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Thumb ticker bacteria navigate microparticle
Figure 1: Swarm of biohybrid systems, composed of flagellated bacteria attached to microparticles, navigate through stagnant fluids such as inside the eye, the spinal cord, the brain, or the urinary tract. © Photo: Alejandro Posada / MPI for Intelligent Systems

Bacteria navigate microparticle swarms to target

Latest publication in Scientific Reports

In the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage, a submarine complete with crew is shrunk in size so that it can navigate through the human body, enabling the crew to perform surgery in the brain. This scenario remains in the realm of science fiction, and transporting a surgical team to a disease site will certainly remain fiction. Nevertheless, tiny submarines that could navigate through the body could be of great benefit: they could deliver drugs precisely to a target location, without causing side effects and stressing the whole organism.


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Metin Sitti
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Jiang Zhuang
Current Position: Senior Engineer at Google, San Francisco