Researchers in Australia say microscopic robots could soon be swimming around our bloodstream repairing cells and diagnosing diseases. Drugs with improved therapeutic properties that can target affected parts of the body without damaging surrounding tissue have been the focus of an international nanomedicine conference in Australia.Small Comfort: Nanomedicine Able to Penetrate Bodily Defenses - Yahoo! News
The conference, organized by the University of New South Wales in Sydney, has brought together academics and clinicians from 16 countries, including the United States, Britain and Australia.
In the reproductive, respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts as well as the sinuses the body clears mucus layers every few minutes. "We needed to design a system that, like some viruses capable of infecting humans at mucosal surfaces, would allow treatment to penetrate deep into the mucus layer where they would not be cleared as rapidly by the body," Hanes says. "Our goal was to coat and line the epithelium with particles [of acyclovir] and then have them stay there with a uniform distribution and release the drug over a longer period of time than you'd have if you administered the treatment in a standard gel preparation that uses uncoated nanoparticles."