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[Reblog] Travelling through blood: science fiction comes to life › Lindau Blog

Travelling through blood: science fiction comes to life › Lindau Blog.

Excerpts from the 19 January 2015 post at Sciblog

An artificial nanomotor makes its first successful “voyage” in human blood.

The fantastic notion of a team of doctors aboard a ship, shrunk so small that they can course through blood and perform critical surgeries, has pervaded science fiction writing and movies for decades. Mathematician Albert Hibbs proposed the “wild idea” of “swallowing the surgeon”, made famous by physicist Richard Feynman who articulated the challenge of fabricating miniature surgical robots in his hugely popular lecture, There’s plenty of room at the bottom. Now, scientists from IISc Bangalore have succeeded, for the very first time, to steer artificial nanostructures through undiluted human blood. Dubbed “nano voyagers” these tiny swimmers could open the doors to a fascinating range of biomedical applications from targeted drug delivery to microsurgery.

Physicist Ambarish Ghosh and his student, Pranay Mandal, from the Centre for Nanoscience and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, had previously studied the dynamics of helically shaped micro- or nano- sized swimmers in water. However, maneuvering these structures through unmodified human blood posed a number of new challenges. Other studies that have attempted to manipulate nanostructures either employ methods that are incompatible with living systems (using intense lasers or harmful chemicals) or, at best, work only in significantly diluted blood.

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January 22, 2015 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , ,

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