Researchers at Penn, led by Michel Koo of the School of Dental Medicine and Edward Steager of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, developed a hands-free system of shapeshifting microrobots to help automate the process of brushing and flossing teeth.
In a proof-of-concept study for this technology, a robotic microswarm of nanoparticles, arranged in bristle-like structures, effectively cleaned plaque and decay-causing bacteria from both mock and human teeth.
“We have this technology that’s as or more effective as brushing and flossing your teeth but doesn’t require manual dexterity,” said Koo. “We’d love to see this helping the geriatric population and people with disabilities. We believe it will disrupt current modalities and majorly advance oral health care.”