Monday, February 10, 2014

Nanomotors - Cancer Killers

The vision of the Eric Drexler in his famous book “Engines of creation” discusses the possible ways of developing the nanorobots or nanobots that enter the cells and manipulate the process inside and treat dreadful diseases like cancer. From the last two decades researchers around the world are trying in different ways to make that vision into a reality. Looking for the possible invention with the novel materials under synthesis, the researchers from at PennState university, USA has showed a considerable progress. They synthesized nanobots made of Gold-ruthenium bimetal nanorods. The functionality of the nanorods is their spinning behaviour in the presence of ultrasonic fields. This makes the rods behave as the small tiny nanomotors.

"This research is a vivid demonstration that it may be possible to use synthetic nanomotors to study cell biology in new ways. We might be able to use nanomotors to treat cancer and other diseases by mechanically manipulating cells from the inside. Nanomotors could perform intracellular surgery and deliver drugs non-invasively to living tissues." 

- Evan Pugh, Professor of Material Chemistry and Physics, PennState.

The researchers studied the nanomotors working in HeLa cells. They gave the nanomotors into the medium given to the HeLa cells. The cells uptake the nanomotors. The nanomotors work very little when a lower ultrasonic frequency waves were given the actual working of these nanomotors was observed at higher ultrasonic frequencies. A series of videos demonstrating the uptake of the nanomotors and the cells in action in the link given below.

The research in combating cancer exploring different unique ways where the conventional therapies are not enough. It is the vision of any science-fiction lover to have nanorobots killing cancer cells one by one. I think we are at the age where the technology is highly advancing where with the help of nanotechnology we can actual make the science-fiction things possible and real. We hope the answer for the cancer treatment is not so far.