iGEM 2013: Making Magnetic Carrier Pigeons for Delivering Drugs – University of Copenhagen

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31 July 2013

iGEM 2013: Making Magnetic Carrier Pigeons for Delivering Drugs


Eight of the eleven 2013 Copenhagen iGEM team members. 
 
Imagine reducing the  side-effects of chemotherapy by using tiny magnets to direct the drugs to specific regions of the body. Or sugar-driven induction power generators made up of magnets moved by biochemical energy. This year's iGEM team at University of Copenhagen are seeing one good idea turning into many. 
  
The members of Team "Magneto", the 2013 Copenhagen iGEM team, are making it possible to use some of the world's tiniest magnetic molecules to magnetize all kinds of molecules of interest. The application perspectives of these nano-magnets are staggering: Using the magnets as versatile "tags" makes it possible to use a strong magnetic field to direct drugs to their target tissue, thus decreasing unwanted systemic side effects.
 
These unique magnetic molecules are small iron-oxides, that are formed in magnetotactic bacteria. These unique magnetic molecules are small iron-oxides, that are formed in magnetotactic bacteria. The team is working with a strain of bacteria ordered from a strain bank but have also isolated what is presumably a local "Denmark" strain in the waters close to Copenhagen. 
Apart from being evaluated on their success in the laboratory, special emphasis are also being put on the participating iGEM teams engaging themselves in creative outreach projects to communicate their science and engage the public. To this end, the students in Team Magneto are collaborating with filmmakers to produce an animated short, to present their project. 
 
They are also leaving a valuable legacy for future iGEM teams, it's called Bricks of Knowledge. Reflecting the iGEM credo of openly sharing biobricks (read more below), the Brick of Knowledge project invites each iGEM team to submit a short instructive video clip, which will be compiled and edited by Team Magneto to form a full mini-series with all the information needed by them. 
 
Follow the team on twitter and facebook: 
https://twitter.com/iGEMCopenhagen
https://www.facebook.com/pages/IGEM-Copenhagen-2013/1393917120824679
 

ABOUT iGEM

The iGEM competition is about building a the most original and useful biological, microbial machine, sharing the knowledge and communicating your project in the freshest and artistic way.  Students from various disciplines collaborate in teams against other teams from all over the world.