Schematic illustration of selective bacteria trapping, transport and electroporation. (Technion) (Technion)


This cutting-edge Israeli medical technology provides targeted delivery of treatments and specific cell analysis.

By United with Israel Staff

Experts at Israel’s Technion Institute recently announced major breakthroughs in a technology called “micromachines,” which are tiny particles that researchers seek to use for treatments and analyzing single cells.

Prior to the discovery of micromachines, it was only possible to target multiple cells.

Micro machines, also called “micro-swimmers,” “active particles,” and “micro-motors” could lead the way to single-cell-based diagnosis of human disease and may also be used as a new molecular biology testing platform for cell therapies and targeted delivery of treatments. The discovery was published in Science Advances in January.

The applications for which researchers plan to use micromachines include “drug delivery, detoxification, environmental remediation, immunosensing, remote surgery, self-repairing systems, self-motile devices, and more,” the article in Science Advances explains

Professor Gilad Yossifon of the Technion Faculty of Mechanical Engineering conducted the research with post-doctoral researchers and married couple Dr. Yue Wu, Technion faculty of Mechanical engineering, and Dr. Afu Fu, Technion faculty of Medicine.

“We successfully demonstrated, for the first time, that an external electric field can singularly trap and transport bacteria and selectively electroporate the trapped bacteria,” Prof. Yossifon said in a statement. As previously noted, until now, only multiple cells could be targeted.

“Electroporation is a prevalent microbiology technique in which an electrical field is applied to cells…allowing chemicals, drugs or DNA to be introduced into the cell.” Prior to the invention of “micromachines,” specific cells could not be targeted for study or treatment.

The new platform provides a tool for improving diagnostic testing that is minimally invasive and improves the results of medical treatments. The innovative system has proven successful on studying bacteria.