Researchers from Arizona State University and National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a remarkable new way of killing tumors. They’ve developed robot-like nanoscale devices that cling to the walls of tumor vessels, release a clotting agent, and block the tumor from receiving nutrients. These nanorobots, which consist of sheets made of strings of DNA, have DNA aptamers that target a protein produced only by certain tumor types. The sheets are rolled up into cylinders and thrombin, the clotting enzyme, is attached to the interior of the newly formed tubes. When these are injected, they seek out and attach to tumors that are producing the target protein. Unveiling the thrombin promotes blood to begin to coagulate, cutting off the tumor’s life supply.
This was tried in mice with a variety of tumors, including breast cancer, ovarian, melanoma, and lung cancer. It worked in all the tumor types, to different degrees, but quite well. Safety analysis showed that the injected nanorobots seemed to be safe and don’t cause an immune response. The researchers also treated a group of healthy animals with the same injections, and those animals cleared most of the nanorobots out of their bodies. There did not seem to be a penetration by the nanorobots into the brain, a good sign for the safety of the devices.
Additionally, the technology should be applicable for many other cancers, but there’s a lot of work still to be done even before clinical trials can begin. Moreover, the same nanorobots can be used to deliver other therapeutic packages, expanding the possibilities of the new technology.
Here’s a report from Arizona State about the tumor starving nanorobots
Via: Arizona State…