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NN-Labs Receives $2 million in SBIR Contracts
Fayetteville, AR | Posted on October 17, 2006
NN-Labs, LLC (Nanomaterials and Nanofabrication Laboratories), an Arkansas based nanotechnology firm, was recently awarded three Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts. The awards consist of two Phase II contracts, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and one Phase I contract from NIH; all three contracts total $1.8 million. Work on these new projects is already underway.
The funds will aid in NN-Labs’ ability to extend its strength in nanocrystals into end products in the biomedical field. Currently, cadmium containing semiconductor nanocrystals constitute all of the company’s standardized product lines for semiconductor nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots. While non-cadmium containing nanomaterials, such as gold nanoparticles and iron oxide (Fe3O4) magnetic Nanoparticles, are available through custom orders, the product lines are not yet complete or standardized.
The NIH Phase II, entitled Kits for Converting Nanocrystals to Standard Bio-Medical Reagents, Second Generation Nanocrystal Bio-Medical Labels follows the success of the Phase I that focused on the development of bio-medical labels based on the first generation of semiconductor nanocrystals, CdSe quantum dots. NN-Labs will develop the second generation of quantum dots, which are doped zinc containing semiconductor nanocrystals (d-dots). D-dots will ultimately remove heavy metal cadmium from the current workhorse—cadmium selenide related nanocrystals—of quantum dots. In addition, d-dots are also more durable and have better optical properties when high density emitters are needed. It is expected that these new fluorescence labels will make early diagnosis of various diseases and pathogens more practical and less expensive.
Commercial Scale Production of High Quality and Affordable Fe3O4 Nanocrystals for Nano-Biomedicine is the title of the NSF Phase II contract that will expand upon the product line developed in the Phase I contract. The biomedical applications for these Fe3O4 magnetic nanocrystals cover many aspects of the biomedical field, ranging from diagnostics, detection, therapy, separation, and pollution control, etc, which is at least a multi-billion-dollar market. Yet another variety of nanocrystal is to be developed with funding from the NIH Phase I contract, entitled High Yield and Inexpensive Production of High Quality Gold Nanocrystals as Bio-Labels. Similar to the other contracts, the end goal is to enhance already existing biomedical techniques as well as open the door to novel applications in the biomedical field. NN-Labs strives to complete this Phase I as successfully as we have for other Phase I awards, which will help us to secure the corresponding Phase II award from NIH with additional funding of $750K for two years.
NN-Labs has been business active for about four years, since July of 2002. The company has received 15 SBIR contracts (about $5m in total) that have partially funded the development of four standardized product lines, with several other product lines that are still under development and in the trial sales stage. The company maintains affiliations with the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority (ASTA). NN-Labs is also a member of the Genesis Technology Incubator. Additional information about NN-Labs can be found on the company’s website, www.nn-labs.com, or by contacting Leah Sheridan at 479-575-2723 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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