Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hope for nano-scale delivery of medicine using a light beam to move liquid through tiny tubes

29.08.2002


Medical researchers would like to use nano-scale tubes to push very tiny amounts of drugs dissolved in water to exactly where they are needed in the human body.



The roadblock to putting this theory into practical use has been the challenge of building pumps small enough to do the job. In addition to the engineering challenge of building a nano-scale pump, there is the added complication of clogging by any biological molecule that can occur in valves small enough to fit a channel the size of bacteria.

The solution – discovered by researchers at Arizona State University – is to create a system that does not rely on mechanical parts.


The ASU team of scientists and engineers reports in the American Chemical Society journal Langmuir (Thursday, August 29, 2002) on a technique they developed to pull water up a tube tinier than a straw by shining a beam of light on the surface of the tube. This technological advance, referred to as photocapillarity, may one day find a use in nanotechnology applications, such as the targeted distribution of medicine in the body.

"As the size of capillaries or channels in devices shrinks, it becomes very difficult to control the movement of "liquid," says Dr. Antonio Garcia, Arizona State University Bioengineering professor. "The everyday use of mechanical valves and pumps becomes difficult in nanotechnology because making them tinier is a manufacturing challenge. Also, any real-life application would be prone to operational problems, such as clogging of the pump or valve by tiny molecules."

Garcia, and colleagues Devens Gust and Mark Hayes, professors in the ASU Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, have combined their bioengineering and chemistry skills to build upon the research on light responsive molecules.

With proceeds from a National Science Foundation grant, the researchers found a way of attaching the molecules to the surface and structuring the surrounding surface to control the spread of water.

"When we shine light just beyond the visible range, the light responsive molecules attract water and trigger the advancement of water through the channel," says Garcia.

An added benefit to the research is the development of a science lab demonstration. By the end of the year, students and teachers can order inexpensive glass tubes prepared by the ASU researchers and a laboratory guide to exploring the phenomena.

"Our hope is that by making this lab kit available it will stimulate the creativity of the next generation of scientists and engineers who will routinely design new products using nanotechnology," Garcia says.

Source: Tony Garcia, ASU Bioengineering, 480-965-8798

Virgil Renzulli | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asu.edu/asunews/

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Innovative process for environmentally friendly manure treatment comes onto the market
03.05.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

nachricht No compromises: Combining the benefits of 3D printing and casting
23.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>