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TARGETING CELLS

ANCHOR LEAD: A NEW TECHNOLOGY MAY ALLOW INDIVIDUAL CELLS IN THE BODY TO BE MANIPULATED, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

The era of being able to target individual cells without affecting their neighbors may have arrived, with the development of very tiny tools known as nanowires by Andre Levchenko and colleagues at Johns Hopkins.

LEVCHENKO: This is something that is based on what people call nanowires.  They’re not real wires in the sense that we don’t couple them together into electronic chips but these are extremely tiny pieces of metal, in this case gold, and they can be manipulated in many interesting different ways.  One way to manipulate them is to make them charged.  You can imagine putting drugs or various proteins that living cells would be sensitive to.                 :26

The nanowires are only about one two-hundredth the size of the cell itself, and placing them so precisely may be likened to dropping a toothpick on the head of a particular person in a stadium packed with 100,000 people.   At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

 


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