(279c) Award Submission: Bio-Inspired Nanomachines for Biomedical Applications | AIChE

(279c) Award Submission: Bio-Inspired Nanomachines for Biomedical Applications


Wang, J., University of California, San Diego
Robotics deals with automated machines that can locomote themselves and operate tasks in various environments over many orders of magnitudes in scale. One of the most inspiring goals is the construction of smart and powerful nanorobotic systems for operation in the human body. However, viscous forces dominate inertial forces at such small scales, leading to the â??low-Reynolds number challengeâ? for nanoscale propulsion. This presentation will discuss newly created multi-functional nanorobots which can overcome this challenge by utilizing local chemical reactions or external field actuation to achieve efficient movement in biological matrices. With selectively engineered materials, the nanorobots possess numerous attractive properties, including biocompatibility, biodegradability, high loading capacity, and the ability to autonomously release of payloads â??on-the-flyâ??. The increased capabilities and sophistication of these tiny robots hold considerable promise for a variety of biomedical applications ranging from drug delivery to minimally invasive surgery. Particularly, using zinc-based micromotors as model robots, we reported the first in vivo study of artificial micromotors in a living organism. Such in vivo evaluation examines the distribution, retention, cargo delivery, and acute toxicity profile of synthetic motors in mouse stomachs via oral administration. We demonstrate that the acid-driven propulsion in the stomach effectively enhances the binding and retention of the motors as well as of cargo payloads on the stomach wall. Our work is anticipated to significantly advance the emerging field of biomedical nanorobots and to open the door to in vivo evaluation and clinical applications of these biomedical nanorobots.