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April 23rd, 2008
Nanoparticles are seriously small. How small? If you have hair available on your head, take a strand -- a single strand -- in your fingertips. If you line up the smallest nanoparticles side by side, you would need 10,000 of them to form the width of that strand.
Welcome to the strain-your-eyes world of nanotechnology -- the practice of taking some of the smallest particles in the world and doing something useful with them. Nanotechnology has made tennis racquets stronger. Those water-repellent pants? Thanks, nanotech.
Now, like other drug firms around the world, a Rockville biotech is ramping up efforts to use nanotechnology for making drugs. In CytImmune Sciences' case, the intent is especially audacious: Use nanoparticles of gold to target cancer tumors like a smart bomb, delivering a drug so strong that it has been known to either cause more cancer or to shut down the cardiovascular system.
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