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.
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
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.