Narrator: This is Science Today. Developing devices that are a hundred thousand times thinner than a human hair to track down cancer cells and deliver targeted anti-cancer drugs may seem like science fiction, but University of California at Riverside engineers are working on just that. Mihri Ozkan is hoping to combine her research of micro-electrical arrays, or the signals cells emit, with nanodevices to deliver anti-cancer drugs.
Ozkan: What we're trying to find out is actually to define signature patterns for breast cancer, for example, versus a healthy breast cell and differences between a prostate cancer cell. We are trying to, at the nanoscale, develop smart nanoscale particles, which can basically target and which can image and which can also deliver drugs to the spots that we want.
Narrator: Ozkan's research is part of a consortium that forms the Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, a new, nationally-funded center based at the University of California , San Diego . For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.