Science | Biogenic tools for singlecell surgery
Miniaturization has created a world of new medical tools, from pill-cams that can be swallowed and used to photograph the digestive tract, to tiny robots used for minimally invasive surgery. Srivastava et al. pursued this to the level of operating on single cells through the creation of microdaggers. They started with microneedles extracted from plants that are composed of porous calcium oxalate and calcium carbonate. Coating the microneedles with a layer of iron and titanium allowed their manipulation by means of a magnetic field. The tip of the microdagger could drill into a cell, and the porous nature of the needles should make it possible to preload them to deliver drugs to individual cells.