June 16, 2022
Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru have developed tiny robots that can kill bacteria deep inside the teeth, enhancing the success of root canal treatments. During a root canal procedure, the soft infected tissue inside the tooth, called the pulp, is removed. The tooth is then flushed with chemicals or antibiotics to kill the bacteria. However, this procedure often fails to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria like Enterococcus faecalis. These bacteria remain hidden in the tissue of extremely small canals in the tooth called dentinal tubules.
As a solution to this problem, scientists at IISc have designed helical nanobots made of silicon dioxide coated with iron that can be controlled with the help of a device that generates a low intensity magnetic field. By adjusting the frequency of the magnetic field, the nanobots are made to move as desired and penetrate deep inside the dentinal tubules. The magnetic field is manipulated to make the surface of the nanobots generate heat, which can kill the bacteria close by.
Did You Know?
Unlike bones or other body parts, teeth cannot repair themselves.
REFLECTION: Size Doesn’t Matter
List any 5 places where a nano-sized robot can be used.