Scientists have created microrobots that can automatically brush and floss your teeth
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated, in a proof of concept study, that a hands free device can successfully automate treatment and removal of bacteria and dental plaque that causes tooth decay.
A shape-shifting robot microswarm could be used as a toothbrush and dental floss in the future. This technology was developed by a team of multidisciplinary experts at the University of Pennsylvania. It could provide a new automated way to perform the daily, repetitive, but vital task of brushing teeth and flossing. This system is a great help for people who don’t have the manual dexterity necessary to clean their teeth properly.
These microrobots consist of iron oxide nanoparticles that have catalytic and magnet properties. Researchers controlled their configuration and movement using a magnet field. They could either create bristle-like structure that removed dental plaque from wide surfaces of the teeth, or elongated filaments that slide between teeth similar to floss. The nanoparticles in both cases are propelled by a catalytic process that releases antimicrobials to eliminate harmful bacteria.