The idea of nanorockets zipping around your body delivering drugs sounds a little Osmosis Jonesy, but German researchers have developed a less toxic fuel that might make that possible.
Replicating a tiny rocket inside the body brings some, well, health concerns. And those are valid; traditional rocket fuels like hydrazine are extremely toxic, highly flammable and dangerously unstable, all of which make it a pretty lousy candidate for a substance you'd like spurting out of a tiny rocket inside your body. Instead, the research team made rolled up metal nanotubes coated with platinum, so that platinum side would be on the inside, and put them in a weak hydrogen peroxide solution. The platinum catalyzed the peroxide, speeding its decomposition into water and oxygen, which forced gas bubbles out of the tube, generating thrust, even in bodily fluids such as blood, saliva or urine.
The rocket can travel up to 200 times its own length per second, and the researchers are able to control its speed by changing the temperature of the fluid. They can also steer the nanorocket using a magnetic field, to precisely direct the drugs to where they are needed.
While using peroxide is infinitely better than toxic rocket fuels, at 0.25 percent peroxide, it's still not completely safe. Researchers would like to dilute the solution further, or even better, create rockets that can be powered by glucose, or another substance already in the body.
Check out the rockets in action in the video below:
Putting aside if this body rocket is toxic in traveling about the human body, what happens should it get stuck some place and block blood flow? Is there a backup plan for such an emergency? How do they track this rocket it travels about the body?
It is interesting developmental medical science in trying to deliver drugs precisely or do rocket power remote control microscopic surgery with minimal damage to the body.
This sounds like a potential life threatening design because of the gas bubbles could reach the human heart and cause an aneurysm. (Similar to why doctors make sure there is no gas in lines with an IV transfusion.
Hmmm... not sure who to side with, the highly educated researchers or the posters concerned with vessel blockages and gas bubbles...
These devices are on the nano scale fellas...
they're not going to block blood vessels or produce enough gas bubbles that could coalesce to cause an "aneurysm"... the word I think you were looking for there buddy is embolism.
I guess PopSci also needed to make sure we knew this was a guy too. This tech only works on gender specific patients.
If that thing is steerable, you sure wouldn't know it from the video...
Turbo Two Tone,
I suspect POPSCI used a Greek style drawing to focus on the detail of the article, appreciate the human form and not get distracted by sexuality.
It was just a few articles ago POPSCI made an article about Deer reduction and its sexual organs were blurred out of the picture and somebody made a point of this.
I suppose sexuality is always on a few people’s minds, no matter what. I suggest you go back and try to read the article and focus less on the picture.
I love drugs