Tech UPTechnologyThey create nanorobots to find and destroy tumors

They create nanorobots to find and destroy tumors

A group of researchers from the University of Arizona (ASU), in collaboration with researchers from the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has developed one of the latest advances in nanomedicine . They have managed to program nanorobots to find and destroy tumors .

According to experts, we are looking at the first fully autonomous robotic DNA system, capable of designing very precise drugs and being applied in targeted therapies against cancer. In addition, this could be used in different types of cancer , since, as stated by the director of the Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics of ASU, Hao Yan, “all solid blood vessels that feed on tumors are essentially the same.”

The demonstration of this technology has been a complete success in its first study with mammals, in which mice affected by breast cancer, melanoma, ovarian cancer and lung cancer were used as subjects.

All of this is possible thanks to what is known as DNA origami . A technique that shows how DNA is capable of folding into all kinds of shapes and sizes on a scale a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair .

The main challenge researchers have faced has been to carefully design, build and control nanorobots to actively seek out and destroy cancerous tumors, without harming healthy cells .

“These nanorobots can be programmed to carry molecular payloads and cause blockages in the tumor blood supply at the site, which can lead to tissue death and shrink the tumor, ” says Baoquan Ding, professor at NCNST.

Each nanorobot is made from a flat , rectangular DNA origami sheet, 90 nanometers by 60 nanometers in size. A key enzyme for blood clotting, called thrombin , is attached to the surface.

In order for nanorobots to only attack cancer cells , a special charge has been included on their surface , called a DNA aptamer . This makes it possible to specifically target a protein , called nucleolin, which is produced in large quantities only on the surface of tumor cells , and which is not found on the surface of healthy cells.

The treatment blocked the blood supply to the tumor and damaged the tumor tissue within the first 24 hours without affecting healthy tissues . After attacking the tumors, most of the nanorobots were degraded from the body after 24 hours. The final results showed that 3 out of 8 mice that received the nanorobot therapy showed complete regression of the tumors .

Yan and his collaborators claim to be much closer to the real and practical medical applications of the technology. They are now actively seeking clinical partners to further develop it.


Referencia: Suping Li, Qiao Jiang, Shaoli Liu, Yinlong Zhang, Yanhua Tian, Chen Song, Jing Wang, Yiguo Zou, Gregory J Anderson, Jing-Yan Han, Yung Chang, Yan Liu, Chen Zhang, Liang Chen, Guangbiao Zhou, Guangjun Nie, Hao Yan, Baoquan Ding y Yuliang Zhao. “A DNA nanorobot functions as a cancer therapeutic in response to a molecular trigger in vivo” Nature Biotechnology (2018) DOI: 10.1038/nbt.4071

Slaves and Disabled: Forced Medical Test Volunteers

The main problem to carry out medical research is to have willing volunteers for it. And if they come out for free, much better. This is the story of unethical behavior in medical research.

How are lightning created?

Summer is synonymous with sun, but also with storms. Who has not contemplated one from the protection that the home gives that electrical display that is lightning?

How global warming will affect astronomy

Astronomical observations around the world will worsen in quality as a result of climate change, according to a new study.

New images of Saturn's rings in stunning detail

New images of Saturn's rings in stunning detail

NASA discovers more than 50 areas that emit exorbitant levels of greenhouse gases

NASA's 'EMIT' spectrometer locates has targeted Central Asia, the Middle East and the US among others.