Scientific developments can come in many different forms, shapes, and sizes. Some breakthroughs are more impactful than others, although any form of scientific research needs to be applauded in recognized. MIT Engineers have come up with a way to deliver drugs to tumors and disease sites through tiny robots in the bloodstream. Nanoparticles are very fascinating technology.
Tiny Robots in the Bloodstream
It is rather interesting to see how scientists are trying to fine-tune drug delivery systems inside the human body. To this date, there are still a lot of different aspects which can be improved upon, albeit that is often easier said than done. MIT Engineers have now come up with a new way of dealing drugs to tumors and other disease sites directly. It improves upon the existing solution and yields a much higher chance of success in the process.
To put this in perspective, the engineers have come up with a way to deploy tiny robots in the bloodstream. These small robots swim through a body’s bloodstream and drag nanoparticles along with them. As such, this new method of delivering drugs allows the particles to accumulate in the right place. To date, it is difficult for the payload to get to its destination due to the lining of the blood vessel.
While some people might not be comfortable with the idea of having tiny robots crawl through their bloodstream, the initial tests have been rather successful. This research has been ongoing for several years now, yet it is the first time any real success is achieved. Making nanoparticle drug delivery more efficient has been an active field of study where achieving any breakthrough has proven to be extremely difficult.
Under normal circumstances, research point nanoparticles at disease sites surrounded by “leaky’ blood vessels. In doing so, the particles have an easier time getting into the tissue, yet a fair bit of the drug payload is lost in the process. Any improvement to be achieved in that regard will be beneficial to both researchers and patients. Since this is not an invasive procedure either, there is a lot of potential waiting to be unlocked in the future.
It is also interesting to note how the tiny robots in question are 3D printed. Once printed, the robots are coated with nickel to make them magnetic. Because of this magnetic trait, the robots can help push the particles out of the bloodstream and into the targeted area. All robots can be controlled by applying an external magnetic field.
All things considered, this is another pretty big breakthrough in the world of science. How this technology will be applied in the future, has yet to be determined at this time. There are many options being looked into, although it may take many more years until these tiny robots are effectively used to deliver drugs to tumors and other disease sites.
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