Fish-shaped ‘microrobots’ could be used to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly into tumours, sparing cancer patients from some of the worst side effects of the treatment.
The microscopic robots, which are one-hundredth of a millimetre in size, have been made my Chinese scientists using a special 3D printing technique, from a gel that changes shape when exposed to different pH levels.
They then bathed the ‘fish’ in an iron oxide solution, which makes them magnetic, before loading its ‘mouth’ with chemo medication.
It could be injected into a blood vessel then guided my magnets to the location of a tumour.
Cancer cells cause the pH levels in the fluids surrounding them to become more acidic and, reacting to this, the robot changes shape and opens it’s ‘mouth’ discharging chemotherapy drugs contained inside.