JERUSALEM, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Israeli researchers have developed a new technology to transfer drugs directly to the brain with silicon chips, Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) reported Sunday.
Theses nanometer-shaped silicon chips release an essential protein that may inhibit the development of Alzheimer's disease.
The findings of the new study, conducted by researchers from Technion and Bar-Ilan University, were published in the journal "Small."
Alzheimer's is characterized by memory loss, speech impairments, orientation problems, decrease of motor skills, and more.
The disease, which hits mainly the elderly, is a brain cell degeneration, mainly due to protein accumulation in brain tissues, killing nerve cells and causing damage to mechanisms that are essential for brain function.
Providing specific protein inhibits damage to these mechanisms, but insertion of the protein into the target area in the brain is not simple because of the blood-brain barrier.
This barrier, which protects the central nervous system from bacteria and harmful substances, also prevents the passage of drugs.
The Israeli team solution inserts the protein into the brain and releases it into the target tissue by using dedicated chips that have a nanoscale porous structure which allows them to be loaded with large amounts of protein.
The chip is inserted into the brain by implant or launched into the target as tiny particles with a "gene gun," a system that fires metal particles coated with these molecules.