This 50-Year-Old NASA Invention Could Now be Used to Fight Cancer

Magnetic ferrofluid could be used to pilot medicine through your body to target harmful cells.

Ferrofluid (The Verge)

In the early 1960s, NASA created a bizarre goo named ferrofluid as a way to move fuel around the zero-gravity environment of outer space. That application didn’t really work, but now, scientists are looking at how this invention could help us fight cancer by allowing doctors to pilot medicine through your body, right to where its needed. Ferrofluid is made up of only three ingredients: magnetic nanoparticles like iron oxide, a special anti-clumping coating, and a water- or oil-based liquid, explains The Verge. You can use a simple magnet to move it around from a distance, no wires or pumps needed.

Thomas Webster, the director of the Nanomedicine Laboratory at Northeastern University, as well as other scientists, are looking at the ways ferrofluid can kill cancer cells, fight drug-resistant infections, and even help neurons communicate with each other.

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