Picture a teaspoon of powdered sugar. As fine a substance as it is, there still are tremendous differences in the sizes of its individual particles. Some are so small, they move around randomly and are invisible to the naked eye.
Now, lets say you wanted to choose only particles of a certain size from those in the spoon. Traditional technology and scientific techniques can separate quantities of particles of different sizes down to a few microns, but beyond that, its not currently possible to perform this operation at the submicron level. Being able to do so would allow for the production of certain types of drugs that are most effective when inhaled.
How small is a submicron? Consider that a micron is a mere 0.00004 of an inch. Yet unlocking the mystery of how to manipulate, measure and separate very tiny particles has tremendous applications for the pharmaceutical industry and could change how some medications are delivered and how effective they are.
Steven W. Van Sciver | EurekAlert!
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