Friday, February 10, 2012

NASA Biocapsule

The capsules containing nanopores, like the NASA Biocapsule, may be one of the most important discoveries in medicine. Among many possible applications, the ones that will most probably be commercialized in the future are concerning diseases like type 2 diabetes, hereditary disorders caused by the dysfunctional gene, etc. Basically any disorder where a healthy protein needs to be synthesized and secreted may be treated with this technique. The cells that will make a healthy protein will be inside the capsule, they will not trigger the immune response, and in return will synthesize the needed protein and release it into the body by diffusion.

The capsules' porous nature allows protein to pass through their walls, but the nanostructures are strong enough and small enough to keep the cells in one place. In the treatment of type 2 diabetes, the capsule would contain pancreatic islet cells (human or animal) with both glucose-sensing and insulin secretion function. In the case of hereditary disorders, cell lines that produce the protein of interest will fill the capsules.

This appears to be a way to implant foreign cells without the body being able to reject them and without them being able to leave the capsule.

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