Public Release: 

Wiggle room: Cornell researcher borrows idea from sperm to provide energy for nanoscale robots

Cornell University

ITHACA, N.Y. - In order to deliver medicine inside the human body, nanoscale medical devices need energy to carry out tasks, such as releasing drugs. Alex Travis, Cornell assistant professor of veterinary medicine, suggests creating a system that generates power for nanoscale robots, based upon how sperm make energy to swim.

Travis will present his research at the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting, Dec. 3, and he will discuss this idea at a press briefing in Room 101 of the Washington Convention Center at 10 a.m.

"One of the major limitations in making implantable, nanomedical devices is providing power to them," said Travis, who conducts his research at the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health, part of Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine. "If you can engineer a device that can make its own energy, then it can potentially last longer and regulate its own task rate."

Another potential use for this technology: creating nanoscale pumps that could release chemotherapeutics or antibiotics into specific places in the body.


WHAT: Press briefing with Cornell's Alex Travis at the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Room 101, Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

NOTE: EMBARGOED until 10 a.m. EST on Monday, Dec. 3. For information and complete background material in advance, contact Blaine Friedlander, Cornell Press Office, at (607) 254-8093.

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