When we, the DaNa team as operators of the website nanopartikel.info, write about nanobots, i.e. nanometre-sized machines, we point out that these machines belong to science fiction, may even remain a utopia – i.e. never realisable. On the significantly larger micro-scale, however, small machines are conceivable that could help in the therapy of diseases, e.g. cancer. Such an approach is now presented by S. Schürle from ETH Zurich, who is developing magnetically controllable microrobots. She is using naturally occurring bacteria that have a magnetic “core” and with the help of which they can be steered to the target as microrobots.
This approach is not entirely new in terms of the basic idea, but it is significantly improved by the Zurich working group because rotating magnetic fields are used to make the bacteria rotate. The impression is that the microrobots now work like micro-drilling machines and drill their way non-destructively between cells to get from blood vessels through the blood vessel wall to tumour cells. You can read about the results she has achieved and the new approaches S. Schürle is exploring on the ETH Zurich website and in the original publication cited there (Gwisai T, Mirkhani N, Christiansen MG, Nguyen TT, Ling V, Schuerle S: Magnetic torque-driven living microrobots for increased tumour infiltration, Science Robotics 26 October 2022, doi: https://doi.org/10.1126/scirobotics.abo0665)
Spotlight October 2022: The titanium dioxide debate – why the current ECHA and EFSA hazard classification should be questioned
Due to various reports and scientific studies, titanium dioxide (TiO2)was also banned in Europe this year (2022) for use as a food additive with the indication that it could possibly be carcinogenic to humans. Although no case of tumour induction in humans has been reported since the use of this material in micro but also […]Read more
Spotlight June 2021: Endotoxin – the reason for false-positive toxicity testing for advanced materials?
Advanced materials, but also nanomaterials are closely examined to determine whether they trigger biological effects that could be harmful to humans and the environment before they are used in products. This also includes such materials as titanium dioxide, which has been used in a wide variety of products for more than 50 years. A particularly […]Read more
Spotlight June 2022: From small to clever – What does the future hold for the safety and sustainability of advanced materials?
The smallest particles in materials research, nanoparticles, have occupied us intensively for more than 20 years to elucidate and further investigate their safety for humans and the environment. Now, however, the development is going from “small = nano” to “clever = advanced”, as discussed in a contribution by international scientists. Thereby, it is a great […]Read more
Spotlight December 2020: Rethinking Nanosafety – Part II
In December we would like to draw attention to the special issue: Rethinking Nanosafety – Part II in small. In the July Spotlight we already presented Part I. This special issue “Rethinking Nanosafety – Part II” also features research papers by renowned scientists in the field of nanosafety research. The first part of this special […]Read more