The delivery of drug molecules to tumor hypoxic areas could yield optimal therapeutic outcomes. This suggests that effective cancer-fighting micro- or nanorobots would require more integrated functionalities than just the development of directional propelling constructs which have so far been the main general emphasis in medical micro- and nanorobotic research. Development of artificial agents that would be most effective in targeting hypoxic regions may prove to be a very challenging task considering present technological constraints. Self-propelled, sensory-based and directionally-controlled agents in the form of Magnetotactic Bacteria (MTB) of the MC-1 strain have been investigated as effective therapeutic nanorobots in cancer therapy. Following computer-based magnetotactic guidance to reach the tumor area, the microaerophilic response of drug-loaded MC-1 cells could be exploited in the tumoral interstitial fluid microenvironments. Accordingly, their swimming paths would be guided by a decreasing oxygen concentration towards the hypoxic regions. However, the implementation of such a targeting strategy calls for a method to switch from a computer-assisted magnetotactic displacement control to an autonomous aerotactic displacement control. In this way, the MC-1 cells will navigate to tumoral regions and, once there, target hypoxic areas through their microaerophilic behavior. Here we show not only how the magnitude of the magnetic field can be used for this purpose but how the findings could help determine the specifications of a future compatible interventional platform within known technological and medical constraints.
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