(ORDO NEWS) — Engineers at the University of Pennsylvania (USA) have developed a system of microrobots that can change shape, form bristles or dental floss.
At the same time, they not only clean off plaque, but also secrete special antimicrobial drugs that destroy harmful bacteria.
Even when using an electric toothbrush, dental floss and irrigator, it is not always possible to clean your teeth perfectly.
Simply because people’s teeth are different and toothbrushes don’t take into account differences in shape or spacing between teeth.
Therefore, some areas are left unattended. However, a new system developed by American scientists is designed to solve this problem.
How does the new system with transforming robots work?
Transforming robots are iron oxide nanoparticles that can take any shape when exposed to magnetic fields. Accordingly, they can turn into bristles, like a toothbrush, or gather into thinner threads to clean the space between the teeth.
At the same time, microrobots do not just brush teeth mechanically. Iron oxide is activated by hydrogen peroxide, causing a reaction that produces free radicals that kill bacteria and sticky biofilms that form during the day on teeth. Roughly the same, but less effective, mouthwash works.
The team of scientists tested their system on a flat plate made of an artificial material similar to the surface of teeth in order to adjust the intensity of movement of the microrobots.
They then tested them on a more realistic 3D model of the teeth. After successful trials, the microrobots were tested on real human teeth.
Experiments have shown that microrobots can effectively remove plaque and biofilms, almost completely getting rid of them.
The team also showed that they adapt to each individual, adjusting the stiffness and length of the bristles – so the tips remain hard enough to clean teeth, but still soft enough not to injure the gums.
The researchers say their development could help people with disabilities keep their mouths clean and healthy.
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