Press Clips from 2017

August 17, 2017

The Scientist

Tiny Motors Deliver Ulcer Medication in Mouse Stomachs

Researchers have built drug-delivery capsules that neutralize stomach acid and use the resulting hydrogen peroxide bubbles to propel themselves and deliver an antibiotic. When tested in mice, the micromotors proved slightly more effective than the same dose of antibiotic delivered orally along with an acidity-lowering proton pump inhibitor, researchers report yesterday (August 16) in Nature Communications. Full Story

August 17, 2017


Tiny Robots Help Cure Stomach Infections In Mice

In the not-so-distant future, drug treatments could be delivered straight to the problem area with the help of some very tiny robots. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego successfully treated bacterial gastric infections in mice using micromotors. The use of nanotechnology in medicine is nothing new but this is the first time chemical treatments have been administered in vivo with this kind of technology. Full Story

August 16, 2017

The San Diego Union Tribune

Micromotors neutralize stomach acid, deliver antibiotic

Micromotors thinner than a human hair delivered an antibiotic in the stomachs of mice while neutralizing excess acid, in a study by University of California San Diego scientists. The micromotor-delivered antibiotic reduced populations of H.pylori bacteria, which can cause stomach ulcers. The proof of principle could lead to a safer acid-neutralizing alternative for drug-taking patients than treating them with proton pump inhibitors, which have been linked to various undesirable side effects. Full Story

August 16, 2017

New Scientist

Tiny robots crawl through mouse's stomach to heal ulcers

Tiny robotic drug deliveries could soon be treating diseases inside your body. For the first time, micromotors -- autonomous vehicles the width of a human hair -- have cured bacterial infections in the stomachs of mice, using bubbles to power the transport of antibiotics. In mice with bacterial stomach infections, the team used the micromotors to administer a dose of antibiotics daily for five days. At the end of the treatment, they found their approach was more effective than regular doses of medicine. Full Story

August 16, 2017


Scientists Create A New Way To Deliver Medicine Through Your Stomach

The acids in our stomachs are great for helping to break down food to digest them, but when it comes to medication, there are some instances where consuming medicine orally might not be the most effective way around it. A team of researchers at UC San Diego might have come up with an interesting method of delivering medicine through your stomach and ensuring that it does not get destroyed by your stomach acids, and that is through the use of micromotors that will change your stomach's pH levels so that the medicine can be delivered safely. Full Story

August 16, 2017


Robots the size of a human hair cure sick mice -- with bubbles

Scientists are breaking out the bubbles to celebrate a new breakthrough -- and we're not talking about champagne. Tiny robots the size of a human hair, known as micromotors, have been used to cure bacterial infections in mice using bubbles. A team from the University of California, San Diego used the micromotors to administer a daily dose of antibiotics in the stomachs of mice and found improved results compared with more conventional methods. Full Story

August 16, 2017


'Micromotors' alter your gut's chemistry to safely deliver medicine

There's a reason diabetics can't take their insulin orally (for the time being): stomach acid is super effective at dissolving it and similar large proteins, like antibiotics. But rather than force patients to pound pints of Maalox or chew a tub of Tums before taking their medicine, a team of researchers at UC San Diego have developed a novel method of getting your medication past the acid by using nearly microscopic drug delivery vehicles which increase the pH as they swim through your stomach. Full Story

August 16, 2017

Silicon Republic

Nano-sized machines swimming in stomachs can now treat infections

In the near future, nano-sized micromotors swimming in your stomach could be used to treat a variety of different infections, having been demonstrated for the first time, according to a paper recently published in Nature Communications. Developed by a team of nano-engineers from the University of California San Diego, the specially built micromotors offer a promising new method for treating stomach and gastrointestinal tract diseases with acid-sensitive drugs. Full Story

August 16, 2017


Acid-Powered Micromotors Treat Bacterial Stomach Infection in Mice

Scientists have for the first time used tiny self-propelling, drug-loaded micromotors to treat a bacterial gastric infection in experimental mice, without the use of acid-blocking proton pump inhibitors. Developed by researchers at the University of California San Diego, the biodegradeable micromotors are less than half the width of a human hair in size and constructed around a magnesium core that reacts with protons in stomach acid to propel the vehicles to the stomach wall, where they attach and release their antibiotic cargo. Full Story

August 16, 2017

Discover Magazine

Ulcer-fighting Robots Swim Through Stomachs to Deliver a Cure

Tiny robots powered by bubbles have successfully treated an infection in mice. The achievement is another step forward in a field that has long shown promise, and is only now beginning to deliver. The therapeutic robots in this case were tiny spheres of magnesium and titanium coated with an antibacterial agent and about the width of a human hair. They were released into the stomach, where they swam around and delivered a drug to the target before dissolving. Full Story

August 16, 2017

Yahoo! Sports

UC San Diego scientists are building tiny nanobots to swim through your stomach

The idea of treating disease or carrying out surgery using swarms of tiny robots injected into the human body may sound like science fiction, but it is one that is proving increasingly popular. In a new research project, nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have demonstrated the use of tiny "micromotor" nanobots, capable of treating a bacterial infection in the stomach. The lab's tiny vehicles, each one around half the width of a human hair, are able to swim rapidly through the stomach, neutralizing gastric acid and releasing a cargo of drugs at the desired pH level. Full Story

April 3, 2017

The New York Times

Do Seas Make Us Sick? Surfers May Have the Answer

On a recent trip, Cliff Kapono hit some of the more popular surf breaks in Ireland, England and Morocco. He's proudly Native Hawaiian and no stranger to the hunt for the perfect wave. But this time he was chasing something even more unusual: microbial swabs from fellow surfers. Mr. Kapono, a 29-year-old biochemist earning his doctorate at the University of California, San Diego, heads up the Surfer Biome Project, a unique effort to determine whether routine exposure to the ocean alters the microbial communities of the body, and whether those alterations might have consequences for surfers -- Full Story