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Smart Technologies for Tumor Therapy

Division of Smart Technologies for Tumor Therapy

Prof. Dr. Tian Qiu

Nanorobots navigate through the vitreous humor of an eye for minimally-invasive drug delivery to the retina.

The research group currently works on micro-/nano-robotics and intelligent microsystems aiming at useful biomedical applications. The group develops novel approaches to integrate sensing, computation and actuation at small scales to advance medical procedures. A focus is the wireless addressability and the implementation of active motion, as well the integration with augmented reality setups. Specifically, we focus on the following two research topics.

  1. Micro-/Nano-robotics for minimally-invasive interventions. The state-of-the-art micro-robots can only propel in viscous liquids, i.e. in a lumen filled with water, but get stuck in real tissues. The team succeeded in developing the first soft micro-robot that can swim in biological non-Newtonian fluids by reciprocal motion, and the first nano-robots that can penetrate real tissue – the vitreous of the eye.
  2. Cyber-physical organ phantom for surgical robot development and medical training. My team is developing the first hybrid organ model based on 3D printing and augmented reality (AR). We are interested in collecting a large amount of data that would not be possible to collect in a real operating room. It thereby creates new possibilities in AR-based surgical training, and the development and testing of new AI algorithm, medical instrument and surgical robots.
The recent technology advancements of micro-/nano-system engineering, robotics and AI open up new possibilities for the next-generation surgical robots – wireless micro-/nano-robots, which can be controlled navigate in the human body and may lead to various medical applications including drug delivery, in vivo sensing and stimulation. The group has an exciting new project "VIBEBOT" funded by the ERC Starting grant. The goal is to build the first micro-sized robot that can actively propel and wirelessly sense in deep biological tissues, which can open up enormous potential for future minimally-invasive medicine, such as targeted drug delivery into solid tumors, bringing the small-scale robots one step closer to real medical applications.


Prof. Dr. Tian Qiu
Smart Technologies for Tumor Therapy (E300)

Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Blasewitzer Str. 80
01307 Dresden

Selected Publications

  • Ma, Z., Melde, K., Athanassiadis, A. G., Schau, M., Richter, H., Qiu, T., & Fischer, P. (2020). Spatial ultrasound modulation by digitally controlling microbubble arrays. Nature communications, 11(1), 4537
  • Wu, Z., Troll, J., Jeong, H. H., Wei, Q., Stang, M., Ziemssen, F., Wang, Z., Dong, M., Schnichels, S., Qiu, T., & Fischer, P. (2018). A swarm of slippery micropropellers penetrates the vitreous body of the eye. Science advances, 4(11), eaat4388.
  • Li, D., Jeong, M., Oren, E., Yu, T., & Qiu, T. (2019). A helical microrobot with an optimized propeller-shape for propulsion in viscoelastic biological media. Robotics, 8(4), 87.
  • Qiu, T., Lee, T. C., Mark, A. G., Morozov, K. I., Münster, R., Mierka, O., Turek, S., Leshansky, A., & Fischer, P. (2014). Swimming by reciprocal motion at low Reynolds number. Nature communications, 5(1), 5119.
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