the documentary series "Monkey Dust" - specificallly, 1m47s into https://youtu.be/pE6VJMwcmWw

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And it's all thanks to Tony Blair

      In that vein (pardon the pun) you could also "credit" Trump who advocated rectal UV bulbs. Replace it with a laser, and voilá..

  6. John Jennings Bronze badge

    "'...one side of the microswimmer becomes hotter than the other.....'

    My mind went to a strange place with this.....

    I think I need lockdown to end.

  7. Blackjack Silver badge

    So now there is a way to inject yourself with "liquid gold" and not dying? Someone tell the 1%, they will wanna invest on that.

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