Monday, November 3, 2008

Nanorods

Ayusman Sen's lab at Penn State has made self-propelling inorganic nanorods (h/t LiveScience). The microscopic platinum/gold nanorods move via chemical reactions that exploit electromagnetism. Moving nanoparticles is a crucial first step in developing highly targeted, minimally invasive nanometer scale drug delivery.

As Sen says "We know how to load up cargo. We know how to move it. Once we learn how to unload cargo, we will have the equivalent of nano dump trucks that can deliver cargo to a designated site or lay down patterns to create superstructures.... With drug delivery, at present a drug is injected or absorbed and wanders around the bloodstream until it gets where it needs to go by passive diffusion. If you couple our technology with chemotaxis, a nano-motor would actively seek a specific target and swim to the chosen site."

Watch the video here, thanks to The Sen Group for the image.