Self-Assembling Cubes Could Deliver Medicine
Posted on January 1, 2006 Comments (0)
Tiny Self-Assembling Cubes Could Carry Medicine, Cell Therapy – News Release from Johns Hopkins (pdf format)
Details of photos: “Scanning electron microscopy images of image of (A) a hollow, open surfaced, biocontainer, and (B) a device loaded with glass microbeads. (C) Fluorescence microscopy images of a biocontainer loaded with cell-ECM-agarose with the cell viability stain, Calcein-AM. (D) Release of viable cells from the biocontainer.”
Johns Hopkins researchers have devised a self- assembling cube-shaped perforated container, no larger than a dust speck, that could serve as a delivery system for medications and cell therapy.
“To make sure it folds itself exactly into a cube, we have to engineer the hinges very precisely,” Gracias said. “The self-assembly technique allows us to make a large number of these microcontainers at the same time and at a relatively low cost.”
Gracias and his colleagues used micropipettes to insert into the cubes a suspension containing microbeads that are commonly used in cell therapy. The lab team showed that these beads could be released from the cubes through agitation. The researchers also inserted human cells, similar to the type used in medical therapy, into the cubes. A positive stain test showed that these cells remained alive in the microcontainers and could easily be released.
And they are “always on the lookout for exceptional and highly creative undergraduate, graduate students and post-doctoral candidates” – maybe you.