Friday, October 14, 2011

Could nanorobots be the next big breakthrough in drug delivery?

A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas has devised an artificial muscle that make up a yarn of carbon nanotubes can rotate and propel tiny articles in the blood system.  According to The Engineer, the yarn is activated by a soak in a salt solution, and the deformation of the yarns are directly related to the number of ions inserted.

John Madden, of the UBC Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, stated:
‘What’s amazing is that these barely visible yarns composed of fibres 10,000 times thinner than a human hair can move and rapidly rotate objects 2,000 times their own weight. This new generation of artificial muscles — which are simple and inexpensive to make — could be used to make tiny valves, positioners, pumps, stirrers and flagella for use in drug discovery, precision assembly and perhaps even to propel tiny objects inside the bloodstream.’

Here's a video demonstration of how this would work:

At Drug Delivery Partnerships 2012, there will be a half day symposium entitled "Nanotechnology and RNAi Use for Drug Formulation and Delivery: How Do We Move Closer to Success?". Thomas Landh, Director, Strategy and Sourcing, Diabetes Research Unit, Novo Nordisk and Mahesh Chaubal, Sr. Director, Drug Development, Medical Products, Baxter Healthcare will cover various aspects of drug delivery in the nano-partical form. For more information on this session and the entire agenda, download the brochure here.

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