AI researchers have developed no-hands dental care in the form of a swarm of shapeshifting microrobots
The AI researchers team from the University of Pennsylvania has developed the ultimate no-hands dental care in the form of a swarm of shapeshifting microrobots, ready to treat and remove tooth decay-inducing bacteria and plaque from your filthy, unflossed teeth. New shape-shifting robotic microswarms can clean off sticky biofilm from teeth in an advance that could lead to new hands-free technology for an all-in-one toothbrush, rinse, and dental floss.
The technology was created with iron oxide nanoparticles which have catalytic and magnetic activity. This meant the researchers could control their motion and arrangement using a magnetic field. It works similar to how a robotic arm might reach out and clean a surface. The system can be programmed to do the nanoparticle assembly and motion control automatically. The novel proof-of-concept study shows that a hands-free system could automate the treatment and removal of tooth-decay-causing bacteria and dental plaque. The microrobotics system could be particularly valuable for those who lack the manual dexterity to effectively clean their teeth.
Shapeshifting microrobots can brush and floss teeth:
The big innovation here is that the robotics system can do all three in a single, hands-free, automated way. It’s a potential game-changer, particularly for those who lack the dexterity to clean their teeth. On various surfaces, the researchers found that the micro robotics
The system could effectively eliminate biofilms, clearing them of all detectable pathogens. The purpose of this proof-of-concept study was to develop technology to perform the mundane, yet critical, chore of brushing and flossing.
The researchers claim that the flexible robotic system was able to remove nearly every trace of cavity and gum disease-causing biofilms during trials on mock and real human teeth. Using a magnetic field, researchers were then able to direct their motion and configuration to form either bristle-like structures that sweep away dental plaque from the broad surfaces of teeth or elongated strings that can slip between teeth like a length of floss.
AI researchers are looking to develop this technology into a real product. As such, they are looking into mouth-fitting devices that can deliver microrobots. The design of the toothbrush has remained relatively unchanged for millennia. It’s a technology that has not been disrupted in decades. This technology is more effective than brushing and flossing your teeth but doesn’t require manual dexterity. It will disrupt current modalities and majorly advance oral health care