Nanorobots Take the Direct Route to Tumors


Smart nanorobots zoom through the bloodstream, bypassing multiple biologic barriers, en route to deliver drugs to cancerous tumors. These drug-carrying vehicles could be an alternative to conventional techniques for administering chemotherapy.

Developed by scientists at Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal, and McGill Univ., the nanorobots consist of drug-loaded liposomes bonded to self-propelled bacteria. The drug-delivery bots can be guided by an external magnet into tumors, where they seek out low-oxygen regions to unload their cargo.

“Chemotherapy, which is so toxic for the entire human body, could make use of these natural nanorobots to move drugs directly to the targeted area, eliminating the harmful side effects while also boosting therapeutic effectiveness,” says Sylvain Martel, a professor of computer engineering and the Director of the NanoRobotics Laboratory at Polytechnique Montréal.


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