(CNN) – We’re all familiar with these kinds of personal drones up in the sky but how about a little tiny drone inside your body.
Dr. Sung Kwon Cho, University Of Pittsburgh, “We’re going to make a tiny, tiny swimmer that actually navigates inside the human body.” Through the bloodstream? “Bloodstream or anybody fluid inside the body.”
Dr. Cho has just received a nearly three-quarter of a million dollar grant from the national science foundation to develop that technology. Besides more precise bio-imaging, the swimmer drone can also deliver a drug to a specific target, like a cancer or tumor.
Dr. Cho said, “Sometimes you need to deliver the drug to some specific target. It’s not in the entire body. So basically this drone can carry the drug and then only release it in the targeted area.”
So how big is this drone? About one millimeter and the width of a hair. The goal is to inject the drone into the blood stream and then navigate it through the body with different frequency of sound waves.
Dr. Cho said, “We give sound waves basically power. We just give ultrasound outside. That actually the power source.”
So what happens to the drone after it does its job? Dr. Cho said, “We are eventually making this drone as bio-degradable so once you use it you basically automatically dissolve it so you don’t have to open your body. You don’t have to take it out.”
A body drone that dissolves inside your body.
As exciting as this new technology is, it’s really in its infancy with many more years of development and then government approvals. So don’t expect to see little drones in your body much before the 2020’s.