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Micro backpacks let cells carry loads

  November 10/17, 2008
Stick a microscopic plastic patch on a living cell and you have a tiny pack mule capable of delivering drugs or imaging agents.

The polymer patch leaves most of the cell's surface uncovered, which keeps the cell alive and able to interact with its environment. The patches can contain drugs or nanoparticles.

Cells with patches of magnetic nanoparticles can be steered by magnetic fields. Immune system cells with patches can deliver drugs or imaging agents to tumors.

Research paper:
Surface Functionalization of Living Cells with Multilayer Patches
Nano Letters, published online November 5, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Rubner Research Group
Darrell J. Irvine
Cohen Group

Related stories and briefs:
Bioengineers aim to harness bacterial motion -- related research

Back to TRN November 10/17, 2008

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