Remotely Guided Immunobots Engaged in Anti-Tumorigenic Phenotypes for Targeted Cancer Immunotherapy

Nihal Olcay Dogan, Hakan Ceylan, Eylül Suadiye, Devin Sheehan, Asli Aydin, Immihan Ceren Yasa, Anna Maria Wild, Gunther Richter, Metin Sitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Building medical microrobots from the body's own cells may circumvent the biocompatibility concern and hence presents more potential in clinical applications to improve the possibility of escaping from the host defense mechanism. More importantly, live cells can enable therapeutically relevant functions with significantly higher efficiency than synthetic systems. Here, live immune cell-derived microrobots from macrophages, i.e., immunobots, which can be remotely steered with externally applied magnetic fields and directed toward anti-tumorigenic (M1) phenotypes, are presented. Macrophages engulf the engineered magnetic decoy bacteria, composed of 0.5 µm diameter silica Janus particles with one side coated with anisotropic FePt magnetic nanofilm and the other side coated with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). This study demonstrates the torque-based surface rolling locomotion of the immunobots along assigned trajectories inside blood plasma, over a layer of endothelial cells, and under physiologically relevant flow rates. The immunobots secrete signature M1 cytokines, IL-12 p40, TNF-α, and IL-6, and M1 cell markers, CD80 and iNOS, via toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-mediated stimulation with bacterial LPS. The immunobots exhibit anticancer activity against urinary bladder cancer cells. This study further demonstrates such immunobots from freshly isolated primary bone marrow-derived macrophages since patient-derivable macrophages may have a strong clinical potential for future cell therapies in cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2204016
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 17 2022


  • cancer immunotherapy
  • cell-based microrobots
  • immune cells
  • immunomodulation
  • macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Biotechnology
  • General Materials Science
  • Biomaterials


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