from the in-a-spin dept.
The New Scientist Magazine reports that a team of micromachine experts at Tohoku University in Japan have developed a millimeter scale medical robot that could swim along veins, ferrying drugs to infected tissues, or even burrow into tumours to kill them off with a hot lance. The devices are actually tiny spinning screws based on cylindrical magnets. Measuring eight millimetres long and less than a millimetre in diameter (about the size of a rice grain), each magnet is made of a neodymium-iron-boron alloy. When an external magnetic field is applied, the screws literally drill their way through fluids or, in one test case, two centimeters of solid flesh (beef steak).
Additional coverage can be found at Online.ie News and The Times of London.