Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Bioengineering and CIC biomaGUNE seem to be a flock of birds or flocks of fish, using positron emission tomography for the first time to observe how a group of nanorobots move in the bladder of mice. This progress can be applied to future precision medicine.
This Nanorobot They are nano-sized machines that can move autonomously in certain fluids, such as body fluids. They are still in the development stage, but their possible medical applications may vary widely: from identifying tumor cells to releasing drugs at specific locations in the body.
Among the most promising nanorobot systems, Self-propelled by catalytic enzymes, But to move towards clinical practice, you must first monitor and see how they move together.
Now from Catalan Institute of Bioengineering (IBEC), CIC Biotin And the Autonomous University of Barcelona successfully conducted observations for the first time in vivo The collective behavior of a large number of nanorobots designed by IBEC to move automatically in the body.The research was published in the journal Scientific robot.
“The fact that we can see the collective and synchronized movements of nanorobots and track them inside the organism is of great significance because millions of robots are needed to treat specific pathologies, such as tumor changes.” ,statement Samuel Sanchez, ICREA professor and IBEC chief researcher, he leads the team Smart Bio-Nano Devices.
-Samuel Sanchez (@SamuelNanobots) March 17, 2021
“We have demonstrated for the first time that nanobots can be monitored in vivo by Positron emission tomography (pet), A highly sensitive non-invasive technique currently used in clinical settings”, he explained Jordi LlopPrincipal Investigator, CIC biomaGUNE Nuclear Imaging and Radiochemistry Laboratory
First, the researchers conducted experiments in vitro, Monitoring nanorobots through optical microscopes and PET, in which radioactive substances are used to visualize them. Both technologies allow us to observe how nanoparticles mix with fluids and migrate along complex paths.
The nanorobots were then administered intravenously to the mice, and finally introduced into the bladder of these animals through the bladder.
Nano robot built-in Urease, It uses urea in urine as fuel and breaks it down into CO 2 and ammonia to generate propulsion.As a “nanomotor”, they use silica nanoparticles containing the enzyme urease, and Gold nanoparticles Mark to show the offset.
Therefore, the team of scientists verified that the distribution of nanodevices in the mouse bladder is uniform, indicating that their collective movement is coordinated and effective.
Like flocks of birds or fish
Sanchez said: “Navigation robots perform collective movements similar to those in nature, such as orderly movements followed by flocks of flying birds or schools of fish.”
According to the author, this study proves that millions of Nanodevice Move in a coordinated manner in the environment in vitro what in vivoThis fact constitutes a fundamental advancement for nanorobots to become the protagonist of robots. High-precision medical therapy and treatment.
“This is the first time we can directly see the active diffusion of biocompatible nanorobots in biological fluids. in vivo. The possibility of monitoring their activity in the body and the fact that they show a more even distribution may revolutionize the way we understand immunization methods. Use and diagnosis of nanomedicine“, the co-author said Tania Patiño IBEC.
In viscous media, nanorobot swarms may be particularly useful, because in this case, Drug diffusion It is usually restricted by bad blood vessels, such as in the gastrointestinal tract, eyes or joints.
“In fact, because different enzymes can be incorporated into the motor, the nanorobot can be made to measure according to the target in the living body, so that the device can adapt to the fuel available in the environment where it must be moved,” Sánchez concluded.
Researcher Samuel Sánchez pointed out the movement of nanorobots. / IBEC
Ana C. Hoteleo (Ana C. “Monitoring the collective behavior of enzymatic nanomotors in vitro and in vivo through PET-CT”. Scientific robot, 2021