Will they run a tiny nano submarine?
US researchers have controlled nanomotors embedded within cells, a breakthrough that gives scientists a new tool for probing the inner structure of cells, and opens up a new front in research for futuristic cancer treatments. The result was announced by Penn State researchers in a paper published in the journal Angewandte …
"In addition, functionalities such as sensing, molecule delivery, or photothermal excitation can be added to rod-shaped motors, enabling them to carry out different operations directly inside cells that may be interesting for biomedical applications,"
Forget the molecule delivery, what they need is rotating knives or perhaps a nano version of the ubiquitous kitchen whisk, thus enabling it to completely trash an cancer cells it comes across.
There's a chap at Edinburgh who's done nano-ish neuro-surgery already.
Get some tiny iron filings, and link them to a molecule that likes cancer cells only. Introduce to the brain's bloodstream. Wait. Once the iron has bound to the surface of the naughty cancer, or possibly entered the cancer cells, stick patient in MRI scanner.
Giant magnet makes iron filings zoom around, and heat up. Heated cells are damaged and less resistant to chemo-therapy. Zap.
This allows you to treat inoperable tumours, with low doses, minimising damage.
What's even better, is that the iron stays in place. So if/when the tumour comes back - you just shove 'em back in the MRI, rinse and repeat.
The article only mentioned nanomotors, which makes me wonder how such a device can be controlled.
I cannot imagine someone on the outside 'steering' it or anything.
At those sizes (3 micrometers x 300 nanometers) i doubt they can fit any kind of control-mechanism in using current technology.
Anyways, enough of my rambles, i think i am going to watch Innerspace with Dennis Quaid to get an idea of the future :P
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