Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Queen's chemist designs new 'catch-and-tell' molecules

Professor AP De Silva
Professor AP De Silva

Abstract:
A Queen's scientist, whose research is now used worldwide in blood analysing equipment, has made another important discovery.

Recently announced as the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry's (RSC) Sensors Award for 2008, Professor A. Prasanna de Silva, has created ‘intelligent' molecules.

Queen's chemist designs new 'catch-and-tell' molecules

Belfast, Ireland | Posted on August 19th, 2008

The discovery is based on previous pioneering research by Professor De Silva and his colleagues at Queen's, which created ‘catch and tell' sensor molecules that send out light signals when they catch chemicals in blood.

That technology helped create blood diagnostic cassettes which have achieved sales of over $50 million worldwide. Used in hospitals, ambulances and veterinary offices the cassettes are used to quickly monitor blood for levels of common salt components such as sodium, potassium and calcium.

Now, an extension of the same design has developed molecules which can act as simple ‘logic gates': more complex versions of which are what drive current computers.

Some of the new molecules made at Queen's can add small numbers, while others developed by US colleagues can play games likes tic-tac-toe and win against human opponents. New research at Queen's also shows they can also be used as ‘ID tags' for very small objects the size of biological cells.

Explaining about how the new discovery could be used, Professor De Silva, who is a Chair of Organic Chemistry at Queen's, said: "So far, our fluorescent sensor technology has been used in blood diagnostic cassettes worldwide. If, for example, you have an accident and need blood, an ambulance crew can analyse your blood at the scene and tell the A&E Unit to arrange for a certain type of blood with the necessary salt levels ready at the hospital for your arrival."

"Now, we have extended our sensor designs and discovered other possible uses. One such use could be as an ID tag for cells in an epidemic, such as a bird-flu outbreak. From a population, our sensor molecules could help track infection and highlight vulnerable people.

"Also, as logic gates are what drive current computers, molecular versions of these gates open very interesting possibilities. The ID tags example is the first of these applications of molecular logic gates which tackle problems that current computing devices cannot. Another one is a ‘lab-on-a-molecule' system which combines several lab tests with a rudimentary diagnosis without human intervention.

"It is exciting to think that these tiny molecules can perform small-scale computational operations in spaces where semiconductors cannot go in spite of all their power."

The 2008 RSC Sensors Award is sponsored by GE Healthcare (a unit of General Electric Company). Professor De Silva's award consists of a silver medal and a prize of £500. It is given biannually for chemical input into the design of novel sensors or novel applications of existing sensors.

Further information on the area of Organic Chemistry at Queen's can be found at www.ch.qub.ac.uk/index.html

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lisa Mitchell
Press Officer
+44 (0)28 9097 5384
Mob: 07814 422 572

Copyright © Queen's University Belfast

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.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat: SunShot Project aims to make solar cost competitive October 29th, 2014

Tiny carbon nanotube pores make big impact October 29th, 2014

Microrockets fueled by water neutralize chemical and biological warfare agents October 29th, 2014

Nanosafety research – there’s room for improvement October 29th, 2014

Nanomedicine

'Electronic skin' could improve early breast cancer detection October 29th, 2014

Tiny carbon nanotube pores make big impact October 29th, 2014

Molecular beacons shine light on how cells 'crawl' October 27th, 2014

New nanodevice to improve cancer treatment monitoring October 27th, 2014

Sensors

Tiny carbon nanotube pores make big impact October 29th, 2014

MEMS & Sensors Technology Showcase: Finalists Announced for MEMS Executive Congress US 2014 October 23rd, 2014

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI), 2014, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 1-24 October 22nd, 2014

Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires October 20th, 2014

Discoveries

New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat: SunShot Project aims to make solar cost competitive October 29th, 2014

Tiny carbon nanotube pores make big impact October 29th, 2014

Microrockets fueled by water neutralize chemical and biological warfare agents October 29th, 2014

Nanoparticles Display Ability to Improve Efficiency of Filters October 28th, 2014

Announcements

New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat: SunShot Project aims to make solar cost competitive October 29th, 2014

Tiny carbon nanotube pores make big impact October 29th, 2014

Microrockets fueled by water neutralize chemical and biological warfare agents October 29th, 2014

Nanosafety research – there’s room for improvement October 29th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE





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














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







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