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Nano-Needle

June 11, 2009

A nano-sized needle delivers molecules to particular spots inside a cell.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Nano-needles. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Incredibly tiny "nano-needles" are opening new frontiers in bio-medical research, making it possible to inject a single molecules into a living cell. The latest model comes from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Although the needle is 500 times thinner than a human hair, mechanical engineer Min-Feng Yu says it can be manipulated very precisely. It’s attached to the sharpened end of a somewhat larger probe, and viewed under a powerful microscope.

MIN-FENG YU (University of Illinois):
So that you can visualize the motion of the nano-needle, and position this nano-needle onto the specific cell you are interested in.

HIRSHON:
Yu says the needle could improve our knowledge of the human body, allowing scientists to track and tweak processes inside individual cells. It could also open up new strategies for super-targeted drug delivery. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.