Nanorobots could become standard practice to deliver medicine specifically to parts of the body affected by disease. They could be programmed to specifically wipe out cancer cells, which would lower the risk of complications, reduce the need for invasive surgery and lead to faster recoveries.
The researchers strung together three links in a chain about as long as a silk fiber is wide. One segment was a polymer, and two were magnetic, metallic nanowires.
When applied an oscillating magnetic field, the nanoswimmer moved in an S-like, undulatory motion at the speed of nearly one body length per second.
The magnetic field allows the system to control the direction in which the nanoswimmers are moving, so any on-board cargo such as drugs or some sort of nanoparticles can be precisely placed inside a tumor.