A research team, one of them being of Indian origin, has designed a nano robot with the use of a single strand of DNA that can pick up particular molecules and take them to the desired locations, flagging the way for synthesizing novel drug delivery systems & therapeutic chemicals.
Lulu Qian from the California Institute of Technology said, “Similar to the electromechanical robots that are directed to faraway locations, such as Mars, our team would wish to direct the molecular robots to microscopic areas where humans cannot go, for instance, the bloodstream.” She further added, “Our aim was to develop and fabricate a molecular robot that can execute a sophisticated nanomechanical job, that is, cargo sorting.”
The research team built 3 basic building blocks that can be utilized to draw together the DNA robot: a hand & arm for picking up the cargo, a leg with 2 feet for moving around, and a segment that could identify a particular drop-off spot and hint to the hand to discharge its cargo. All of these parts are composed of simply some nucleotides in a single DNA strand.
Supposedly, these modular building blocks can be pulled together in several diverse manners to accomplish diverse tasks—for instance, a DNA robot with numerous arms & hands can be utilized to hold manifold molecules at the same time. The research team has fabricated a robot that can exploit a molecular surface, collect 2 distinct molecules—one is a fluorescent pink dye and the other is a fluorescent yellow dye—and then dole out them to 2 different areas on the surface.
With the use of fluorescent molecules, the scientists can monitor whether the molecules have ended up in their proposed locations. The 6 scattered molecules—3 yellow & 3 pink—were successfully sorted by the robot in their exact location in 24 Hours. Also, the addition of more robots to the molecular surface would shorten the time required to accomplish the task.
Anupama Thubagere said, “Although we showed a robot for this particular assignment, the similar system outline can be generalized to function with dozens of kinds of cargos at any random primary area on the surface. It is possible to have manifold robots accomplishing different sorting tasks together.”
These principles can be used by the research team for stimulating purposes, such as making the use of DNA robot for the production of a therapeutic chemical from its integral fragments in an artificial molecular industrial unit, sorting molecular elements in waste for recycling, or transporting a drug only when a particular indication is given in cells or bloodstreams, according to the researchers.