Gelatin, commonly used in jellys and ice creams, is a flavorless food additive derived from collagen, a protein, obtained from various animal body parts. Now, scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, may have found another novel application of gelatin -- as nanoparticles that could help in drug release. Through a process called protein desolvation, they have generated homogeneous nanoparticles of gelatin whose surface could undergo ‘erosion’ in the body due to other enzymes, thus releasing an entrapped drug or gene in the process. The nanoparticles, of varying sizes and densities, can be loaded with different types of drugs that can be released in a planned rate within our bodies, say the researchers. This innovation could be the way forward for the drugs of the future, fine-tuned to act on specific cells.