Harbin Institute of Technology News (Zhang Yifang/edit) —The research team of Professor He Qiang and Professor Wu Zhiguang from the Micro-Nano Technology Research Center of our school realized the active targeted treatment of glioma by swimming micro-nano robots for the first time, The research results were published online in the journal Science Robotics with the title "Dual-responsive biohybrid neutrobots for active target delivery". Professor He Qiang and Professor Wu Zhiguang are the co-corresponding authors of the paper, and 2016 doctoral student Zhang Hongyue is the first author of the paper.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is one of the most difficult cancers to treat effectively. In the world, the number of cases and deaths in China is the highest. The important reason is the lack of precise therapy, and due to the existence of blood-brain barrier and blood-tumor barrier, the treatment approaches to intracranial tumor sites are limited. How to make drugs break through the blood-brain barrier, realize the active targeted delivery of drugs, and improve the curative effect of drugs on glioma has become a bottleneck problem in glioma medical field for a long time.
To solve this problem, the research team developed a swimming micro-nano robot based on immune cells in vivo, which was prepared by neutrophils phagocytosis of magnetic drug-loaded hydrogel wrapped in Escherichia coli membrane. The swimming micro-nano robot can effectively and stably carry anticancer drugs，such as paclitaxel. Relying on the self-developed control system, the swimming micro-nano robot is guided to the brain region, and the robot reaching the glioma region can autonomously sense the pathogen signal and swim to the patient site after crossing the blood-brain barrier, thus accurately releasing the drug to the patient, which is significantly improving the targeting efficiency of the drug. These research results establish that the swimming micro-nano robot based on immune cells is a potential precise therapy for glioma and can be used for systematic treatment of glioma.
After returning to China in early 2010, Professor He Qiang established the first research team of swimming micro-nano robots dedicated to biomedical applications in China in the Micro-nano Center of our school. Professor Wu Zhiguang received his Ph.D. from our school in 2015, and was selected as "35 Scientific and Technological Innovation Talents under 35 Years Old" (MIT TR35) in MIT Science and Technology Review in 2019. In 2019, he was hired as a top-notch young professor in our school. This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Excellent Youth Fund of Natural Science in Heilongjiang Province.
Science Robotics published a focus article at the same time to introduce the research results:https://robotics.sciencemag.org/content/6/52/eabh0286