Tuesday, 26 May, 2009 Science

Scientists Create Nanoneedle 1,000 Times Thinner than Human Hair


Scientists managed to create a nanoneedle that is capable of delivering particles straight into cell organs. The gold-plated needle is claimed to be a thousand times thinner than human hair.

With its help scientists will be able to collect and take advantage of drugs injected into the bloodstream by inducing cells and their organelle. Previously this was quite difficult to do, but using the new type of needle could help distribute molecules straight to the necessary cell organs.

"What we have here, is a powerful tool for delivering a very tiny amount of drugs into cells that have initially been removed from the body and can - after being injected by the nanoneedle - be placed back into the body for tracking, diagnosing, and treatment of illness," explains the co-author of the research Min-Feng Yu, a University of Illinois molecular biologist.

It is worth mentioning that it is not the first time that scientists come up with the idea of creating a nanoneedle. For many years researchers attempted to use tiny needles to inject cells, but all the syringes were not thin enough and thus damaged cells. Together with his team, Yu, decided to create a solid needle with a width of 50 nanometers.

Yu and colleagues look forward to make their nanosyringes programmed in order to aim multiple cells and automatically bring drugs into those cells.

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