Use of nanoscale devices is helping to revolutionize medical treatment and research. The Ohio State University recently became the first place in the country where coronary bypass and mitral valve repair operations are performed by a computer controlled robot, operated by a remotely located surgeon handling joysticks and considering a three-dimensional, enlarged view of the surgical field. With the invaluable help of many associates and students, researchers have focused on two classes of objects: devices that feature nanopore membranes, and multifunctional particulates for the delivery of medical therapeutic agents. Nanomembranes may also be used as flux regulators for the long-term release of biopharmaceuticals from implanted depots. This application embodies a purely passive mass transport mode of molecules in channels that are just a few nanometers larger than the effective radii of the molecules themselves.

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