The National Science Foundation reports about a newly developed cool drug delivery system:
Researchers have now crafted tiny, hollow capsules out of lipids–water-repellant molecules in the same family as fats and oils–that crumple and collapse when cooled below body temperature. The collapse squeezes out whatever chemicals are inside the miniscule ball in a controlled manner that could one day deliver drugs to the human body or improve cosmetics.
Developed by physicist and NSF (Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) awardee Sahraoui Chaieb and his colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the capsules range in size from 10 to 100 micrometers (millionths of a meter) across.
For now, the capsules are in the earliest stages of development and not yet ready for medical use, although the researchers are discussing potential applications of the technology with a cosmetics company.