Doctors at Rutgers University are developing biomedicine technology that aims to destroy cancerous tumors.
Assistant Professor of Bio-Medical Engineering Adam Gormley and doctoral student Matthew Tamasi have created 5,000 new polymers in the last two years.
A polymer is the base from which plastics are made, and plastic is the most versatile material on Earth. These polymers have opened the door to new medical advances not possible just a few years ago.
“For example, a lot of people at home have arthritis in their knee due to a lack of cartilage,” says Professor Gormley. “So, what people are interested in doing is creating polymers, really advanced sophisticated polymers, to basically create tissue replacements for that knee.”
Professor Gormley says the polymers are so advanced that they can be made very small and sent into the blood stream to target cancer.
“What we describe by Nanotechnology are little nanoscopic particles that can go around and actually seek out tumors and kill them, either by delivering chemo-therapies, or directly engaging with the cancer cells themselves, and causing them to die. So that’s a lot of what we’re developing here in the lab,” he says.
The robot used to create the polymers didn’t do all the work. It took hours of programming by Rutgers doctoral students to make the machine come to life.