Someday, your doctor may try to rip holes in your cells to get drugs inside. Scientists have long known that ultrasound (at lower frequencies than the ones used for medical imaging) helps get drugs inside cells, but these photos, of prostate cancer cells, are the first to show the process in action. Using several types of microscopy, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology showed that ultrasound waves punched holes in the cells’ membranes. The pressure of the ultrasound creates tiny bubbles, says Mark Prausnitz, the professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering who led the work. When the bubbles burst, a wave of fluid movement opens up a small breach. The damage is temporary: researchers found that within minutes, the cells could manufacture and dispatch tiny spheres of membrane material that would patch the holes. The ultrasound technique could become a way to target delivery of gene therapy or chemotherapy to specific tissues, or to transport large-molecule drugs that can’t otherwise pass through cell membranes. Ultrasound wands could be pressed against the skin, with their energy focused on specific internal tissues. Safety studies are likely to take several years, says Prausnitz, but if all goes well, this could become an approved procedure in five to ten years.
This new data poisoning tool lets artists fight back against generative AI
The tool, called Nightshade, messes up training data in ways that could cause serious damage to image-generating AI models.
Rogue superintelligence and merging with machines: Inside the mind of OpenAI’s chief scientist
An exclusive conversation with Ilya Sutskever on his fears for the future of AI and why they’ve made him change the focus of his life’s work.
Data analytics reveal real business value
Sophisticated analytics tools mine insights from data, optimizing operational processes across the enterprise.
Driving companywide efficiencies with AI
Advanced AI and ML capabilities revolutionize how administrative and operations tasks are done.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.