COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Biotechnology could protect American soldiers from injury, infection, and chemical weapons on the high-tech battlegrounds of the future, according to a report released by the National Research Council (NRC) today.
Mauro Ferrari, Director of the Biomedical Engineering Center and Associate Director of the Heart and Lung Research Institute at Ohio State University, served on the advisory committee for the report, entitled "Opportunities in Biotechnology for Future Army Applications."
Ferrari, who also holds professorships in internal medicine, mechanical engineering, and materials science at Ohio State, said the report "outlines vital areas of biotechnology research that hold great potential for enhancing soldiers' performance in the field, and helping them return home safely."
Among technologies discussed in the report is Ferrari's area of investigation: tiny medical devices that are so small, they must be measured in micrometers or nanometers -- millionths or billionths of a meter.
Ferrari is developing tiny silicon capsules -- about the size of a pinhead -- that can be implanted beneath the skin to deliver medicine. Such capsules could contain sensors that monitor a person's health and dispense medicine when needed.