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posted by Dopefish on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the science-rules dept.

ticho writes:

"For the first time, a team of chemists and engineers at Penn State University have placed tiny synthetic motors inside live human cells, propelled them with ultrasonic waves, and steered them magnetically. It's not exactly 'Fantastic Voyage', but it's close. The nanomotors, which are rocket-shaped metal particles, move around inside the cells, spinning and battering against the cell membrane.

'As these nanomotors move around and bump into structures inside the cells, the live cells show internal mechanical responses that no one has seen before,' said Tom Mallouk, Evan Pugh Professor of Materials Chemistry and Physics at Penn State. 'This research is a vivid demonstration that it may be possible to use synthetic nanomotors to study cell biology in new ways. We might be able to use nanomotors to treat cancer and other diseases by mechanically manipulating cells from the inside. Nanomotors could perform intracellular surgery and deliver drugs non-invasively to living tissues.'"

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  • (Score: 1) by similar_name on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:22AM

    by similar_name (71) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:22AM (#1459)
    I think this tech may not play well with MRIs. I wonder how the borg would have liked an MRI?
  • (Score: 1) by fleg on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:30AM

    by fleg (128) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:30AM (#1464)

    >I think this tech may not play well with MRIs.

    yes, could turn you into a sieve!

    as to the borg, you'd have to persuade one to get into the scanner first.
    might be tricky.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by mrbluze on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:31AM

    by mrbluze (49) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:31AM (#1482) Journal

    You're right, it won't be good with MRI. The motors would hurtle through cell walls at great speed, after which the little motor could be anywhere.

    The thing that might make this technology not-so-useful in vivo is the imprecision with which ultrasound and magnetism can be directed to deeper tissues.

    Do it yourself, 'cause no one else will do it yourself.