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September 26th, 2003
Making tiny plastic particles to deliver lifesaving medicine
Many medications such as therapeutic DNA, insulin and human growth hormone must enter the body through painful injections, but a Johns Hopkins researcher is seeking to deliver the same treatment without the sting. Justin Hanes wants to pack the drugs inside microscopic plastic spheres that can be inhaled painlessly. Inside the lungs, the particles should dissolve harmlessly, releasing the medicine at a predetermined pace. Someday, Hanes said, this technique also may prove useful in delivering toxic cancer-fighting drugs only to cells affected by the disease.
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