Tiny robots to help nanoparticles deliver drugs through bloodstream

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Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have designed a tiny robot that could help nanoparticles efficiently deliver drugs to disease sites.

These magnetic microrobots will propel through the bloodstream and drag the nanoparticle to its target site, according to a news release by MIT.

The robots used in the study were 35 hundredths of a millimeter long. They were printed via a 3D printer and then coated with nickel, making them magnetic. This allows them to be controlled via an external magnetic field.

The researchers applied a magnetic field onto the tiny robot which allowed it to rotate as it traveled through the bloodstream, creating a convection current."

The researchers mainly used the nanoparticles to target disease sites around blood vessels that are "leaky" such as tumors.

According to the MIT news release, the magnetic robots allowed the nanoparticles to penetrate twice as far into the tissue compared to particles that were delivered without the help of the robot.

Sangeeta Bhatia, senior author of the study, said this approach could be used to reduce swelling at the site of a stent as they are stationary and would be easy to target using an external magnetic field.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Tiny robot and nanoparticles
2. The magnetic robot going through the bloodstream
3. How the robot was made
4. The robot taking the nanoparticle to target a disease site

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have designed a tiny robot that could help nanoparticles efficiently deliver drugs to disease sites."

"According to a news release by MIT, these magnetic microrobots will propel through the bloodstream and drag the nanoparticle to its target site."

"The robots used in the study were 35 hundreths of a millimeter long."

"They were printed via a 3D printer and then coated with nickel, making them magnetic. This allows them to be controlled via an external magnetic field."

"The researchers applied a magnetic field onto the tiny robot which allowed it to rotate as it traveled through the bloodstream, creating a convection current."

"The researchers mainly used the nanoparticles to target disease sites around blood vessels that are 'leaky' such as tumors."

SOURCES: MIT News, Phys.org, Science Magazine
http://news.mit.edu/2019/nanoparticles-magnetic-robots-0426
https://phys.org/news/2019-04-tiny-robots-powered-magnetic-fields.html
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/4/eaav4803.full