A Multidrug Delivery Microrobot for the Synergistic Treatment of Cancer

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

8 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Original languageEnglish
Article number2301889
Journal / PublicationSmall
Publication statusOnline published - 9 Jul 2023


Multidrug combination therapy provides an effective strategy for malignant tumor treatment. This paper presents the development of a biodegradable microrobot for on-demand multidrug delivery. By combining magnetic targeting transportation with tumor therapy, it is hypothesized that loading multiple drugs on different regions of a single magnetic microrobot can enhance a synergistic effect for cancer treatment. The synergistic effect of using two drugs together is greater than that of using each drug separately. Here, a 3D-printed microrobot inspired by the fish structure with three hydrogel components: skeleton, head, and body structures is demonstrated. Made of iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles embedded in poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA), the skeleton can respond to magnetic fields for microrobot actuation and drug-targeted delivery. The drug storage structures, head, and body, made by biodegradable gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) exhibit enzyme-responsive cargo release. The multidrug delivery microrobots carrying acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) and doxorubicin (DOX) in drug storage structures, respectively, exhibit the excellent synergistic effects of ASA and DOX by accelerating HeLa cell apoptosis and inhibiting HeLa cell metastasis. In vivo studies indicate that the microrobots improve the efficiency of tumor inhibition and induce a response to anti-angiogenesis. The versatile multidrug delivery microrobot conceptualized here provides a way for developing effective combination therapy for cancer. © 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

Research Area(s)

  • anticancer effect, biodegradation, microrobots, multidrug delivery, synergistic effect