A crew of researchers from the College of California San Diego and the College of Science and Know-how Beijing has developed a option to engineer platelets to propel themselves by way of biofluids as a method of delivering medication to focused components of the physique. Of their paper printed within the journal Science Robotics, the group outlines their methodology and the way properly it labored when examined within the lab. In the identical subject, Jinjun Shi with Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital has printed a Focus piece outlining ongoing analysis into the event of pure drug supply programs and the tactic used on this new effort.
Medical scientists have been working with roboticists over the previous a number of years to find out if it may be doable to launch tiny robots into the human body to hold medication to particular components of the physique, comparable to an organ with a bacterial an infection or a cancerous tumor. Most such efforts have concerned injecting tiny capsules with metallic coatings that may be managed utilizing an exterior magnet. However as Shi notes, such efforts are usually fairly inefficient. Due to that, researchers have began to take a look at the potential of engineering pure cells within the physique to carry out as programmed robots. On this new effort, they’ve devised a option to permit platelets to propel themselves by way of biofluids. Platelets, Shi additionally notes, had been a great candidate as a result of they’re naturally in a position to carry materials round within the physique.
Underneath regular situations, platelets will not be in a position to transfer on their very own; they’re transported by way of the blood to completely different components of the body. To present them a method of propulsion, the researchers asymmetrically coated them with an enzyme known as urease—when it’s uncovered to urea, a response happens that leads to a pressure that can be utilized to propel the platelet. By coating the platelets asymmetrically, the crew ensured that they had been pushed in only one path. The researchers famous that the pace of the platelet motion may very well be managed by the focus of the urease—and that the appliance of urease didn’t hurt the platelet floor or its protein profile.
Songsong Tang et al. Enzyme-powered Janus platelet cell robots for energetic and focused drug supply, Science Robotics (2020). DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aba6137
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Drug-carrying platelets engineered to propel themselves by way of biofluids (2020, June 11)
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