Scientists have developed a legion of nanorobots that can precisely deliver medication such as chemotherapy to cancerous cells.
The breakthrough technology helps doctors to administer drugs without damaging surrounding organs and tissues.
Researchers used nanorobotic agents, which were composed of more than 100 million bacteria, to conduct the experiments on mice.
Upon entering the tumour, the agents are able to detect the oxygen-depleted tumour areas, known as hypoxic zones, which are resistant to most therapies, including radiotherapy.
For direction, the bacteria rely on two systems. First, a chain of magnetic nanoparticles allows the bacteria to move in the direction of a magnetic field.
Meanwhile, a sensor measures oxygen concentration, enabling them to reach the tumour’s active regions.
The research team from Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University now hopes to use the bacteria as models to replicate artificial nanorobots of the future.
Professor Sylvain Martel, director of the Polytechnique Montréal Nanorobotics Laboratory, said: “This innovative use of nanotransporters will have an impact not only on creating more advanced engineering concepts and original intervention methods, but it also throws the door wide open to the synthesis of new vehicles for therapeutic, imaging and diagnostic agents.
“Chemotherapy, which is so toxic for the entire human body, could make use of these natural nanorobots to move drugs directly to the targeted area, eliminating the harmful side effects while also boosting its therapeutic effectiveness.”
These Are The Drones And Robots That Will Change Our Lives:
Robots that can deliver other robots:
Amazon Prime Air is a drone delivery service which the company is currently testing. The company aims to deliver products within just 30 minutes of the customer pressing the 'order' button. (AP Photo/Amazon)
Robots that could soon be saving lives:
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The robot 'CHIMP' developed by Team Tartan Rescue from the US prepares to complete a task during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. It is hoped that these robots will eventually replace emergency services workers during events like the Fukushima nuclear disaster. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Robots that can carry your stuff:
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A robotic cheetah runs during a demonstration at the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. DARPA's four-legged robots have been designed to carry supplies and ammunition for the US Army. Capable of travelling over tough terrain the hope is that these will eventually replace the need for trucks or small vehicles. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Robots that can kill:
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A sentry robot freezes a hypothetical intruder by pointing its machine gun during its test in Cheonan. South Korea unveiled a high-tech, machine gun-toting sentry robot that could support its troops in detecting and killing intruders along the heavily fortified border with North Korea. The weapons-grade robot can detect, raise the alarm and provide suppressive fire. (KIM DONG-JOO/AFP/Getty Images)
Robots that can race each other:
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Japan's motorcycle maker Yamaha Motor introduces the prototype model of a motorcycle riding robot 'Motobot' during a press preview at the Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo on 28, 2015. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
Robots that are toys:
The Sphero BB-8 remote controlled droid is on display at CES Unveiled, a media preview event for CES International, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Las Vegas. The robot is controlled by an app for a mobile device. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Robots that will do your weekly shop:
A new delivery drone company plans to revolutionise the way we do our shopping by replacing your weekly trip to Sainsbury's with a tiny delivery robot which will bring your fruit and veg straight to your door. (Starship Technologies)