Intelligent micro-/nanorobots as drug and cell carrier devices for biomedical therapeutic advancement: Promising development opportunities and translational challenges

Vibhuti Agrahari, Vivek Agrahari, Ming Li Chou, Chew Ho Chew, James Noll, Thierry Burnouf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Nanotechnology and microfabrication approaches are playing instrumental roles in the development of innovative technologies to fight human diseases. Because of promising in vitro and preclinical outcomes, micro-/nanorobots (MNRs), are increasingly being considered for personalized and precision therapeutic diagnoses, sensing, drug delivery, and surgery. Today, designing MNR-based devices to improve the safety and efficacy of drugs for targeted cells and tissues represents a novel and promising area of therapeutic development. Progress has primarily been due to many scientific breakthroughs made in design, fabrication, and operational technologies, which greatly enhanced the capabilities of MNRs to meet the requirements of biomedical applications. This review focuses on the development and emerging biomedical applications of micro-/nanostructures encompassing nanoswimmers, nanoengines, 3D-motion nanomachines, and biologically inspired microbots, nanofish, nanorockets, etc. Promising applications of these novel devices in various therapeutic areas are discussed. We examine the impacts of the rapid progress made in developing these novel devices for drug delivery applications. We also summarize the current fabrication, scale-up development and clinical translational challenges and the main roadblocks that need to be overcome, particularly those related to patient safety and personalized medicine approaches, areas that require the design of safe innovative materials. As MNRs are new, scientists should systematically investigate their behavior, functionality, biocompatibility, toxicity, biodistribution, and efficacy before considering any potential clinical evaluations, while also ensuing that they comply with ethical principles. Although still an emerging area, MNRs are steadily becoming a realistic prospect as vital future therapeutic tools for a vast array of biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120163
JournalBiomaterials
Volume260
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Cell delivery
  • Clinical translation
  • Drug delivery
  • Microfabrication
  • Nanomotors
  • Nanorobots
  • Nanotechnology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials

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