A regatta of tiny paddleboats delivering medicine will soon be coursing throughout your body:

A MICROSCOPIC swimming machine that works like a paddle steamer could help deliver drugs inside the body and move chemicals around inside miniaturised labs. The device is the first artificial microswimmer to move without using chemical propulsion or bending itself into different shapes.

For microscale swimmers, the viscosity of water presents a much bigger barrier to motion than we are used to on everyday scales. It is like swimming through honey for a human: any forward movement during one half of a swimming stroke would be negated by an opposite backwards motion in the second half, with the result that the swimmer goes nowhere. “In a stiff fluid, what you achieve in half of your swimming cycle you undo in the next half-cycle,” says Ramin Golestanian, a physicist at the University of Sheffield in the UK.

We love the idea of tiny/micro/nano swimming machines delivering drugs inside us.

We only wonder if it will tickle.


  1. Indeed there are. Most of them are meant for children, and it shows – actually there was a funny Family Guy episode where one character goes into the body of another. There was a ride at Walt Disney World called Body Wars where you could explore the human body from the inside.

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