A drug-loaded microrobotic needle remains attached to cancerous tissue. (Credit: DGIST)

A drug-loaded microrobotic needle effectively targets and remains attached to cancerous tissue in lab experiments without needing continuous application of a magnetic field, allowing more precise drug delivery.

The corkscrew-shaped microneedle uses laser lithography. The microrobot is then layered with nickel and titanium oxide to ensure that it can be magnetically manipulated and is biocompatible with the human body. Drugs can be loaded onto the porous, corkscrew-shaped scaffold and inside the needle.

The team tested the microrobots in tiny chambers filled with fluid. They successfully used a magnetic field to direct them to spear and attach to tissue. Once fixed, it took a fluid flow speed of 480 mm per second to flush the needle out of the tissue. They then used a computational approach for more precise automatic, rather than manual, targeting of tissue using a magnetic field.

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