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 Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht A laser for divers
03.05.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>