Bio-inspired Microrobots Hunt Down Cancer Cells 2a

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Simone Schurle, Jeffrey Wyckoff

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Nanoparticles (NPs) are being engineered for a large variety of therapeutic and diagnostic applications, however, transport barriers and unequal tissue distribution prevent them from reaching their full potential. To overcome this limitation, we apply a microrobotic device inspired by the propulsion mechanism of the E. coli bacterium to enhance tissue penetration.

The image shows typical tumor tissue: cancer cells (unlabeled) and collagen fibers (cyan) being perfused by leaky blood vessels (black/purple). A novel strategy to fight cancer is to use nanoparticles as delivery vehicle for therapeutics. We study how these nanoparticles (purple) leak out of these vessels and how we can help them go deeper into the tissue using tiny magnetic propellers (pink), and thus, how to make therapy become more effective.