Please, no more fantastic voyage
Tony Ryan is begging the media to stop using unrealistic images of miniature submarines and robots to promote nanotechnology. Turning his back on the movies, Ryan prefers to take his inspiration from nature. He’s on a mission to build bacteria- or sperm-like drug delivery vehicles from self-assembling block co-polymers. Ryan explains that biology does it best and says that there’s a lot we can learn from the motion of tiny structures such as e.coli.
Working towards “A molecular delivery device that we might be able to make”, Ryan and his group at the University of Sheffield, UK, are busy developing the building blocks that could one day make their dream come true. They have engineered nanoballoons with 2-4 nm thick walls by encouraging a “post-it” style stack of polymer layers to peel off one by one and curl around themselves in solution. The next step for the team is to look at ways of adding an asymmetric tail to its device.
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