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Delivering drugs to individual cells 2010-May-18 at 05:05 PDT

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
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Glass electrodes used in nanoscale pump, by Lin Edwards, 17-May-2010

A team of engineers from the U.S. and South Korea has developed what is believed to be the smallest man-made pump ever built, powered by a glass electrode. The pump is about the same size as a red blood corpuscle.

It could be used for applications such as delivering drugs to an individual cell or for taking fluid samples from single cells. The glass electrodes could also be integrated into other nanoscale devices.

The next major frontier in medicine will be cellular-level treatments that are able to go into the body and target individual cells for help, or for destruction (think cancer).  There are many different technologies required to get us there… this is one of them.  Widespread access to this kind of medicine is probably about two decades away.

What’s next after cellular-level?  Why, molecular of course.  Imagine literally rewriting the DNA in your cells… coming in about three decades to a body near you.