Nanoparticles have fascinated scientists and technology followers for several years now, and the popularity of these particles is growing, especially in pharmaceutics. Nanoparticles have matured beyond being considered as simply smaller versions of traditional-sized particles, advancing to become sophisticated and intricately designed systems.
Take for example, a novel hybrid nanosystem developed by researchers from the University of California at San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and MIT. The hybrid name comes from the fact the particles carry several different types nanoparticles, each with their own function.
The research team is calling them “cargo ships” that “sail throughout the body under the radar of the immune system.” Cutesy metaphors aside, the nanostructures reportedly are the first particles to simultaneously deliver a drug and, thanks to loads of magnetic iron oxide and fluorescent quantum dots, provide an image of the diseased tissue in a live animal (mouse).
No word yet on how easy it will be to manufacture these systems at a large scale. Read up on these tiny ships and let us know if they sail with you.