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 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
Spotlight July 2021: The Path to Digital Material Research – It is never too late to start
Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data…. Have you read these words lately? No, these are not just buzzwords. The digitalisation of science is an evolving topic that is gaining importance with each passing day. That is why this month we would like to introduce you to the article “Digital Transformation in Materials Science: A Paradigm […]Read more
Spotlight September 2020: Groundwater remediation with Carbo-Iron® – Risk or Benefit?
In September we would like to present a paper of the BMBF project Fe-Nanosit. The project dealt with the use of iron-containing nanomaterials in groundwater and wastewater remediation. A comprehensive assessment and weighing of benefits and possible environmental risks resulting from the application is now presented by the project partners in this paper. Groundwater is indispensable for the […]Read more
Spotlight August 2022: Three-stage model for the formation of micro- and nanoplastic particles.
Plastic pollution is a global problem that will continue to affect humanity for more than 100 years. There is the visible pollution, e.g. plastic debris in the environment, which leads to death for many animals (because they mistakenly think the plastic is food and eat it or because they get caught in the plastic waste). […]Read more