All These Micromotors Need Is Light

Laser beams hold the key to getting power to ultratiny machines that someday may have myriad applications

We've all seen those pictures of cogs and gears just millionths of a inch across. And predictions that tiny machines will one day move through the body dispensing drugs or performing other tasks in the microworld have become commonplace (see BW Online, 12/7/00, "These Minuscule Motors May Herald a New Medical Era"). But the researchers turning out the parts to make tiny devices face a major challenge -- finding ways to power microscopic pumps and propulsion systems.

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