Thursday, July 06, 2006

US Patent 7070923 - Nanotube Paper Immunity Shield

Cell transplantation is useful for gene therapy and other medical treatments however there is difficulty is providing cell transplantation without resistance from the hosts immune system. This patent proposes using paperlike material formed of nanotubes which is sufficiently biocompatible to shield transplanted cells from an immune system but also sufficiently porous to allow some communicaton with the cell. Interestingly this patent is from NASA who apparently have interests beyond avionics and space science. Claim 1 reads:

1. A system for enclosing a biological tissues or group of cells for positioning within an ambient medium, the system comprising: a cage or envelope of a cage material that includes primarily carbon nanotube Bucky paper ("CNTBP"), the cage having at least one of a cage thickness in a range 1-100 microns and a cage area density in a range of 420 1500 micrograms/square cm, where the cage encloses at least one of a biological tissue or a group of cells (referred to herein as a "biological insert") and an interior of the cage is substantially isolated from an ambient medium surrounding the cage, except for transport at least one species of molecule between the cage interior and the ambient medium.