Scientists from Columbia University developed 'bio bots' that can be implanted under the skin and can deliver chemo drugs to localized cancer tumors.
This drug messenger bot, 0.6 inches long is made from hydrogel layers that allows it to be flexible. It is ideal for something that can intrusively maneuver inside the human body.
The 3D-printed bot has no wirings or batteries, it relies on the Geneva drive mechanism that is used in watches to make seconds tick. The Geneva drive will be activated by an external magnet. The drive will follow with a rotation of one of its six chambers, line up with a hole and release a dose of the drug.
The scientists tested the bot for 10 days to mice with bone cancer with a drug doxorubicin. They compared the results of the localized treatment to those mice receiving standard treatment. It turned out that the the mice that received the chemo drugs from the bot had less tumour growth and lesser damage to the surrounding tissues.
Non-targeted chemo treatments are prone to damaging other organs. That turned out to be true to the other group of mice receiving the regular treatment.
The scientists have found their creation useful in preventing further damage that accompanies chemo or other treatments. For instance, the constant delivery of hormones to treat osteoporosis may result to bone loss but the one-time release of targeted treatment can prevent that from happening.
Also, the precision of the bot in administering chemo drugs will prevent the surrounding healthy tissues from being damaged.
The study is published in Science Robotics
See: Bio Chip Traps Cancer Cells Effortlessly!