Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flexible, nanoscale 'bed of nails' created for possible drug delivery

Date:
January 15, 2013
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have come up with a technique to embed needle-like carbon nanofibers in an elastic membrane, creating a flexible "bed of nails" on the nanoscale that opens the door to development of new drug-delivery systems.

This image shows carbon nanofibers embedded in the elastic membrane.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

Researchers at North Carolina State University have come up with a technique to embed needle-like carbon nanofibers in an elastic membrane, creating a flexible "bed of nails" on the nanoscale that opens the door to development of new drug-delivery systems.

The research community is interested in finding new ways to deliver precise doses of drugs to specific targets, such as regions of the brain. One idea is to create balloons embedded with nanoscale spikes that are coated with the relevant drug. Theoretically, the deflated balloon could be inserted into the target area and then inflated, allowing the spikes on the balloon's surface to pierce the surrounding cell walls and deliver the drug. The balloon could then be deflated and withdrawn.

But to test this concept, researchers first needed to develop an elastic material that is embedded with these aligned, nanoscale needles. That's where the NC State research team came in.

"We have now developed a way of embedding carbon nanofibers in an elastic silicone membrane and ensuring that the nanofibers are both perpendicular to the membrane's surface and sturdy enough to impale cells," says Dr. Anatoli Melechko, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper on the work.

The researchers first "grew" the nanofibers on an aluminum bed, or substrate. They then added a drop of liquid silicone polymer. The polymer, nanofibers and substrate were then spun, so that centrifugal force spread the liquid polymer in a thin layer between the nanofibers -- allowing the nanofibers to stick out above the surface. The polymer was then "cured," turning the liquid polymer into a solid, elastic membrane. Researchers then dissolved the aluminum substrate, leaving the membrane embedded with the carbon nanofibers "needles."

"This technique is relatively easy and inexpensive," says Melechko, "so we are hoping this development will facilitate new research on targeted drug-delivery methods."

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ryan C. Pearce, Justin G Railsback, Bryan D Anderson, Mehmet F Sarac, Timothy E Mcknight, Joseph B. Tracy, Anatoli V Melechko. Transfer of Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanofibers to Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) while Maintaining their Alignment and Impalefection Functionality. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2013; 130102201039009 DOI: 10.1021/am302501z

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Flexible, nanoscale 'bed of nails' created for possible drug delivery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115101522.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2013, January 15). Flexible, nanoscale 'bed of nails' created for possible drug delivery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115101522.htm
North Carolina State University. "Flexible, nanoscale 'bed of nails' created for possible drug delivery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115101522.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins