the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru, nano-sized robots manipulated with a magnetic field can help eliminate bacteria deep inside the tooth and improve the success of root canal treatments.

In millions of individuals, root canal treatments are frequently performed to treat dental infections. The affected soft tissue inside the tooth, known as the pulp, is removed and the tooth is flushed with antibiotics or chemicals to kill the germs causing the infection.

However, many times the treatment fails to completely eliminate all bacteria – especially antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as Enterococcus faecalis – that remain hidden inside the tooth’s microscopic channels called dentinal tubules.

“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, research associate at the Center for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE) and co-founder of IISc-incubated startup Theranautilus.

These nanobots were then injected into samples of extracted teeth and their movement was tracked using a microscope.

In the study published in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials, the researchers designed helical nanorobots made of iron-coated silicon dioxide, which can be controlled using a device that generates a low-intensity magnetic field.

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.

“We’ve also established that we can salvage them…we can remove them from the patient’s teeth,” Srinivas said.

“Essentially, the team was able to manipulate the magnetic field so that the surface of the nanorobots generates heat, which can kill nearby bacteria. No other technology on the market can do this at this time,” Debayan said. Dasgupta, a research associate at CeNSE and another co-founder of Theranautilus Previously, scientists used ultrasound or laser pulses to create shock waves in the liquid used to remove bacteria and tissue debris, to improve the effectiveness of root canal treatment.

However, these pulses can only penetrate to a distance of 800 micrometers and their energy quickly dissipates. Nanorobots were able to penetrate much further – up to 2000 micrometers. Using heat to kill bacteria also provides a safer alternative to harsh chemicals or antibiotics, the researchers said.

They tested dental nanobots in mouse models and found them to be safe and effective.

Summary of news:

  • IISc researchers have developed miniature robots capable of deep cleaning teeth
  • Check all the coverage for the latest tech news updates.