Tania Patiño Padial, Diana Vilela García, Nerea Murillo Cremaes and Ana Cándida Lópes Hortelao (Institute for BioEngineering of Catalonia – IBEC).
Recent advances in nanorobotics have yielded numerous opportunities in this respect with the creation of tiny devices propelled by substances like glucose or urea, although several barriers remain in the way of their clinical implementation.
One such barrier is the real-time monitoring of nanorobots inside the body. The goal of this project is accordingly to develop biocompatible enzyme-propelled robots, and track them effectively in in vitro and in vivo trials. To this end, the team will use advanced molecular imaging techniques like super resolution microscopes, positron emission tomography, optical coherence tomography and magnetic resonance, together with active nanorobots for live monitoring.
The authors also plan to exploit the chemical reaction produced by the propulsion of these nanoparticles, using it as a contrast agent to improve molecular imaging. The ultimate aim is to lower the amount of anti-cancer drugs required and thereby their side effects in patients.