Nanotechnology at MU
Electrical Engineering Professor Shubra Gangopadhyay said the machines provide a new way of delivering medicine to medical patients.
"It pushes the gene or the drug into the cells that are infected," she said.
Using Department of Defense technology, they've developed a system that only target the cells that need treatment without obstructing healthy cells.
"Somebody called it a smart bomb," Gangopadhyay said. "It is a micro bomb which delivers these genes to just a few cells. We can target individual cells."
The equipment is now available for testing. The Life Sciences Department thinks it could treat several types of diseases and ailments.
"I would say the sky is the limit, because with this approach we are using the device to test on cancer cells, but it can be used to deliver drugs for HIV patients, for diabetes," Professor of medicine, Luis Palo-Parada, said.
Medical researchers say it is not just the treatments that are important, but the distribution of the treatments.
In the future, for example, the Army could use a single pen with hundreds or thousands of medical components. With a microchip you can set it to what kind of drug you want to deliver and the amount you want to deliver, put it on the top of your arm or your leg or wherever, push a small button, and deliver the amount of medicine that is required.