Science

Nanomachines engage in first chat

EPA / BARTLOMIEJ ZBOROWSKI

Researchers have managed to make two artificial nanoparticles communicate to work on the same task, in a breakthrough experiment that could bring about major advancements in the field of cancer research.
As is the case with people, no nanoparticle can achieve much on its own. It is only through interaction that they can be made more useful and capable of solving mysteries of the society. So far, it has proved particularly difficult to make such miniscule devices, as they would require tiny little batteries and motors.
However, Reynaldo Villalonga and fellow researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, drew their inspiration from cells and bacteria, which engage in a small talk, called quorum sensing, to coordinate their behavior and function like a multicellular organism.
Hence, the act of communication between two nanoparticles is a profound achievement, and if the prime purpose of their chat is to deliver medication, they could target the specific cancer cells and release the drug when they turn malignant.
This is one of the first steps toward constructing a nanosized robot… Our dream is to construct an autonomous nanomachine that can be used to fight cancers.” Villalonga says.
The next step would be to make sure that several artificial nanoparticles build up larger networks of communication, in an effort to execute more complex tasks. This could have wide-ranging applications across the fields of science.

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