Fully Programmable Collective Behavior of Light-Powered Chemical Microrobotics: pH-Dependent Motion Behavior Switch and Controlled Cancer Cell Destruction

Lukas Dekanovsky, Yulong Ying, Jaroslav Zelenka, Jan Plutnar, Seyyed Mohsen Beladi-Mousavi, Ivana Křížová, Filip Novotný, Tomáš Ruml, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The development of fuel-free light-powered multi stimuli-responsive microrobots is becoming a vital field in biomedical research. The challenge is to design biomedical robots with precise motion control and novel functionalities such that one day they will stand alongside medical staff as fully fledged partners in the delivery of advanced non-invasive therapeutic procedures. In this study, a simple one-step etching/polymerization procedure is used to fabricate crystalline metal-organic framework structures surface-coated with a conductive polypyrrole (PPy) layer and then enriched with Methylene Blue sensitizer molecules. Due to the PPy surface charge, the microrobots start to move when exposed to a visible light source, enabling the controllable accumulation of the microrobots at the focal point of the light beam. Furthermore, a self-regulated motion is achieved by the PPy surface charge also providing a pH-dependent switch capable of altering microrobot behavior. In vitro study is conducted to test microrobot efficiency against human cervix carcinoma HeLa cells. It is shown that the micromotors are able to penetrate and successfully destroy the cancer cells. The work provides proof-of-concept for a novel strategy in which such microrobots can be guided by an optical beam, can self-regulate movement toward or away from each other, and can perform therapeutic functions with great efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the project Advanced Functional Nanorobots (reg. No.CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000444 financed by the EFRR). L. D. was also supported by the Czech Science Foundation (GACR No. 20–20201S). J.Z., I.K. and T.R. were supported by the Operative Program Prague – Competitiveness (OPPC CZ.2.16/3.1.00/21537, OPPC CZ.2.16/3.1.00/24503), and by the National Program of Sustainability (NPU I LO1601).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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