‘Backpacking’ Bacteria Help Ferry Nano-Medicines Inside Humans

Science Daily

To the ranks of horses, donkeys, camels and other animals that have served humanity as pack animals or beasts of burden, scientists are now enlisting bacteria to ferry nano-medicine cargos throughout the human body. They reported on progress in developing these “backpacking” bacteria — so small that a million would fit on the head of a pin — in San Diego on March 29 at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

“Cargo-carrying bacteria may be an answer to a major roadblock in using nano-medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat disease,” David H. Gracias, Ph.D., leader of the research team said. Gracias explained that nanotechnology is the engineering of ultra-small machines and other devices. These devices generally lack practical self-sustaining motors to move particles of medication, sensors and other material to diseased parts of the body. So why not attach such cargo to bacteria, which have self-propulsion systems, and have them hike around the human body?

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