Root canals are terrible business. It’s a long, uncomfortable procedure, and despite the few hours a dentist spends carving out your face rot, they don’t always take. During the procedure, dentists remove the infected pulp or soft tissue in the tooth and flush the cavity with antibiotics to kill the infection-causing bacteria. The problem is that they don’t always smoke out all the bacteria which can lurk in microscopic canals in your teeth. A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science and the startup Theranautilus may have a new treatment: tiny, teeth-cleaning nanobots. The researchers developed helical nanobots made of silicon dioxide and coated in iron. Using a low-intensity magnetic-field-generating device, they steered these tiny dental drones around extracted tooth samples. The nanobots traverse the channels, and when they run into bacteria, they use locally-induced heat to kill them. The team then retrieves the bots from the teeth. The previous tech used laser pulses and ultrasound to flush the bacteria, but they only penetrated about 800 micrometers. The nanobots can go 2,000 micrometers. Also, heat-treating bacteria is safer than using harsh chemicals to kill them. So far, the researchers have tested the bots on mice, and they were both safe and effective. Now, they are working on a medical device that can easily fit in your mouth and inject and manipulate the nanobots. According to the researchers, they are closer than ever to using nanobots in a clinical setting.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Advanced Manufacturing International (AMI) has been awarded a $2M grant