Scientists created microbots that can deliver chemo directly to cancer cells

Usual chemotherapy treatments have many side effects like hair loss, anemia, infections, and bleeding. But these microbot chemotherapy treatment shows fewer side effects because of direct access to cancer cells.

These microbots are shaped like crabs, fish, and butterflies.



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But as a proof-of-concept, an SMMF (Shape Morphine Micro Fish) type microbot is developed that contains a drug called DOX (Doxorubicin). They experimented with these microbots in a petri dish that contains stimulated blood cells and cancer cells.


When scientists intentionally increased acidic levels in the petri dish (pH level lowered), these microbots opened their mouths and performed their task by deploying the drug.


In other tests, crab microrobots could be made to hold drug nanoparticles with their claws, move towards a target location, and release them.


These microbots will deliver and inject chemo to low pH level areas. Low pH means that the area is acidic.
And tumors exist in acidic environments.
So if a low pH area is detected, the microbot will deliver chemo to that area where tumors are.
These microbots are navigated magnetically and do not have an internal power source.


By sensing pH changes in acidic areas, this microbot can understand whether the area is cancerous or not. If the area is cancerous, the microbot will open its mouth and deliver the drug cargo.


We could hope, troops of these microrobots could soon be swimming through our bodies to deliver drugs more directly and efficiently.
The new design of the microbots seems particularly promising, thanks to their ability to automatically release drugs where they’re particularly needed.


Although the experiment was successful, researchers said that there is much more work left to make these bots even smaller. By making these bots smaller they can easily enter a real human blood vessel.


Source: American Chemical Society


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