Swarm robots – the future of drug delivery?

Thursday 12th May 2011 @ 19:00

Non-Member: £12.00 ; Staff: £5.00 ; Student: £3.00

Dr Frantisek Stepanek, Reader in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College; Associate Professor at the Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague.

Designing new medical devices to mimic swarms of birds and insects for more effective drug delivery.

Microscopic chemical robots are being designed that adopt the characteristics and communications techniques of swarms of birds and insect to deliver drugs in new ways within the human body.

These can be defined as porous, internally structured particles a few microns in diameter, covered by a porous membrane able to regulate molecular transport into and out of the robot’s interior that contains compartments carrying different kinds of molecules. These compartments will facilitate a predefined set of chemical reactions — e.g. ‘neutralise’ absorbed molecules or produce and release an active ingredient once the robot reaches its target destination. The robot’s surface will be designed so as to recognise specific substrates that may be biological. Many aspects of the structure and function of chemical robots are inspired by those of single-cellular organisms.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).
After the lecture a Friends' Table has been reserved at a local restaurant to entertain the speaker and for any of the audience who would like to join us to continue the evening's discussion. A two-course fixed price supper is served including wine, coffee and service charge.
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Venue: Sir Alexander Fleming Building

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