It’s a bit disconcerting to read about a new drug delivery system using silicon, a substance I strongly associate with computers. From the news item on Azonano,
Different types of drug molecules can be bound to the porous structure of silicon, thereby making it possible to alter their properties and control their behaviour within the body.
Porous silicon can be produced as both micro- and nanoparticles, which facilitates the introduction of the material through different dosing routes – orally, as injections or subcutaneous applications. Furthermore, biodegradable nanoparticles can be used for drug targeting.
Scientists in Finland are working on this project and possible applications include dieting. Apparently peptides which control appetite can be targeted with this new delivery system. I suspect that if this is possible there will be a stampede to use silicon drug delivery systems and public concerns about risk will be left far behind as people chase the dream of dieting without effort.
The NISE (Nanoscale Informal Science Education) Network has included some timely information about snowflakes and nanotechnology it its latest newsletter. The downloadable education programme is here. The snowflake images are supplied by Kenneth Libbrecht, Caltech and you can see more of those here. The haiku in this month’s newsletter is,
Nano, oh nano
With surface area so
Small, but big impact
This week will be short as I’m not sure if I’ll be posting after tomorrow. Changes are afoot.