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UCSD Researchers Develop Microscopic Drug Delivery Devices

UCSD researchers say they've successfully designed and tested microscopic devices that can deliver anti-cancer drugs to tumors. While researchers have used the technology only in mice, they believe

UCSD Researchers Develop Microscopic Drug Delivery Devices

UCSD researchers say they've successfully designed and tested microscopic devices that can deliver anti-cancer drugs to tumors. While researchers have used the technology only in mice, they believe it could work in humans. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

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The devices are 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. These so-called cargo ships carry three nano-sized particles. Two of the particles allow the device to be seen in an MRI scan. The other contains an anti-cancer drug.

UCSD chemist Michael Sailor says the cargo ships are injected into a mouse's bloodstream.

Michael Sailor: So these nanostructures swim around in the mouse, attach themselves to the tumors. They light up then, and we image them in two different modes, and then they deliver the drug to kill the tumor.  

Sailor says the devices are so small they go undetected by the body's immune system.

He says the next step is to improve their imaging qualities and delivery times.

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Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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