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DNA-repairing nanorobots and extension of human life

July 4, 2022
ДНК-наноробот

Many years of thorough researches and proven success in the usage of technologies have led to a plethora of betterments in genomic and medicine which seemed to have no chance for implementation in the past. Based on the research, scientists have invented unique DNA-repairing nanorobots which unveil the prospects of a near future of medicine.

What is a DNA-repairing nanorobot?

Progress in nanodevelopments opens the broad range of capabilities for medicine where biomolecular computing can solve health issues at extra small levels of molecules or atoms. Now medical researchers can create nano-scale robots that are primarily programmed to do diminutive but highly important tasks, like seeking out cancerous tumors and delivering drugs to cancer cells. DNA nanorobots feature extremely small sizes and present themselves as hexagonal tubes made of interwoven DNA that open like a clamshell. On one side, there is a DNA hinge and the other has a pair of twisted DNA fragments that can be compared with latches. They hold the device shut and open only when it is necessary. The space inside includes molecules of any substances, efficiently turning it into a delivery device, and transmitting medication to certain cells inside the human body. They work by programming DNA to fold into itself and then unrolling it like a small machine, in readiness for action. This is a somewhat new concept for biomedicine that unveils a new level of treatments and research.

DNA-repairing nanorobots can identify molecules, rebuild them, and can “deconstruct” harmed molecules. Based on their operational mechanisms, DNA-repairing nanorobots will come into cells, compare different features between the healthy and damaged ones and change their structures.

Scope of application of DNA-repairing nanorobots

The potential of DNA-repairing nanorobots is astounding. Since they can move via tissues, these devices will be capable of fixing disorders at the level of molecules. With time, more options could be inserted into these smart robots due to state-of-the-art artificial intellect systems.

In this part, we will consider the main biological applications of nanorobots.

  • Tissue engineering – covers bone building, vascular tissue engineering, nerve tissue engineering, skin tissue engineering, tendon and ligament tissue engineering, and corneal tissue engineering, among others. DNA nanorobots can reconstruct or create modifications to repair the function of defected tissues.
  • Bone tissue engineering – is aimed at solving problems of the loss and dysfunction of bone tissue, which are mainly caused by aging, injury, or inflammation. In the skeletal tissue, the DNA-repairing nanorobots are primarily used for the delivery of some biological agents to the injured articulations, and the DNA nanostructures as the delivery system could overcome some drawbacks of other biological agents, such as poor penetration level and low stability.
  • Neural tissue engineering – applied for regenerating nerve tissue injuries and obtaining other positive effects for gene delivery or cell activation.
  • Skeletal and cardiac muscle engineering – used for regenerating skeletal muscle and exerting protective effects from hypoxia injury of cardiac muscle, respectively.
  • Skin tissue engineering – aimed to start tissue recovery and drug delivery for subcutaneous tumors.
  • Another tissue engineering.

Example of a DNA-repairing nanorobot

Recently, Wyss Institute researchers have invented a drug-delivering nanorobot, aiming to track down and destroy a patient’s cancer cells. The exterior part of the device is programmed to find a target on a cell surface. It features double-stranded DNA latches due to which the robot opens only if a molecular key “given” by the targeted cells works. It opens the machine, allowing the payload to capture only certain cells. DNA is a perfect material for constructing devices at the nano-scale level. It is expected that by “fixing” specific cells in this way, the DNA-repairing nanorobots will treat diseases like cancer without the need for chemotherapy.

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