Cell-like nanorobots clear bacteria and toxins from blood

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed tiny ultrasound-powered robots that can swim through blood, removing harmful bacteria along with the toxins they produce. These proof-of-concept nanorobots could one day offer a safe and efficient way to detoxify and decontaminate biological fluids.

Researchers built the nanorobots by coating gold nanowires with a hybrid of platelet and red blood cell membranes. This hybrid cell membrane coating allows the nanorobots to perform the tasks of two different cells at once—platelets, which bind pathogens like MRSA bacteria (an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus), and red blood cells, which absorb and neutralize the toxins produced by these bacteria. The gold body of the nanorobots responds to ultrasound, which gives them the ability to swim around rapidly without chemical fuel. This mobility helps the nanorobots efficiently mix with their targets (bacteria and toxins) in blood and speed up detoxification.
The work, published in Science Robotics (“Hybrid biomembrane-functionalized nanorobots for concurrent removal of pathogenic bacteria and toxins”), combines technologies pioneered by Joseph Wang and Liangfang Zhang, professors in the Department of NanoEngineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Wang’s team developed the ultrasound-powered nanorobots, and Zhang’s team invented the technology to coat nanoparticles in natural cell membranes.
Read more at nanowerk.com

Image Credit:  YouTube/UCSD

News This Week

An AI strategy is no longer optional

At the New York Times DealBook conference, Intel emphasized it was urgent that every company put an artificial intelligence (AI) strategy in place. The reason, in a word, is data. The data deluge continues [...]

Artificial synapses made from nanowires

Scientists from Jülich together with colleagues from Aachen and Turin have produced a memristive element made from nanowires that functions in much the same way as a biological nerve cell. The component is able [...]

Updated – NanoApps Medical Inc. Near-Term Projects

NanoApps Medical is investigating the possibility that superparamagnetic nanoparticles (SPIONs) (Figure 1) and other classes of nanoparticles (e.g., gold coated nanoshells) (Figure 2) might have the capacity to target cancerous tumors, metastasizing cancer cells, [...]

2018-06-04T11:54:24+00:00

Leave A Comment