Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru have developed tiny nanobots that can be injected into teeth to kill bacteria and improve root canal treatment (RCT). The latest ingenuity can improve dental treatment by killing germs deep inside the dentinal tubules.
RCT is a common technique for treating dental infections, which involves removing the infected soft tissue inside the tooth, called the pulp, and rinsing the tooth with antibiotics or chemicals to kill the bacteria that cause it. the infection.
In a new study, IISc researchers have detailed the development of helical nanobots made of iron-coated silicon dioxide, which can be controlled using a device that generates a low-intensity magnetic field. The study was published in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.
“The dentinal tubules are very small and the bacteria reside deep in the tissues. Current techniques are not effective enough to go all the way and kill the bacteria,” said Shanmukh Srinivas, associate researcher at the Center for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE), IISc.
Past research has shown that these nanoparticles can trap and move objects using light. (Photo: IISc)
The nanobots, developed at IISc-incubated startup Theranautilus, were injected into samples of extracted teeth and their movement tracked using a microscope. IISc said that by adjusting the frequency of the magnetic field, the researchers were able to make the nanobots move at will and penetrate deep inside the dentinal tubules. They manipulated the magnetic field so that the surface of the nanorobots generates heat, which can kill nearby bacteria.
“We have also established that we can get them back. We can remove them from the patient’s teeth,” Srinivas added.
The team tested the dental nanobots in mouse models and found them to be safe and effective. They are also working on developing a new type of medical device that can easily fit inside the mouth and allow the dentist to inject and manipulate the nanobots inside the teeth during root canal treatment. .
The helical nanobot is made of silicon dioxide coated with iron. (Photo: IISc)
Debayan Dasgupta, associate researcher at CeNSE and co-founder of Theranautilus, said: “No other technology on the market can do this at the moment.”
Several other researches in the past have shown that these nanoparticles can trap and move objects using light, swim in the blood and inside living cells, and adhere strongly to cancer cells.
Ambarish Ghosh, a CeNSE professor who led the studies, said: “These studies have shown that they can be used safely in biological tissues. “We are very close to deploying this technology in a clinical setting, which was considered futuristic just three years ago. It is a joy to see how a simple scientific curiosity turns into a medical intervention that can have an impact on millions of people in India alone.