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Nano-Propellers May Help Deliver Drugs Directly into Individual Cells

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany are working on forms of micro propulsion to assist in the targeted delivery of medicines through biological fluids. This innovation in drug delivery would enable physicians to target specific cells for gene therapy, or allow surgeons to treat specific regions of the body, like the retina of the eye, with minimally-invasive procedures.

Achieving forward propulsion using the magnetic opening and closing of a scalloped nano-bot did not prove easy in the beginning stages of research. However, by testing the design in fluids with similar viscosities to liquids in the body, physicists found that forward movement could be achieved by opening the “fins” slowly and then closing them rapidly. In the article linked below, Peer Fischer, the team lead on this project, explains how movement has a direct effect on the viscosity and molecular networking of bodily fluids. This property is what allows the nano-scallops to navigate the oceans of our bodies.

Click here to read more about this pharmaceutical-technology research.

Cover Photo: © Alejandro Posada – MPI for Intelligent Systems