How to Mass-Produce 'Syncells': Cell-Sized Robots for Medical Monitoring

Tiny, cell-sized robots could soon be mass-produced for medical monitoring using a new method called “autoperforation” developed at MIT. The microscopic devices, called “syncells” (short for synthetic cells), could eventually be used to search out disease while floating through the bloodstream. The key to making such tiny devices in large quantities lies in the autoperforation method the team developed. They are controlling the natural fracturing process of atomically-thin, brittle materials, directing the fracture lines so that they produce tiny pockets of a predictable size and shape. Embedded inside these pockets are electronic circuits and materials that can collect, record, and output data.