Cookie Settings

We use cookies to optimize our website. These include cookies that are necessary for the operation of the site, as well as those that are only used for anonymous statistic. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Further information can be found in our data privacy protection .


These cookies are necessary to run the core functionalities of this website and cannot be disabled.

Name Webedition CMS
Purpose This cookie is required by the CMS (Content Management System) Webedition for the system to function correctly. Typically, this cookie is deleted when the browser is closed.
Name econda
Purpose Session cookie emos_jcsid for the web analysis software econda. This runs in the “anonymized measurement” mode. There is no personal reference. As soon as the user leaves the site, tracking is ended and all data in the browser are automatically deleted.

These cookies help us understand how visitors interact with our website by collecting and analyzing information anonymously. Depending on the tool, one or more cookies are set by the provider.

Name econda
Purpose Statistics
External media

Content from external media platforms is blocked by default. If cookies from external media are accepted, access to this content no longer requires manual consent.

Name YouTube
Purpose Show YouTube content
Name Twitter
Purpose activate Twitter Feeds
Nanorobots for Targeted Delivery in Deep Biological Tissues

Nanorobots for Targeted Delivery in Deep Biological Tissues

Participating Researchers
Current members: Dr. Meng Zhang, Dr. Haoying Wang

In our previous research, we developed a variety of micro-/nano-sized propulsion units. The size range expands three orders-of-magnitude and the propulsion mechanisms are designed to match the rheology of biological media. For example, to propel in viscoelastic media, the fluidic drag is highly dependent on the size of the device [ref 1]. When the characteristic size of the structure or device is comparable or smaller than the pore size of the biopolymer network, the device only exhibits viscous drag, and can "slip" unhindered through the porous network.

We developed the world's smallest nanorobot that can penetrate real biological tissues [ref 2]. The nanopropellers mimic the corkscrew propulsion of bacteria and have a spherical head and a helical tail (Fig. 1) with a diameter of ~500 nm, which perfectly matches the nano-sized pores of the targeted biological tissue — the vitreous humor of the eye. The propellers exhibit a finite magnetic moment in the diametric direction and when actuated under a rotating magnetic field, the rotation is coupled to translation due to its helical shape. Our experimental results show that a swarm of nanopropellers can be controlled to navigate over centimeter distance in the eye and reach the targeted region (optic disc) of ~6 mm in diameter on the retina (Fig. 1). One key research question is whether the active nanoparticles can be wirelessly guided to penetrate solid tumor tissues and more efficiently deliver cancer drugs.

Figure 1. Magnetic-driven helical nanorobots propel through the vitreous of the porcine eye. (a) Schematic of nanorobots penetrating the vitreous, which consists of a nanosized network of biopolymers (illustrated as blue filaments). (b) Electron microscopic image of many helical nanorobots after fabrication. (c) The nanorobots can be localized with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). (d) OCT shows most nanorobots reach the target – the optic disc.

News reports related to the topic (selected)

to top
powered by webEdition CMS