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Research and Technology

August 22nd, 2006

Ovarian Cancer Detection and Therapy

Here is an interesting article about nanoparticles (more specifically, a compound produced by St. John’s wort with polymeric nanoparticles) being used for treating ovarian tumors using light. (This work has been published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics)

Following their demonstration that nanoparticle formulations of hypericin have the potential to kill ovarian cancer cells, the researchers then showed that they could detect hypericin inside cells using fluorescence microscopy. This finding suggests that surgeons may be able to use nanoparticle-delivered hypericin to find micrometastatic lesions while performing surgery to remove the primary ovarian tumor.

Read it here.

Screening Nanoparticles

U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a screening method to examine how newly made nanoparticles interact with human cells following exposure for various times and doses:

“By combining techniques of molecular biology with sophisticated imaging methods, we can rapidly gather information about the response of specific cell types to specific nanoparticles, making in vitro testing an inexpensive and immediate tool for screening and fine-tuning nanoparticle design to maximize safety and target specificity,” Panessa-Warren said.

In the Brookhaven team’s studies, the scientists used lung and colon epithelial cells – chosen to represent two likely routes of nanoparticle exposure (inhalation and ingestion) – grown as cell monolayers, where the individual cells join together to form a tight layer with many of the characteristics of lung and colon cells growing in the body as an epithelial layer. These monolayers of living cells are then exposed to varying doses of carbon nanoparticles over differing amounts of time, and the cells are studied at each time period and dose.

Read it here.

Nano Simulation Software

Now this is awesome. Over at the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology blog, they have a really cool worm drive made from NanoEngineer-1. This is a must see. 11 components totalling 25,374 atoms took just over 370 hours to complete.


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