A team of engineers in the Netherlands has come out with a sperm-inspired (yes you read that correctly) microrobot with the catchy moniker MagnetoSperm.
MagnetoSperm are steered using weak, oscillating magnetic fields, to which the device's nickel-cobalt coating is responsive. The magnets cause the MagnetoSperm to move its synthetic flagellum for propulsion in a manner that mirrors its natural counterpart.
These devices are currently significantly larger than natural sperm; the devices need to be large enough to accommodate both navigation and power systems. Researchers chose the sperm design for its efficiency in navigating through fluids. Should developers find success in reducing the size of the MagnetoSperm, the devices will be used for a variety of applications within the human body, including in vitro treatments as well as microsurgery and drug delivery.