Scientists Develop an Aerosol Spray Loaded With Nanobots

By: | August 7th, 2018


Image courtesy MIT

We shunned aerosol sprays way back in the 90s when everyone was talking about how they could damage the ozone layer.

But recently, a team of researchers from MIT found a use for aerosols that could be beneficial for our environment and health.

They have come up with an aerosol spray that is filled with nanobots. The tiny bots have sensors to identify certain varieties of threats. These sensors are capable of performing a number of potential diagnostic tasks, such as detecting dangerous leaks in pipelines or diagnosing problems in the human body by traveling along our digestive tract, gathering data, and relaying it to medical experts.

Each tiny sensor contains two parts:

  • The first part, colloid, is an extremely small, insoluble particle or molecule that can remain suspended in a liquid or the air indefinitely.
  • The second part is a complex circuit. The circuit contains a chemical detector made from a two-dimensional material, such as graphene. When this detector comes across a particular chemical in its environment, its ability to conduct electricity improves. The circuit also contains a photodiode to convert ambient light into electric current. This supplies all the electricity that is needed to power the circuit’s data collection and memory.

Once these two parts were combined together, the researchers converted them into a sprayable form.

Though the technology is still in the design and experimentation stage, the future possibilities for spray nanobots are astonishing.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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