Lack of availability of pure water is a major issue, raising concern among masses and governing bodies, globally. Scientists are on the verge of developing tiny robots that can help detect and destroy disease-causing germs and pathogens in the water, by zooming in.
The primary reason why scientists are trying hard to destruct disease-causing germs is to put an end to the outbreak of cholera, diarrhea and other water-borne diseases that might occur if the water is not treated properly.
The news on this initiative has been published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interferes.
Contaminated water is a huge risk factor for children and old people alike. It is advised to disinfect water using chlorine, however, this is not always useful. The by-products which are left behind might prove to be fatal as well. Extra efforts, therefore, needs to be pushed in to remove any such probabilities.
Researchers are now examining more on the prospects of using self-propelled micromotors that can help detect and destroy water pollutants.
" Building on this new amazing work, the scientists wanted to see if they could engineer the tiny robot to remove waterborne bacteria," said Diana Vilela, Samuel Sanchez Ordonez, and colleagues.
The scientists have designed two sphericle shaped parts where one sphere is made up of magnesium. It helps to produce more hydrogen bubbles which pushes the mini robot in the water. The other one is made up of iron and gold layers with the top covered with silver nanoparticles. Any bacteria that comes into contact with the gold layer, will be killed by the silver nanoparticles.
During the lab test, the team saw that the particles can move in the water for 15 to 20 minutes before the magnesium is spent. The iron's magnetic properties in the robot can easily remove any fatal bacteria with the help of the magnesium, without leaving any trace of the contaminating germs in the water, that might prove to be a risk factor for the society.