Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

android tablet pc

Home > Press > 'Side Effects May Not Include ... ' Clark School Shows In Vivo 'Nanofactories' Can Make and Deliver Targeted Drugs

The list of side effects on your next prescription bottle may one day be a lot shorter, according to
researchers at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering.

'Side Effects May Not Include ... ' Clark School Shows In Vivo 'Nanofactories' Can Make and Deliver Targeted Drugs

COLLEGE PARK, MD | Posted on February 27th, 2007

That's because instead of taking a conventional medication, you may
instead swallow tiny "nanofactories," biochemical machines that act like
cells, first conceived of at the Clark School.

For example, these ingested nanofactories, using magnetism, could
detect a bacterial infection, produce a medication using the body's own
materials, and deliver a dose directly to the bacteria. The drug would do
its work only at the infection site, and thus not cause the side effects
that may arise when an antibiotic travels throughout the body in search of

William Bentley, professor and chair of the Fischell Department of
Bioengineering at the Clark School, and several graduate students including
Rohan Fernandes, have developed this "magnetic nanofactory" concept and
published their research in Metabolic Engineering in December of last year.
Colleagues around the country voiced their support for the technology in
Nature Nanotechnology last month.

"In the lab," Bentley says, "our group showed we can produce a tiny
nanofactory and attach it to a target cell magnetically. The nanofactory
then makes small molecules from surrounding materials and delivers the
molecules -- potentially drug molecules -- to the targeted cell."

Besides drug molecules, the researchers showed that the nanofactory
could produce signaling molecules that communicate with the target cell or
block the target cell from communicating with other, similar cells (a
process called "quorum sensing") and thus prevent infection. The
researchers attached the nanofactories to E. coli cells, targeting them
with the help of a mixture of iron particles and chitosan, a substance
derived from the shells of crustaceans like crabs and shrimp. The
nanofactories then produced a signaling molecule that could render the E.
coli harmless. Nanofactories could be designed to produce the needed drug
molecules over an extended period of time.

Now that the viability of nanofactories has been shown, researchers
must overcome a few challenges before they can be used in humans. First,
nanofactories must be cloaked so that the body does not react to them as a
foreign substance and try to attack them. Another goal is to find a method
to shut down the nanofactory once it has produced the needed substance -- a
type of off-switch that could be activated from outside the body. These and
other topics are being investigated in the Fischell Department of

Images are available for this release here:
The Metabolic Engineering and Nature Nanotechnology articles can be made
available upon request.

Bentley Research Group Webpage:


About Clark School of Engineering
The Clark School of Engineering, situated on the rolling, 1,500-acre
University of Maryland campus in College Park, Md., is one of the premier
engineering schools in the U.S.

The Clark School's graduate programs are collectively the fastest
rising in the nation. In U.S. News & World Report's annual rating of
graduate programs, the school is 15th among public and private programs
nationally, 9th among public programs nationally and first among public
programs in the mid-Atlantic region. The School offers 13 graduate programs
and 12 undergraduate programs, including degree and certification programs
tailored for working professionals.

The school is home to one of the most vibrant research programs in the
country. With major emphasis in key areas such as communications and
networking, nanotechnology, bioengineering, reliability engineering,
project management, intelligent transportation systems and space robotics,
as well as electronic packaging and smart small systems and materials, the
Clark School is leading the way toward the next generations of engineering

Visit the Clark School homepage at .

For more information, please click here

Lee Tune
Senior Media Relations Associate for Science and Technology
(301) 405-4679

Copyright © PR Newswire Association LLC.

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press


Cloaked DNA nanodevices survive pilot mission: Successful foray opens door to virus-like DNA nanodevices that could diagnose diseased tissues and manufacture drugs to treat them April 22nd, 2014

Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate First Size-based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Living Cells April 22nd, 2014

Amino-functionalized carbon nanotubes act as a carrier for nerve growth factor April 21st, 2014

Newly-Produced Bone Cement Able to Carry Medicine April 21st, 2014


Like a hall of mirrors, nanostructures trap photons inside ultrathin solar cells April 22nd, 2014

Nanomaterial Outsmarts Ions April 22nd, 2014

Vacuum Ultraviolet Lamp of the Future Created in Japan: First Solid-State Vacuum UV Phosphor, Described in APL-Materials, Promises Smaller, Safer, Longer Lasting, Low Power Lamps for Industrial Applications April 22nd, 2014

Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate First Size-based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Living Cells April 22nd, 2014


Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate First Size-based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Living Cells April 22nd, 2014

PETA science consortium to present hazard testing strategy at nanotoxicology meeting: High tech field ripe for use of sophisticated non-animal testing strategies April 22nd, 2014

Harris & Harris Group Notes the Receipt of Proceeds From the Sale of Molecular Imprints' Semiconductor Business to Canon April 22nd, 2014

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Success of CRS-3 and the First Flight of the Falcon 9R April 22nd, 2014

Human Interest/Art

Harry Potter-style invisibility cloaks: A real possibility next Christmas? Forget socks and shaving foam, the big kids of tomorrow want an invisible cloak for Christmas December 19th, 2013

Chicago Awareness Organization First Not-for-Profit to Sponsor Dog Training to Detect Ovarian Cancer Odorants December 12th, 2013

ZEISS Microscopes used to create images for Art Exhibit at Midway Airport: Art of Science: Images from the Institute for Genomic Biology October 25th, 2013

New potential for touch screens found at your fingertips September 17th, 2013

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE