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  Nanorobots cut off cancer cells | heise online | Bit Updates
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Nanorobots cut off cancer cells | heise online

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 | bitcoin updates

          
    
    
    Construction of a nanobot: A blood coagulant is placed on a DNA strip, which is later released in a targeted manner to the blood supply to the cancerous tissue.
                
                
                (Photo: Arizona State University)
                
            
             Arizona State University nanorobots independently search the body for cancerous tumors and systematically block the blood supply. In mice, nanobots have successfully fought tumors and even metastases.
            

        

        Researchers at Arizona State University (ASU) are working on nanorobots that detect and block blood cells in the body. Nanobots have already proven their strengths in mammals by eradicating cancerous tumors and metastases in mice.
The US scientists worked with researchers from the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) in China. "We have developed the first autonomous DNA-based robotic system for targeted cancer therapy," said Hao Yan, a researcher at ASU. "This technique can be used against very different types of cancer, because the blood vessels that feed the cancer cells, in all cases have the same structure." In the researchers' tests, the test animals initially carried tumors with human breast, skin, ovarian or lung cancer tissue, which then targeted the nanobots. Researchers have now published the findings of the study in the US magazine [i] Nature Biotechnology [/i].

Construction in origami techniqueProf. Yan and his team are working on DNA origami, a technique in which DNA building blocks themselves fold into complex spatial structures. For the construction of their nanorobots, they first generate flat DNA strips of 90 by 60 nanometers, on the surface of which the blood clotting agent thrombin is attached. Subsequently, these complex building blocks can be rolled up like tubes and thus encapsulate the thrombin. Finally, the structure is equipped with a kind of recognition adapter for a cancer-specific protein.

  

          
          With a specific DNA adapter for a cancer-specific protein, the nanobot senses the cancer cells.
        
          (Photo: Arizona State University)

        
    If such a nanobot now encounters a tumor blood vessel in the bloodstream, the corresponding adapters attach themselves, and the nanotube can unfold again and the stored thrombin ensures blood coagulation, including the formation of a blood clot; The cancer tumor stunted and died.
Tumor besieged after a few hoursThe researchers report that the nanobots act quickly and overwhelm cancer cells in large numbers just hours after injection. After three days, the desired blood clots were registered on the cancer cells. Particularly in the case of a skin cancer tumor, in addition to the primary tumor, even associated metastases were directly attacked. In contrast, harmful side effects were not observed in the experiments; healthy mice also had no effects.
"We see promising results in the application of DNA nanotechnology in the fight against cancer," explains Prof. Yan. For the future, he sees the opportunity to combine nanorobots with various active ingredients in order to fight cancer tumors and metastases in humans.

(Alpha)

      

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