Dr. Gracias takes inspiration from parasitic work for medicine delivery

November 30, 2020


When an open theragripper, left, is exposed to internal body temperatures, it closes on the instestinal wall. In the gripper’s center is a space for a small dose of a drug

Inspired by a parasitic worm that digs its sharp teeth into its host’s intestines, Johns Hopkins researchers have designed tiny, star-shaped microdevices that can latch onto intestinal mucosa and release drugs into the body. Click here for the full story


Here are some other works from the Gracias lab:


Express (UK)

December 15 2020

Medicine breakthrough: Robot parasites could ‘solve healthcare problem’ as vaccines boom

Now, Professor David Gracias, a biomolecular engineer at Johns Hopkins university, and his team have invented a new way for people to take medicines, by attaching drugs to parasite-inspired nano-technology that dispense drugs from within the body as and when they are needed.

Talking to BBC Science Focus Magazine about the breakthrough, Prof Gracias explained: “We’ve been trying to deliver drugs through the gastrointestinal tract, and that is a formidable challenge because the gastrointestinal tract has a mucosa – a mucus layer. It’s kind of like a conveyor belt, it’s constantly moving. It moves and it sheds (cells) in different parts at different rates.


BBC Science Focus Magazine

November 18, 2020

Parasite-inspired drug delivery system could be the future of medicine

Prof David Gracias is the director of graduate studies in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He spoke to BBC Science Focus commissioning editor Jason Goodyer about his latest work on bioinspired microdevices that can release drugs directly into patients’ gastrointestinal systems.


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