Pipes a Million Times Thinner Than Human Hair Could Deliver Personalized Therapies to Individual Cells:
Pipes a million times thinner than a human hair could deliver personalized therapies to individual cells, according to new research. The ‘world’s tiniest plumbing system’ could transform medicine by funneling drugs, proteins, or molecules to precisely targeted organs and tissue without any risk of side effects. It is made of many microscopic tubes that self-assemble and can connect themselves to different biostructures. These nanotubes form using DNA strands woven between different double helices. The tube structures have small gaps similar to woven bamboo tubes called Chinese finger traps and now with an engineered cork on the ends of the tubes, the system of tubing can turn the flow on and off in a controlled way. These improvements in the tubing design are a significant step toward creating the first network of its kind to combat a host of life-threatening diseases, allowing scientists to study diseases like cancer, and the functions of the body’s more than 200 types of cells.