May 7, 2015

Tiny silicone spheres come out of the mist

(May 7, 2015)  Technology in common household humidifiers could enable the next wave of high-tech medical imaging and targeted medicine, thanks to a new method for making tiny silicone microspheres developed by chemists at the University of Illinois.

Led by chemistry professor Kenneth Suslick, the researchers published their results in the journal Advanced Science.

Microspheres, tiny spheres as small as a red blood cell, have shown promise as agents for targeted drug delivery to tissues, as contrast agents for medical imaging, and in industrial applications. One prime contender as a material for microspheres is silicone, the rubbery plastic found in everything from bathtub caulk to kitchenware to medical implants, but a method of making silicone into microspheres has eluded scientists.

journal reference (Open Access) >>