Plenary Sánchez Ordóñez

Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez
Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia
The Barcelona Institute for Science and Technology

Engineering biocompatible swarms of enzyme-powered nanomotors for in vivo applications

One of the ultimate goals in the field of self-propelled nanomotors is to use them in biomedical applications treating diseases. Yet, reaching that fascinating goal is not a trivial thing and several challenges need to be addressed. First, researchers need to incorporate efficient but also bio-friendly propulsion mechanisms into the nanobots. Our strategy comprises the use of biocatalysts such enzymes for converting biologically available fuels into a propulsive force. Second, nanoparticles’ chassis should be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) material, biocompatible and/or biodegradable. Then, millions of nanomotors or nanoparticles are needed to treat, for instance, a tumor. This can only be achieved if the move collectively in swarms and if they transport enough therapeutic material to the target site.
In my talk, I will present how we engineer swarms of enzyme nanomotors, I will introduce some factors affecting the motion of these nanomotors individually and collectively. Moreover, I will present some of the recent proof-of-concept applications of swarms in vitro and in vivo settings.