Publicado: Jue, Febrero 15, 2018
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

Cancer-Fighting Nanorobots Programmed to Seek and Destroy Tumors

Cancer-Fighting Nanorobots Programmed to Seek and Destroy Tumors

In a major advancement in nanomedicine, an global team of scientists has successfully programmed nanorobots for the first time in mammals, that potentially shrinks tumours by cutting off their blood supply.

The DNA origami sheet, with its associated clotting agent, is then folded up into a ring-like structure.

Arizona State University researchers successfully programmed nanorobots to shrink tumors by cutting off their blood supply.

The demonstration was achieved using the nanorobots to target tumours relating to breast, ovarian, lung and skin cancer in mice.

BAOQUAN DING AND HAO YANDNA nanorobots that travel the bloodstream, find tumors, and dispense a protein that causes blood clotting trigger the death of cancer cells in mice, according to a study published today (February 12) in Nature Biotechnology. Using an approach that causes vascular occlusion, for example, could start to work within just hours, and would also be applicable to just about any type of tumors. They are called "robots" because they are programmed to do specific and unique tasks.

In case you had any doubts that we live in the future, scientists just created a medical device straight out of Star Trek or, depending on your view of autonomous DNA-splicing nanorobots, perhaps Black Mirror.

This is where nanorobots come to the rescue. What's even more interesting, is that most of the nanorobots were cleared and discarded from the body within 24 hours after attacking the tumors. In a primary mouse lung cancer model, tumor shrinkage was observed after 2 weeks.

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Robots one-thousandth the width of a human hair are now able to fight cancer by destroying tumours in the body.

Nanomedicine is a new branch of medicine that seeks to combine the promise of nanotechnology to open up entirely new avenues for treatments, such as making minuscule, molecule-sized nanoparticles to diagnose and treat hard diseases, especially cancer. The sheets of DNA used, which are 90 nanometres by 60 nanometres, deliver an enzyme direct to the blood vessels at the heart of the tumour. Median survival time more than doubled in the melanoma model, from a median of 20.5 days up to 45.

Not only did the bots show impressive results in targeting and tackling the cancer cells, but crucially they didn't cause any side effects in the mice.

"Our research shows that DNA-based nanocarriers have been shown to be an effective and safe cancer therapy", Guangjun Nie, one of the authors of the study, said in a statement.

The research comes after a team of scientists, involving Durham University, a year ago created nanorobots able to drill into and destroy cancer cells.

Yan and his collaborators are now actively pursuing clinical partners to further develop this technology.

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