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Review
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Nano-and Micromotors Designed for Cancer Therapy

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Review

Nano-and Micromotors Designed for Cancer Therapy

Luisa Sonntag et al. Molecules.

Abstract

Research on nano- and micromotors has evolved into a frequently cited research area with innovative technology envisioned for one of current humanities' most deadly problems: cancer. The development of cancer targeting drug delivery strategies involving nano-and micromotors has been a vibrant field of study over the past few years. This review aims at categorizing recent significant results, classifying them according to the employed propulsion mechanisms starting from chemically driven micromotors, to field driven and biohybrid approaches. In concluding remarks of section 2, we give an insight into shape changing micromotors that are envisioned to have a significant contribution. Finally, we critically discuss which important aspects still have to be addressed and which challenges still lie ahead of us.

Keywords: cancer; challenges; drug delivery; loading and release; nano- and micromotors.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Summarizes selected examples of chemically driven nano- and micromotors: (a) Self-electrophoretic propelled Ni/(Au50/Ag50)/Ni/Pt nanowires picking-up and transporting polymer particles or liposomes loaded with DOX. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley and Sons, Kagan et al. [57], Copyright 2010. Self-diffusiophoresis in H2O2 of (b) DOX-loaded polymer/platinum microparticles, which could be magnetically guided towards breast cancer cells. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley and Son, Villa et al. [62], Copyright 2018. and (c) polymers in stomatocyte morphology loaded with platinum as catalyst and DOX as anticancer drug. The TEM images shows the stomatocytes, scale bar is 200 nm. Reprinted with permission from Tu et al. [61], Copyright 2017. (d) O2-bubble propelled robots upon reaction of H2O2 with catalase attached on DOX-loaded polymer/Au Janus particles. The drug could be released via NIR irradiation. Reprinted with permission from ref. [79]. Copyright 2014 American Chemical Society, (e) O2-bubble Pt/chinin/alginate nanorockets, Reprinted with permission of John Wiley and Sons, Wu et al. [89], Copyright 2013, and (f) Reaction of H2O2 and catalase on DOX- and Au-loaded microrockets, which released the drug upon NIR irradiation. Reprinted with permission from ref. [90]. Copyright 2015 American Chemical Society. (g) CO2-bubble propelled carbonate/Co Janus particles upon reaction with the acidic environment of HeLa cells. Reprinted with permission of Guix et al. [100], Copyright 2016. (h) Urea powered SiO2/urease nanoparticles that were loaded with DOX showing an improved effect on HeLa cells. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley and Sons, Hortelão et al. [70], Copyright 2017.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Summarizes selected examples of external field driven nano- and micromotors: (a) Magnetic propulsion of an artificial nanofish using a planar oscillating magnetic field, inset: SEM image of a multilinked artificial nanofish made by electrodeposition. Scale bar: 800 nm. Reprinted from [115] with permission from John Wiley and Sons, Copyright 2016. (b) SEM image showing alternating Ni–Au nano-ring segments grown around PPy NWs, Scale bar 4 µm, Time-lapse showing a single hybrid nanoeel transition from a surface-walking swimming mode to a wobbling motion upon changing the parameters of magnetic fields. Scale bars: 15 μm. Controlled drug delivery with the hybrid nanoeels starting from functionalization with PDA and drugs, followed by magnetically triggered drug release and pulsatile release of RhB with and without magnetic fields (n = 6), Reprinted from [43] with permission from John Wiley and Sons, Copyright 2019. (c) Cancer growth inhibitory effects of free and immobilized asparaginase compared to different control experiments, error bars show the standard deviation of 3 measurements (n = 3). Reprinted with permission from [137] Copyright RSC 2017. (d) NIR light-assisted cell poration. Schematic cell poration of the AuNS-functionalized (PSS/PAH) nanoswimmers upon the exposure of NIR light. Time lapse showing the movement of the nanoswimmers toward HeLa cell under the acoustic field and the perforation with NIR irradiation. Scale bars, 10 μm. Blue dash line shows the trajectory of acoustic driving and red circle indicates the region of laser spot. CLSM image of the nanoswimmers after cell poration. Yellow dash line indicates the frontier of the cell. Scale bar, 10 μm. Adapted with permission from [111]. Copyright (2019) American Chemical Society. (e) Schematic illustration of a self-propulsion Au-BP@SP Janus nanoparticle for cancer cell treatment under NIR laser irradiation. TEM images characterizing AuBP@ SP Janus nanohybrid. The Infrared thermal images of Au@SP and Au-BP7@SP injected MCF-7 tumor-bearing mice at different time points under laser irradiation at 808 nm. Reprinted from [142] with permission from John Wiley and Sons, Copyright 2016.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Biological propulsion units for anti-cancer therapy by nano-and micromotors: (a) Chemotactic sea squirt sperm loaded with cancer drugs and Pt nanoparticles (Chen, Adv. Biosyst. 2018) [144], Copyright 2018. (b) Bovine sperm loaded with DOX and captured in tetrapod-like structures (Xu et al. 2018) [145], Copyright 2017. (c) Magnetotactic bacteria decorated with drug-loaded nanoliposomes Reprinted by permission from Springer Nature (Felfoul 2016) [40] Copyright 2016. (d) Algae C. reinhardtti attached to magnetic polystyrene particle. Reprinted with permission from John Wiley and Sons, Yasa et al. Adv. Mat. 2018) [146] Copyright 2018. (e) Bacteria-propelled red blood cells which are loaded with DOX (Alapan Science robotics 2018) [147] Reprinted with permission from AAAS. (f) E. coli with polyelectrolyte multilayer microparticle loaded with DOX: Park et al. ACS Nano2017 [148], Reprinted with permission from Park et al. ACS Nano 2017 (g) Liposomal bacteria-based microrobot. Reprinted from Nguyen et al. [149] with permission from Elsevier. Copyright 2016. (h) S. typhimurium NanoBEADS, Suh et al. Adv. Sci. 2019 [150] Reprinted with permission from John Wiley and Sons, Suh et al. Adv. Sci. 2019, Copyright 2018.

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