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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News
 

 
December 12 - Scientist create 'robotic sperm' to help with fertilization and drug delivery

Article: Cloning And Genetic Engineering

Scientists have created the first ever “sperm-based biobots” by trapping single sperm cells inside metal nanotubes and remotely controlling their direction using magnets.
 
The resulting biobot (a ‘biological robot’, referring to a bacterium or cell which has been programmed to behave in a certain way) could be put to a range of uses, including delivering drugs to a specific target in the body or fertilizing an egg, reports New Scientist.
 
The experiments have been led by Oliver Schmidt at the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences in Dresden, Germany. Schmidt and his team created magnetic nanotubes 50 microns long by 5 to 8 microns in diameter and dropped these into a fluid containing bull sperm. The tubes, which are narrower at one end to stop the sperm from escaping, can then be rotated by using magnetic fields. The tail-like flagellum of the sperm cell sticks outside the end of the tube and powers the biobot around the fluid like an outboard motor.
 



 

 
 

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