Image of the Day: Teeny Tiny Delivery Balls

Scientists designed autonomous nanovesicles capable of following glucose concentration gradients, even through the blood brain barrier in rats.

The Scientist Staff
Aug 3, 2017

Fluorescently labeled polymersomes sprinkled throughout a petri dish follow a glucose gradient indicated by the green dot. The glow demonstrates an increase in polymersome concentration.JOSEPH ET AL., SCI ADV, 3:E1700362, 2017. Miniscule polymersomes, dubbed “nanoswimmers,” are drug delivery systems designed to use glucose gradients to self-navigate. This ability coupled with other unique aspects of their design allowed for “an increase of almost fourfold in the amount of polymersomes gaining access to the brain parenchyma of rats” versus other types of polymersomes that don’t rely on glucose homing, write the authors in their report.

See A. Joseph et al., “Chemotactic synthetic vesicles: Design and applications in blood-brain barrier crossing,” Science Advances, 3:e1700362, 2017.