Illustration (top) and scanning electron microscopy image (bottom) of biohybrid bacterial microswimmers, which were fabricated by combining genetically engineered E. coli MG1655 and nanoerythrosomes made from red blood cells. A biotin-streptavidin interaction was used to attach nanoerythrosomes to the bacterial membrane.
CREDIT: Image courtesy of the authors
Tiny biohybrid robots on the micrometer scale can swim through the body and deliver drugs to tumors or provide other cargo-carrying functions. The natural environmental sensing tendencies of bacteria mean they can navigate toward certain chemicals or be remotely controlled using magnetic or sound signals.
To be successful, these tiny biological robots must consist of materials that can pass clearance through the body’s immune response. They also have to be able to swim quickly through viscous environments and penetrate tissue cells to deliver cargo.
In a paper published this week in APL Bioengineering, from AIP Publishing, researchers fabricated biohybrid bacterial microswimmers by combining a genetically engineered E. coli MG1655 substrain and nanoerythrosomes, small structures made from red blood cells.
Nanoerythrosomes are nanovesicles derived from red blood cells by emptying the cells, keeping the membranes and filtering them down to nanoscale size. These tiny red blood cell carriers attach to the bacterial membrane using the powerful noncovalent biological bond between biotin and streptavidin. This process preserves two important red blood cell membrane proteins: TER119 needed to attach the nanoerythrosomes, and CD47 to prevent macrophage uptake.
The E. coli MG 1655 serves as a bioactuator performing the mechanical work of propelling through the body as a molecular engine using flagellar rotation. The swimming capabilities of the bacteria were assessed using a custom-built 2D object-tracking algorithm and 20 videos taken as raw data to document their performance.
Biohybrid microswimmers with bacteria carrying red blood cell nanoerythrosomes performed at speeds 40% faster than other E. coli-powered microparticles-based biohybrid microswimmers, and the work demonstrated a reduced immune response due to the nanoscale size of the nanoerythrosomes and adjustments to the density of coverage of nanoerythrosomes on the bacterial membrane.
These biohybrid swimmers could deliver drugs faster, due to their swimming speed, and encounter less immune response, due to their composition. The researchers plan to continue their work to further tune the immune clearance of the microrobots and investigate how they might penetrate cells and release their cargo in the tumor microenvironment.
“This work is an important stepping stone in our overarching goal of developing and deploying biohybrid microrobots for therapeutic cargo delivery,” author Metin Sitti said. “If you decrease the size of red blood cells to nanoscale and functionalize the body of the bacteria, you could obtain additional superior properties that will be crucial in the translation of the medical microrobotics to clinics.”
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Targeting Gastrointestinal Disease with Nanorobots
Nano/microrobots (NMRs) are miniature devices that can convert ... tract disease treatment could revolutionize the field of medicine with a more personalized and targeted approach to therapeutics.
- Bizarre Things: Computers & Math
Jan. 4, 2022 — Black holes really are giant fuzzballs, a new study says. The study attempts to put to rest the debate over Stephen Hawking's famous information paradox, the problem created by ...
- NGS Sample Preparation Market To Reach USD 5.42 Billion By 2028 With CAGR of 19% | Reports And Data
Factors such as increasing incidence of chronic diseases, genetic disorders, and cancer along with growing adoption of NGS sample preparation in molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine is ...
- Micro-robots that can deliver drugs to treat brain cancer
Their plan is to combine Candel’s oncolytic viral drug and Bionaut’s remote controlled microrobots in order to effectively target hard-to-reach brain tumors. Current estimates show that close to ...
- 3 Medtech Trends You Should Pay Attention to in 2015 (and Beyond)
These are exciting times to be working in the medical technology industry. Scientists are now beginning to create custom human body parts on demand, breathing new life into the concept of personalized ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Bone growth inspired “microrobots” that can create their own bone
Inspired by the growth of bones in the skeleton, researchers at the universities of Linköping in Sweden and Okayama in Japan have developed a combination of materials that can morph into various ...
- Can Soft Robots Become Truly Sustainable?
Materials for soft and bio-inspired robotics can be completely sustainable, but the question of sufficiency requires a radical change to the worldwide economy.
- Three-dimensional geometry and topology effects in viscous streaming
Recent studies on viscous streaming flows in two dimensions have elucidated the impact of body curvature variations on resulting flow topology and dynamics, with opportunities for microfluidic ...
- Bioinspired & Biomimetic Systems
The approach of engineering autonomy is therefore complemented by reverse-engineering of biological systems to uncover new principles for the design and control of robots ... to synthesise novel soft ...
- Living Machines: These Robots Are Made From Living Tissue
And since, like animals, they need nutrients to power their muscles, not batteries, biohybrid robots tend to be lighter too. Tissue-engineered biobots on titanium molds. Karaghen Hudson and Sung ...