Evade hormonal pollutants with Micro-robot

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A group of researchers from the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, the Brno University of Technology, and Yonsei University formed a micro-robot that is chemically encoded intelligence that helps to remove hormonal pollutants from solution.

The outcome was published in Nature Machine Intelligence as well as Dongdong Jin and Li Zhang with the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Multiscale Medical Robotics Center published views and news of issue planning the state of micro-robot research as well as give a detail of the work done by the researchers with this new effort.

Jin and Zhang notice that many of the micro-robots have low intelligence or no intelligence as they are single-purpose units generally controlled using externally utilizing magnets. Besides, they found out micro-robot research is changing to add local intelligence by giving them the power to with their environment as they perform their features. For instance, researchers created programmable multi-layer micro-robots which are capable of removing hormonal pollutants from solution without support from humans.

The micro-robots were open-ended three-layered tube most of the internal part of the tube was fabricated from platinum. When it sinks in hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) solution, H2O2 is catalyzed by the platinum which is converted to water and oxygen. During the process, the oxygen bubbles are rejected through one end of the tube of the micro-robot with sufficient drive to propel it. So the inner part of the micro-robot acts as an engine. The purpose of the outer part of the micro-robot was to carry out the chemical reactions that resulted in decontamination of the solution and the outer part of the micro-robot was made of polypyrrole. For eternal control by use of magnets, the researchers further add magnetite nanoparticles to the outer layer.

The researcher recorded that the pH level of the solution modifies due to the actions of the micro-robot. The surface charge on the outer layer of the robots changed, as well, which led to affinity modulation. As the robot moves through the solution makes hormonal fibers (estrogen), it has created a sort of web which is made of fibers, on the surface of the solution that allows for removal. When several other micro-robots were put into the solution they interacted with each other. While forming a swarm, working jointly to create a single block of fiber that can be easily removed.

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