FocusMEDICAL ROBOTS

Immune evasion by designer microrobots

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Science Robotics  17 Jun 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 43, eabc7620
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.abc7620

Figures

  • Fig. 1 Optimization of microswimmer shape for targeted drug delivery.

    Illustration of a future use case for the medical microrobots emphasizing an important design tradeoff. Double-helical magnetic microswimmers with filled internal cores are 3D-printed as concentrated drug-carrying bodies. Three morphological derivatives of the same design are tested with the same body length, outer diameter, and body volume, only varying the number of helical turns along the major axis (2-turn, 5-turn, and 10-turn). Two-turn microswimmers exhibit the best locomotion performance, yet they were preferentially targeted by the macrophages. Increasing turn number deteriorates swimming performance while reducing immunogenicity, presenting a compromise between speed and physical interactions with the immune system.

    CREDIT: A KITTERMAN/SCIENCE ROBOTICS

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