Robots Fighting Cancer

Posted on February 5, 2022 by Cheapest Assignment

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Introduction

A robot is a type of machine, mostly programmable, using a computer and automatically carrying out a myriad of complex tasks. The control of these robots can be external or internal. Regardless of most of them being created based on the human form, most of these machines are developed to carry out tasks without regard to their aesthetics. A branch of technology called robotics has inspired many of the developed robots. Since time immemorial and specifically from an ancient civilization, there have been various automated devices with some resembling humans and animals majorly focused on entertaining their creators. However, over the years, robots have been designed and wired to more practical uses such as remote control, automated machines, and wireless remote controls. These machines have replaced human labour, especially by undertaking dangerous and repetitive tasks with a low preference among humans. Moreover, robots go beyond the limitations of humankind, making them very useful in the developing world. However, they have been blamed for the increase in unemployment in the technology sector as they have replaced workers in the uptake of more functions.

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Robots in Healthcare

Gradually, robots evolved from the manufacturing and entertainment industries into other disciplines like health care in our case. Here, robots function in three ways; assisting individuals, more so patients in rehabilitation, manning systems in hospitals and pharmacies, and treating certain diseases. The latter will be discussed at length in this research with regards to the A1 treatment of cancer. In assisting individuals, basic simple robotic assistants have been created to offer assistance to the disabled and elderly. In manning hospital systems, robots have been designed to help pharmacies fill prescriptions of medications both in pill form and oral solids and then later file this information in the system automatically. In treating diseases, the development of robots has gone into a new branch of medicine called nanomedicine (Roszek, Jong, & Geertsma, 2005). This discipline focuses on using nanotechnology to create minuscule nanoparticles to help diagnose and treat diseases, especially cancer. 

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Cancer-fighting Nanorobots

Nanorobotics is a technology used for developing robotic machines on the nanometer scale (Roszek, Jong, & Geertsma, 2005). Not all robots are big or giant or in human form. For instance, the medical robot is so small that the human eye cannot see it, and that forms its major advantage. This is because it helps fight cancer and carry out other functions that normal and conventional surgery methods cannot. (Pankhurst, Connolly, & Dobson, 2003) These tiny robots generally constitute oxide materials that can be controlled by an electromagnetic field remotely. Once functional, they interact with cells increasing their potential to prevent and fight diseases. They do this by manipulating cells in certain alignments, moving the cells to other locations, or providing medicine to these cells for use, which is useful in cancer treatment. Cancer is treatable by cell electroporation (Pankhurst, Connolly, & Dobson, 2003). This involves using a pulse of electricity to introduce drugs, DNA to the cell, or chemicals through an open-cell membrane. Generally, nanorobots that are put in place to deliver drugs to the cancer cells can eradicate side effects and complexities brought about by chemotherapy and non-discriminative radiation to cancer patients, an added advantage. 

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Constituents of Nanorobots

They are also called nanobots. They are molecular structures of DNA strands between 60-90 nanometers. (Pambuk & Muhammad, 2019) These strands are composed of chemicals that are therapeutic for the treatment of various diseases by significantly influencing the infected cells after identifying these cells accurately.  This technology has no relation to metal sheets because the robots are built from DNA in various shapes and sizes. Particularly, however, they are made of a plate of DNA that is rectangular (Pambuk & Muhammad, 2019), with a blood-clotting enzyme called thrombin that is attached to the surface of the robots. This enzyme helps build a wall that significantly prevents the tumour from blood-feeding in the vessels by thrombosis and subsequently initiating the malignant cells’ death. 

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The biggest challenge in creating these nanorobots is designing, building, and controlling to enable targeting of the infected cancer cells without harming the healthy cells. Gradually, however, a solution has been reached by scientists. This solution involves a not so complex strategy of cutting the cancerous cells’ blood supply by inducing nanorobots with safe and effective stimulants (Pambuk & Muhammad, 2019). For instance, four thrombin molecules were installed and folded to leave a tube-like vacuum at the centre and then intravenously injected. These robots will roll out into the bloodstream, directly targeting the cells infected with cancer. The secret behind the creation of nanorobots that only target the cancerous tumour is to install on the surface a DNA aptamer, which helps target a particular protein referred to as nuclein largely produced in cancer, particularly in the endothelial cells and is absent on the surface of the healthy sections.  When a connection is formed between the nanorobot and the tumour’s blood vessels, a load is thrown inside, exposing thrombin that manipulates the coagulation of blood clotting (Pambuk & Muhammad, 2019). These nanoparticles work very quickly, and hours after active nanorobots are injected, the particles form around the cancer cells. 

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Test Experiments

Scientists went out of their way to prove the working of these nanorobots through test experiments with mice. (Pambuk & Muhammad, 2019) a record that these scientists injected the mice with human cancer and waited for it to develop to send nanorobots for action. The reason for the utilization of mice and other big animals is that cancer did not spread to the brain, causing harmful lesions. In addition, no effects were seen in the natural coagulation of blood processes than the human body. After twenty-four hours, the nanorobots would be removed from the mice because that period was adequate for attacking the cancer cells. Notably, the major working element in the process is the induction of thrombin in the blood vessels connecting the cancer cells to cut their blood supply (Pambuk & Muhammad, 2019). Like the other healthy cells, the cells of the tumour require a constant supply of blood to develop and multiply. Therefore, when this is cut off, the malignant cells die. This weakness of the tumour cells has informed the working of these robots in the treatment of cancer. There are two ways scientists have used to distinguish cancer cells accurately. One is by penetrating the erythrocytes of the cancer cells, making them clot at the malignant area using nanorobotics. This, in turn, prevents the feeding of the tumour and subsequent elimination. 

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The other way of distinguishing cancer cells from healthy cells is through the availability of nucleolin protein on the tumour cells’ surface (Pambuk & Muhammad, 2019). This is where the nanorobot directs its settlement. It comes as a friendly cell until after penetrating the blood nutrient, after which it starts to release the thrombin. The build-up of nucleolin protein and mRNA is found in various cancers, and the level of nucleolin at the surface of these malignant cells is much higher than in benign cells. An increase in nucleolin is related to a worse prognosis for patients with cancer. 

Limitations of Nanorobots in treatment of cancer

Despite the recorded successes in the testing of these nanorobots, they are concerned about the robots’ ability to distinguish cancerous cells from healthy cells. (Sidik, Mohammed, Alawi, & Samion, 2014) historical observations in these tests that show fears that the robots may infect healthy cells giving counterproductive results to the entire process. For instance, in mice infected with skin cancer, 3 out of 8 showed utmost tumour regression, with the survival rate increasing from 20.5 days to 45 days. In rats infected with lung cancer, atrophy of the tumour was observed within two weeks from the start of the treatment. Moreover, these nanorobots’ testing is still limited to mice and rats, hoping that human trials will begin or have already started (Sidik, Mohammed, Alawi, & Samion, 2014). 

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Bacteriobots

Reports indicate that a group of Korean scientists (Han et al., 2016) has already created workable nanorobots to detect and help cure cancer. They have modified bacteria genetically to detect specific proteins that grow densely when cancer cells are present. These 3-micrometre nanorobots move actively and spatter anti-cancer drugs when they reach a malignant cell. The nanorobots can only detect solid cancer such as colon and breast cancer and could treat cancer at very early stages.  

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Conclusion

Cancer has grown exponentially into a terminal disease worldwide, giving a good reason for the constant focus and attention scientists are giving. In addition, present treatments hardly distinguish between normal cells and malignant cells. Nanorobots, on the contrary, are being designed to carefully earmark tumour cells and give medication in managed doses, subsequently reducing the side effects of cancer medication. Conclusively, according to (Pambuk & Muhammad, 2019), successful test controls on the working of robots can revolutionize cancer treatment and improve health. 

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References

Han, J. W., Choi, Y. J., Cho, S., Zheng, S., Ko, S. Y., Park, J. O., & Park, S. (2016). Active tumour-therapeutic liposomal bacteriobot combining a drug (paclitaxel)-encapsulated liposome with targeting bacteria (Salmonella Typhimurium). Sensors and Actuators B: chemical224, 217-224.

Pambuk, C. I. A., & Muhammad, F. M. (2019). Nanorobots or Antitumor Nano tanks: The New Cancer Termination Strategies from Reality to Meth. Biosciences Biotechnology Research Asia16(3), 533-535.

Pankhurst, Q. A., Connolly, J., Jones, S. K., & Dobson, J. (2003). Applications of magnetic nanoparticles in biomedicine. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics36(13), R167.

Roszek, B., De Jong, W. H., & Geertsma, R. E. (2005). Nanotechnology in medical applications: state-of-the-art in materials and devices.

Sidik, N. A. C., Mohammed, H. A., Alawi, O. A., & Samion, S. (2014). A review on preparation methods and challenges of nanofluids. International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer54, 115-125.

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