Feeds

Firm trials cancer-zapping nanobots

Nanoscale silicon drug-delivery system

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

A nanoscale drug-delivery system is being tested at Singapore General Hospital. The technology is being used to help treat cancer by carrying the treatment directly to the tumour site.

The device, developed by biotech company pSivida, is based on a material they call BioSilicon. This is cheap, safe and biodegradable, the firm says.

As spokesman for QinetiQ, one of pSivida's investment partners, said that the new material was highly adaptable and had broad applications. "Silicon, when reduced to the nanoscale (less than one thousand millionth of a metre) becomes biodegradable and dissolves into the body as silicic acid," he explained.

The key to its function is the porous nature of silicon at such small scales, the BBC reports. Gaps, typically around 10 atoms across, can be filled with various substances including drugs, peptides, proteins and genes. The difference between this and other time-release medication, the researchers say, is that the release rate can be controlled thanks to silicon's conductivity.

So far the lab trials have been going well, the company says, and the testing on liver tumour patients should provide results by the Autumn of this year. ®

Related stories

Nine PCs stolen from NHS hospital
Scientists go quantum dotty over night vision
UK chemists detect air fingerprints

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.