Metal cybernetic microorganisms and bull’s sperm cells have been used by scientists to create the first sperm-based biobots.
The scientists from the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences in Dresden, Germany say that this spermbot can be remote controlled and used to impregnate an egg or deliver a drug to a target within your body.
To capture the sperm cells, a 50-micron-long microtube was used and the flagellum, or tail of the sperm, was left outside. The scientists then employed a magnetic field to control which way the metal tube went, directing the sperm in any direction they wanted.
Oliver Schmidt, who led the research team, explains: “sperm cells are an attractive option because they are harmless to the human body, do not require an external power source, and can swim through viscous liquids.”
Although this all sounds very wierd and a bit gross, it is also very clever and no doubt will be an invaluable tool for the future.
“This type of hybrid approach could lead the way in making efficient robotic micro-systems,” says Eric Diller at the University of Toronto, Canada, although it is hard to get micro-robots to swim as fast as biological cells.