Researchers working on nanorockets to deliver medications inside the body

Scientists and researchers have been working for years on new and novel methods to deliver medications to a specific area inside the body. Among the applications for such technology is the ability to shoot medications directly to a tumor site to help reduce the side effects of the cancer treatment to the patient. Scientists have developed a new nanorocket that might be able to deliver these medications quickly to specific spots in the body.

The rockets are made of nanotubes that are made by rolling platinum sheets of metal into tubes with the platinum on the inside. The tubes are then placed into a warm, weak hydrogen peroxide solution containing .25% hydrogen peroxide. When placed in the hydrogen peroxide the platinum catalyzed the peroxide into water and oxygen. The resulting bubbles that spewed out one end of the nanorocket offered thrust in the opposite direction from the bubble spray.

The propulsion was enough to propel the nanotube at over 200 times its own length per second, which is faster than the quickest bacteria. The tubes can be steered using a magnetic field and the speed is controlled by varying the temperature of the solution. The weak hydrogen peroxide fuel is still not entirely safe for the body so research continues. The team hopes to develop a nanorocket that can use materials in the body like glucose as a fuel.

[via NewScientist]