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Your location: Home > Related Articles > The “bottle opener” micro robot can effectively kill cancer cells for targeted drug delivery

The “bottle opener” micro robot can effectively kill cancer cells for targeted drug delivery

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-01 Click:34

In the near future, micro robots may deliver drugs into our bodies, but there are still some obstacles that need to be cleared before realizing this idea. Now, researchers have developed a "bottle opener" micro robot that can drill into cancer cells and maintain speed while dropping drug payloads, preventing drugs from being washed away by blood or other fluids.

If the drug is directly delivered to the target tissue, the effectiveness of the drug will be better. Unfortunately, the body is a dynamic environment, and drugs can be dispersed, reducing their impact on the target area and causing unnecessary side effects in healthy tissues. As is well known, the rampant use of chemotherapy drugs in the body is well-known.

In recent years, scientists have been trying to use micro robots to accurately deliver drugs to the places they need. To achieve this, micro robots need to stay in that place for a certain amount of time. But this itself is a challenge, as bodily fluids often push them back and forth. And this is exactly the problem solved by researchers at the Gyeongbei Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) in Daegu, South Korea.

Previously, some micro robots were fixed in place by a magnetic field applied by doctors from outside the body. But in the new research, the team designed a robot that can maintain itself without needing to maintain a magnetic field for a long time. The shape of the new micro robot is like a bottle opener, with a needle at the top. The exterior is coated with a layer of nickel and titanium oxide, allowing it to be guided by magnetic force. Then, the medication can be inserted into the needle and enter the pores of the "bottle opener" bracket.

The principle is that doctors use a magnetic field to guide the robot to the desired position in the human body. Once it reaches that position, it will stab the target cell. In this way, it can stay there until the task is completed. Researchers tested micro robots in a liquid filled cavity, guiding them to attach to tissue samples. When manually manipulating the magnetic field, it takes 55 seconds, but a specially designed automatic aiming system can be completed in just 7 seconds.

Afterwards, the research team found that a flow rate of 480 millimeters per second was required to move the needle away. This can work well in some places - for example, the flow rate of small arterial blood vessels is about 100 millimeters per second - but larger veins and arteries can apply greater pressure. In another experiment, the team tested this design on human colon cancer cells. Sure enough, micro robots can effectively target and kill cells.

Although its application in humans still has a long way to go, the team stated that the next step is to find ways to load more drugs onto micro robots and develop better control magnetic fields to guide them.

This study was published in the Journal of Advanced Healthcare Materials.

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