On November 1, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced that a research team led by Professor Jae-hyung Park of the School of Chemical Engineering at Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) developed an ultrasound dynamic treatment technology that can remove tumors without open surgery. The team has succeeded in creating the world’s first remote controlled “smart” nano robot that uses this newly developed technology.
Until now, the medical community has been paying attention to the photodynamic therapy technology as a nonsurgical treatment for cancer. This technology injects cancer-fighting chemicals into a patient’s body and it shines a light on the affected organs. The treatment, however, only has effect on the areas that the light can reach, which is only about one-third of an inch of tissue, and as such, cancerous cells deeper within organ structures cannot be treated effectively.
The smart nano robot developed by the SKKU research team selectively releases reactive oxygen species, which are chemical species that contain oxygen, into tumor locations to kill cancer cells. The ultrasound dynamic treatment technology has a profound penetration depth, which enables the robot to cure tumors in any location. It is expected to cure cancers in organs like kidneys, breasts, and the stomach. Moreover, the robot only attacks tumors, decreasing side effects found in previous technologies. The result of the study was published in Nano Letters on October 12.
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