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Local scientists invent nanotech-enabled drug delivery device
31/8/2005 16:48

Rachel Hou/Shanghai Daily news

Using nanotechnology, Shanghai Silicate Research Institute, a subsidiary of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has recently created a ball-shaped device that can deliver drugs directly to targeted areas of the body.
About one three-hundredth (1/300) of the diameter of human hair, the device is small enough to travel through blood vessels and can carry drugs the same weight as itself.
The device's surface is full of cavities where drugs are stored. Magnetic material within the device helps it to be directed to target areas. When it arrives at its destination, the protective coating will dissolve and start to release the drug.
Two leading scientific magazines, Journal of the American Chemical Society and Germany's Angewandte Chemie, have published articles about the invention.
A nanometre is a metric unit of length equal to one billionth of a meter. Thanks to their ability to gain access throughout the body, nanometre-sized devices have the potential to treat diseases like cancers in previously inconceivable ways.