Using cells to treat a disease is called cell therapy. Many hope that this form of treatment will cure today's incurable diseases.

But then you need to be able to deliver cells to a specific organ in the body. And now scientists from South Korea, among others, have created robots as small as hairs that have succeeded in doing just that.

Navigates in narrow blood vessels

- You supply stem cells with the micro-robots, which is completely new. They also show in a good way how to navigate in confined spaces such as blood vessels, says Niclas Roxhed, who is a lecturer in micro and nanosystems for medical technology applications at the Royal Institute of Technology.

The robots are printed with 3D laser printers and shaped like spheres and corkscrews and can carry many stem cells at a time.

In live mice

The researchers controlled them with magnetism in both a blood vessel that was separated from a mouse brain as well as in a slice of a mouse brain. In addition, they tested the robot in a live mouse, in vivo.

"I think it works in vivo," says Niclas Roxhed.

Clear progress

The scientists behind the micro-robots say that they now need to be further improved before they can be used properly in treatment.

- But clearly it is a progress to show that they can navigate with a load, here also with stem cells, says Niclas Roxhed.

The study was published in Science Robotics.