Soft robots smaller than the width of a hair may in the future be injected into the body to release drugs as needed like a squeezed sponge. "When it's in the body and you shine a laser, it will contract and that's how it releases," said Malav Desai, a bioengineering student and part of a development team at the University of California at Berkeley. The robots also hold the potential for harvesting sample tissue without surgery and for tissue engineering.

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