New Nanobots Kill Cancerous Tumors by Cutting off Their Blood Supply
Tiny Bots, Big Potential
Researchers have created a fully autonomous DNA nanobot system that kills cancerous tumors by cutting off their blood supply. If these nanobots are effective in human trials, they could prove to be a powerful new weapon in the fight against cancer.
In a major breakthrough for the field of nanomedicine, researchers have developed tiny autonomous robots that can shrink cancer tumors by cutting off their blood supply.
Using a technique known as DNA origami, scientists from Arizona State University (ASU) and China’s National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) programmed tiny robots to carry payloads of a blood-clotting enzyme called thrombin to tumor-associated blood vessels in mice. Once the nanobots reached the surface of those blood vessels, they sent the thrombin to the heart of the tumor.
According to the team’s study, which was published in Nature Biotechnology, the nanobots blocked the tumor’s blood supply and caused damage to its tissue within 24 hours of treatment. Two days post-treatment, the researchers saw evidence of advanced thrombosis, and after three days, they noted thrombi in all tumor vessels.
A Targeted Approach
Unlike chemotherapy, which takes something of a scorched-earth approach to fighting cancer, these nanobots are far more targeted in their attack thanks to something called a DNA aptamer
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