Scientists reported that micro autonomous robots can be efficiently used as delivery vehicles to cure cancer.
The study was published in Nature Biotechnology journal in February 2018. The bots were examined on cancerous cells of mice, which efficiently inhibited proliferation of tumors in mice. The DNA nanorobots function by injecting drugs into cancerous tumors, which inhibit their blood supply resulting into killing of the cancerous cell. As a part of the study, tumor-bearing mouse models were intravenously injected with DNA nanorobots to deliver thrombin in tumor-associated blood vessels and induce intravascular thrombosis, resulting in tumor necrosis and inhibition of tumor growth.
The bots were programmed to target cancerous cells without clotting other parts of the body. The scientists were also able to demonstrate the bots did not cause clotting in the healthy tissues of Bama miniature pigs, calming fears over what might happen in larger animals. DNA nanorobots are have programmed DNA, which fold into origami like structure and then it is deployed like a tiny machine. The delivery bots was tested by injecting into mice with human breast cancer tumors. It was observed that bots successfully entered in vascular cells at the tumor sites within 48 hours, causing blood clots in the tumor’s vessels and cutting off their blood supply.
Conventional method such as chemotherapy destroy every cell as it cannot distinguish between cancerous cell and normal cell. Also, targeted cancer therapies simply cutting off blood supply and kill the cancer on the spot. However, further research is required to introduce this technique in human trials. This new technique is expected to gain approval for use on humans in the near future with impressive effects on cancer treatment.