Newly Designed DNA Nanorobots Destroy Cancer Tumors

Newly Designed DNA Nanorobots Destroy Cancer Tumors

Once the tumour was growing, the nanorobots were deployed to come to the rescue.

Newly designed DNA nanorobots destroy cancer tumors, according to the study discovered by the Nature Biotechnology journal. This causes a type of mini-infarction, resulting in tumor destruction.

To achieve this, Prof. The aim here is to deliver the protein to the blood vessels that supply the tumor with its nutrients and cut them off, effectively starving the cancerous cells. Tumor shrinkage or disappearance treatment occurs within 24 hours and does not appear to affect healthy tissues.

Each nanorobot is made from a flat, rectangular DNA origami sheet, 90 nanometers by 60 nanometers in size.

This payload is guided to cancer cells thanks to the sections of DNA that bind with tumours, which then tell the DNA tube to open and release the thrombin.

However, the nanorobots are not exactly like how they sound.

A study released a year ago from Durham University in the United Kingdom showed nanomachines powered by light used to drill holes into cancerous cells. These blood clots led to tumor-cell necrosis, resulting in smaller tumors and a better chance for survival compared to control mice. They then carried out a series of in vitro experiments to show that the thrombin-loaded nanorobots (nanorobot-Th) caused coagulation.

The researchers next evaluated the nanorobots in mouse models in vivo. What's even more interesting, is that most of the nanorobots were cleared and discarded from the body within 24 hours after attacking the tumors.

Life expectancy in treated mice was 45 days, compared to 20.5 days in non-treated mice.

They also tried their system in a test of a primary mouse lung-cancer model, which mimics the human clinical course of lung-cancer patients.

"It is an extremely exciting first step, but more work needs to be done", he said. Imaging and tumor-staining studies showed that after treatment the tumor regions were "riddled with intratumoral spaces", which indicated that tumor growth was retarded. Staining studies also highlighted thickening of alveolar wall and fibrosis, "suggesting a consequential remodeling of the tumor tissues into normal lung tissues", the authors claim.

"The nanorobot proved to be safe and immunologically inert for use in normal mice and, also in Bama miniature pigs, showing no detectable changes in normal blood coagulation or cell morphology", says Yuliang Zhao, also a professor at NCNST and lead scientist of the worldwide collaborative team.

The nanobots could also be used in non-cancer treatment to target drugs to diseased organs or infections.

They were found to be safe in tests on mice and pigs, with no evidence of spreading to the brain where they could cause a stroke.

Regardless, this is a huge breakthrough in cancer research.

'This is the first time that DNA molecules have been manipulated to deliver drugs in this way - a fascinating advance that, if refined and proven effective in humans, could have far-reaching implications for treating cancer and other diseases'.

"I think we are much closer to real, practical medical applications of the technology", Hao Yan states.

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