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December 16th, 2004
Small spheres, big potential
The integration of nanotechnology and biophotonics techniques has resulted in development of nanoparticle platforms that will impact biophotonics applications such as bioimaging, biosensing, genomics and proteomics, light-activated therapy, and tissue engineering.
These platforms include 20- to 40-nm-diameter silica bubbles that can have molecules attached to the outside or encapsulated inside. Silica-based nanoparticle platforms provide a number of advantages: the nanoparticles can be made under mild conditions that don't damage biological activity; the nanometer-scale size of the particles minimizes interaction with the immune system; the silica shell can be functionalized for coupling of biologics; silica nanoparticles are stable in biological environments; and silica-based nanoparticles are optically transparent.
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