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Delivering medicine to just one cell 2010-Jul-08 at 13:04 PDT

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
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OK, you got it.

From Nanowires Deliver Biochemical Payloads to One Cell Among Many, 08-July-2010

A team of researchers affiliated with Johns Hopkins University Institute for NanoBioTechnology used precise electrical fields as “tweezers” to guide and place gold nanowires (metallic cylinders a few hundred nanometers or smaller in diameter) on predetermined spots, each on a single cell.

Molecules coating the surfaces of the nanowires then triggered a biochemical cascade of actions only in the cell where the wire touched, without affecting other cells nearby. The researchers say this technique could lead to better ways of studying individual cells or even cell parts, and eventually could produce novel methods of delivering medication.

With the new technique the researchers can, for instance, target cells that have cancer properties (higher cell division rate or abnormal morphology), while sparing their healthy neighbors.

The ultimate cure for cancer is: more clearly identify all of the things we have floating around in our ecosystem right now that are truly carcinogenic and eliminate them (and you know there are lots of things that just take a while to accumulate), and, at the same time, develop these one-cell-at-a-time kind of treatments.  Here’s your real-time update on the pure research going into that.

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