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April 06, 2010

Bacteria Trained to Build Nanopyramids - Bacteria Moses Demands They be Freed

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The nanopyramid which was built initially with only 6 blocks may not look as good as the human-made Step pyramid, but the nanopyramid only took approximately 15 minutes using blocks with overall sizes and weight with were much more difficult to work with

Nanowerk reports that Montreal researchers have trained bacteria to build nanopyramids Will a bacteria Moses demand Let my People Go ? A video of the nanopyramid construction is below.

Seriously hybrid microrobots have huge medical applications (to deliver treatment and drugs to tumors and perform other actions.

Using a Swarm of Self-propelled Natural Microrobots in the Form of Flagellated Bacteria to Perform Complex Micro-assembly Tasks (6 pages)

Many science fiction novels have envisioned swarms of artificial microrobots capable of performing complex collective tasks. Unfortunately, today’s technological constraints have prevented such powerful concept to be a reality when considering artificial microrobots. In this paper, we show that a swarm of computer-controlled flagellated Magnetotactic Bacteria (MTB) acting as natural microrobots of approximately 1 to 2 micrometers in diameter can perform many of the same complex collective tasks envisioned with these futuristic self-propelled artificial microrobots. To prove the concept, magnetotaxis-based control has been used to coordinate a swarm made of thousands of these self-propelled natural microrobots to build in a collective effort, a miniature version of an ancient Egyptian pyramid.

Note - the human body has more bacterial cells than human cells. There are interesting transhuman possibilites if there was computer control and synthetic enhancement of all of the bacteria of the human body.



The propulsion force provided by the flagella being connected to molecular motors embedded in the bacterial cell and the chain of nanoparticles referred to as magnetosomes acting as a miniature steering mechanism under the control of an external computer, can be exploited to replace current technologies being presently used in macro-scale robotics but which could not be implemented at the micro-scale due to technological constraints. This strategy relies on harnessing instead of mimicking nature to compensate for unavailable technologies, by using flagellated bacteria and more specifically Magnetotactic Bacteria (MTB) for not only propulsion and transport, but also for the controlled steering or computerized directional swimming control of bacterial micro- nanorobots, i.e. micro- nanorobots being propelled by bacteria. The latter aimed at embedding natural with artificial or synthetic components to construct what we refer to as hybrid microrobots.

Connecting artificial or synthetic components to a natural self-propelled entity that can be controlled by computer is a very powerful concept with many potential applications. For instance, antibodies can be used to attach functionalized polymeric nanoparticles containing therapeutic agents to the cell of a flagellated bacterium. A swarm of such hybrid microrobots operating under computer control can then be used for targeting tumoral lesions in the human body for the delivery of therapeutic agents. It was shown in that the flagellated molecular motors embedded in each MC-1 bacterium being propelled by two flagella bundles providing a thrust force exceeding 4pN, were more suitable than any other technologies when operating in the microvasculature while being trackable in the human body using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Compared to self-assembly, controlled assembly is extremely versatile allowing the assembly of complex heterogeneous micro-structures. But a scaleable and flexible approach to controlled assembly where high levels of costeffective parallelisms can be achieved is required while being independent of the dielectric properties of the components being manipulated. Optical tweezers have been used extensively to manipulate micron-sized dielectric particles using trapping force in the typical range of 1-100 pN. For larger force, a mechanical approach becomes necessary. In all cases, issues such as complexity, power and overall size of the each platform prevent them to be considered for cost-effective mass-scale micro-assembly processes. Here we show that micro-components can be manipulated accurately from the thrust force generated by flagellated Magnetotactic Bacteria (MTB) to assemble micro-structures. The force exerted on the components is not only independent of the dielectric property and scalable from a few pN with increments in the order of 4 pN while being able to reach levels beyond the range of forces possible with optical tweezers, but the approach is highly scalable suggesting its potential for the implementation of cost effective mass-scale micro-assembly



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