The ability to tailor medical patches and capsules at the molecular level offers a game-changing approach to medical treatment and drug delivery. With each molecule positioned for optimal effectiveness, patches and capsules can be improved and customized for a variety of purposes.
Because MRI scans rely on the use of a strong magnetic field, the presence of metal in a patient’s body can interfere with the technology and even rule out imaging. A research team at Argonne National Laboratory has manipulated the technology so that such metal objects become a detection system—in essence, allowing them to go unnoticed by the magnetic field.
Applying their findings in MRI technology has enabled the researchers to create other ground-breaking innovations, among them a device called the Molecule Nanoweaver. This unique tool can be used as both a fabricator and a detector of high-tech patches, multilayered capsules and other medical products.
As a fabricator, the nanoweaver can produce patches, capsules and other products by using electric, magnetic and intermolecular forces to manipulate molecules into useful patterns. As a detector, the nanoweaver’s spectroscopy and imaging capabilities allow the user to follow the process closely to ensure that fabrication proceeds correctly. For example, the Molecule Nanoweaver could be used to optimize and produce a heart-muscle stimulator patch that provides low-level electrical stimulation from electrochemical reactions taking place in the patch material.
This innovation has applications for the medical devices, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industries.