The new technology that could revolutionize endodontics: microbots

Researchers at Penn Dental Medicine and its Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry have found that microrobots can be used for detailed endodontic treatments and diagnostics. 

The study, published in April in the Journal of Dental Research, showed how two microrobotic platforms can access difficult-to-reach areas of the root canal to treat biofilms, deliver drugs and retrieve diagnostic samples. 

The microrobots consist of iron oxide nanoparticles with catalytic and magnetic activity, according to an Aug. 5 news release from Penn Dental Medicine at the University of Philadelphia. In the first platform, the nanoparticles were magnetically controlled to be applied to treatment areas. In the second platform, microrobots embedded with iron oxide nanoparticles  were 3D printed and magnetically guided throughout the root canal to transport bioactives or drugs. 

Researchers were able to track the robots' movements in real time with imaging technologies such as intraoral scanners, dental X-rays and cone-beam computed tomography.

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