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Micro Robots Being Developed To Fight Cancer Inside the Body

Micro Robots Being Developed To Fight Cancer Inside the Body

by Stephen BrownMarch 26, 2016

 

In the not-so-distant future, a new kind of robot, one of the tiniest ever made, may have the ability to track down and destroy cancer cells.

Films like Fantastic Voyage (1966) and Innerspace (1987) have long conjured fictional images of microscopic submarines or machinery that can travel inside the human body to cure ailments. Now Shawn Douglas, a research fellow at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, is working on making that a reality. In a recent issue of the journal Science, Douglas described a method for creating tiny machines—roughly the size of a virus—out of strands of protein and DNA.

These devices, dubbed “DNA nanorobots,” by researcher Dr. Sangeeta Bhatiaare, are  short hexagonal tubes made of interwoven DNA that can open along their length like a clamshell. At one end is a DNA “hinge,” and at the other, a pair of twisted DNA fragments that act as “latches” to hold the device shut. Inside the nanorobot, Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia can enclose molecules of almost any substance, essentially turning it into a molecular “delivery truck” that can transport medication to specific cells in the body.

“Our goal is to make nano-bots that can zero in on malfunctioning cells,” says Geoff Von Malthzahn from MIT  “We want to be able to target specific cells and not flood the body with harmful chemo therapy drugs which cause adverse side effects.

 

About The Author
Stephen Brown
Stephen Brown @SteveBTech is a Technology Entrepreneur, Programmer, & Int'l CES Judge. Along with being the founder of DigiLyfe, and Nubby.co, he is the founder of DigitalAfro.com, & StemStars.org an organization that teaches K-12 Students Science & Technology.

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