FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Magnetic nanosphere drug delivery system. Vial containing living human cervical cancer cells containing mesoporous silica nanospheres capped with iron-oxide nanoparticles, which are being drawn through the solution toward a small rare-earth magnet (right). These tiny silica nanospheres are being investigated as a means to deliver a dose of chemotherapy drugs to specific cancer cells without the risk of side affects to healthy cells, and different methods of controlling whether the particle delivers its pharmaceutical payload are being investigated. The nanospheres are only about 200 nanometres in diameter, the size of a virus, so they would not trigger an immune response in the body. In addition, they can be readily absorbed by the cells. Photographed at Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University, USA.
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