Applications of microalga-powered microrobots in targeted drug delivery

Biomater Sci. 2023 Nov 21;11(23):7512-7530. doi: 10.1039/d3bm01095c.


Over the past decade, researchers have proposed a new class of drug delivery systems, bio-hybrid micro-robots, designed with a variety of living cell-driven micro-robots that utilize the unique mobility of natural organisms (bacteria, cells, exosomes, etc.) to transport effective drugs. Microalgae are considered potential drug delivery carriers. Recent studies have shown that microalga-based drug delivery systems exhibit excellent biocompatibility. In addition, microalgae have a large surfactant area, phototaxis, oxygen production, and other characteristics, so they are used as a carrier for the treatment of bacterial infections, cancer, etc. This review summarizes the modification of microalgae including click chemistry and electrostatic adsorption, and can improve the drug loading efficiency through dehydration and hydration strategies. The prepared microalgal drug delivery system can be targeted to different organs by different dosing methods or using external forces. Finally, it summarizes its antibacterial (gastritis, periodontitis, skin wound inflammation, etc.) and antitumor applications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Carriers
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Humans
  • Microalgae*
  • Neoplasms*
  • Surface-Active Agents


  • Drug Carriers
  • Surface-Active Agents