UC San Diego engineers have developed microscopic robots, called microrobots, that can swim around in the lungs, deliver medication and be used to clear up life-threatening cases of bacterial pneumonia. In mice, the microrobots safely eliminated pneumonia-causing bacteria in the lungs and resulted in 100% survival. By contrast, untreated mice all died within three days after infection.
For decades, scientists have explored the use of liposomes –– hollow spheres made of lipid bilayers –– to deliver chemotherapy drugs to tumor cells. Now, researchers report in ACS’ Nano Letters a way to stabilize liposomes by embedding a stiff nanobowl in their inner cavity.
The researchers discovered that encapsulating ellagic acid in chitosan, a sugar, reduces its inherent cytotoxicity while enhancing its anti-oxidant properties. The chitosan shell, which makes up the hard outer skeleton of shellfish, also permits EA delivery via a rapid burst phase and a relatively slow phase.