(image from Technion)
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology doctoral candidate Alona Shagan and assistant professor Boaz Mizrahi have developed a technology that enables drugs to be delivered and released only to the diseased tissue that a drug is targeting. Researchers designed the one-of-a-kind delivery method to release under long wave light (near-infrared, NIR). The light warms the gold nanoshells, melting the polymer packaging, and releasing the drug. The primary advantage of NIR light is its ability to penetrate bodily tissues without harming them. The researchers believe this new technology can be used for a variety of other applications, such as the sealing of internal and external injuries, temporary holding of tissue during surgery, or as biodegradable scaffolds for growing transplant organs.