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"A propulsion system small enough to let microscopic robots navigate inside the human body"
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Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 07:41
Self-Propelled Diodes Could Traverse the Human Body
Steve Kovsky (Blog) - March 21, 2007 1:48
DailyTech

Two of Velev's diode "vehicles," equipped with LED lights, were able to move in opposite directions by virtue of their electrode polarity.
Diode power could fuel microbot's "fantastic voyage" through the human body
A propulsion system small enough to let microscopic robots navigate inside the human body has been designed by a group of researchers in North Carolina.

The absence of a workable means of propulsion had been a major stumbling block to developing microbots for this purpose, because of the limitations in miniaturizing motors that require onboard fuel or batteries for their power. However, the answer could lie in a simple electronic diode, according to Orlin Velev at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Working in conjunction with scientists from the University of Hull in the U.K., Velev's team recently conducted an experiment in which a diode floating in a tank of salt water was exposed to an alternating electric field. By inducing a current within the diode, an electric field was created between the diode's electrical contacts to produce locomotion... More

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