Researchers have developed a method using microscopic robots to kill cancerous tumors and stifle future growth.
The study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology uses nanotechnology to deliver thrombin, an enzyme that helps blood to clot.
The thrombin was placed using DNA origami, a process where DNA is folded into specific shapes. In this case, the DNA-based nanorobot was formed into a hollow tube carrying thrombin, researchers said. When the nanorobot would come in contact with the tumor, the tube automatically would open and deliver the thrombin.
In the study involving mice, the nanorobots were able to deliver the thrombin and kill the tumors, as well as inhibit tumor growth.
"Our data show that DNA nanorobots represent a promising strategy for precise drug delivery in cancer therapy," read an excerpt from the study.
Nanotechnology is viewed as a promising option for treating cancer. It involves work in science, engineering or tech of objects the size of nanometers. For perspective, a human hair is between 80,000 and 100,000 nanometers wide, according to the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
A study released last year from Durham University in the U.K. showed nanomachines powered by light used to drill holes into cancerous cells. The machines could be used for cancer therapy or to kill off cancer cells entirely.
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