Fish-Shaped Microbots - The New Age Chemotherapy Drug


by Hamna Bano

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These target the guided sites (cancer cells) by magnets inserted inside them. A pH change makes them open their mouth that leads to them excreting their chemotherapy cargo.

Jiawen Li, Li Zhang, and Dong Wu came up with transmuting microrobots that changed shapes in a tread approaching biomedical applications. These navigated the specific sites guided with magnets to perform the treatment. The tumors are found in microenvironments and for this reason, the microbots were made to strike in the settings where there is low pH.


The researchers have this time come up with 4-D printed microbots in different shapes of crabs and fish taking the advantage of a pH conducive hydrogel. The density of the printing is adjustable at various edges of the crabs and fish i.e. their mouths and claws. The pH-receptive shape transforming was encrypted afterward. The magnetic part was introduced by the placement of the microbots in iron oxide nanoparticles.

Several tests were then conducted to examine the aptitude of the microbots. For this, a fish-shaped microbot was tested in a petri dish. It was seen that the mouth of the microbot was settled in a way that it would close when approaches a cancer cell. These fish-shaped microbots dived through the vessel and attacked the region specified. The pH was then lowered and the chemotherapy drug was released on the site.

Previously microscale robots were also prepared by scientists for manipulating tiny objects. Most of them failed terribly because of the inability to perform elaborated tasks like releasing drugs. Some of the famous 4-D printed objects also failed terribly as the tasks performed were quite simpler and couldn’t be controlled remotely.

As far as the microbots are concerned it is still very challenging for this size to pass through the blood vessel. Also, the introduction of effective tracking methods is also very much in need to keep an eye on the microbots.