Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Tiny Particles Solve Big Problems

Abstract:
Cutting edge nanotechnology research at North Carolina State University is leading to advances in everything from revitalizing HIV drugs to creating harder, stronger nanocrystalline iron that can really take the heat.

Tiny Particles Solve Big Problems

Raleigh, NC | Posted on April 6th, 2009

Chemists at North Carolina State University have discovered that adding tiny bits of gold to a failed HIV drug rekindle the drug's ability to stop the virus from invading the body's immune system, while NC State materials engineers have created a substance far stronger and harder than conventional iron, and which retains these properties under extremely high temperatures - opening the door to a wide variety of potential applications, such as engine components that are exposed to high stress and high temperatures.

Gold Gives Old Drug New Life

The addition of gold nanoparticles to a modified version of a drug designed in the 1990s to combat HIV - but discarded due to its harmful side effects - creates a compound that prevents the virus from gaining a cellular foothold, say Dr. Christian Melander, assistant professor of chemistry at NC State, and doctoral student T. Eric Ballard.

Their findings appear online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The drug, a compound known as TAK-779, was originally found to bind to a specific location on human T-cells, which blocks the HIV virus' entry to the body's immune system. Unfortunately, the portion of the drug's molecule that made binding possible had unpleasant side effects. When that portion of the molecule - an ammonium salt - was removed, the drug lost its binding ability.

That's when Melander and colleagues from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Colorado at Boulder turned to gold as the answer. The element is non-reactive in the human body, and would be the perfect "scaffold" to attach molecules of the drug to in the absence of the ammonium salt, holding the drug molecules together and concentrating their effect.

"The idea is that by attaching these individual molecules of the drug with a weak binding ability to the gold nanoparticle, you can magnify their ability to bind," Melander says.

The researchers' theory proved correct. They started with a modified version of TAK-779, which didn't include the harmful ammonium salt. After testing, they found that attaching 12 molecules of the modified drug (SDC-1721) to one nanoparticle of gold restored the drug's ability to prevent HIV infection in primary cultured patient cells. When only one molecule of the drug was attached to the gold nanoparticle, the compound was unable to prevent HIV infection, indicating that the multivalency of the drug was important for its activity.

"We've discovered a non-harmful way to improve the strength and efficacy of an important drug," Melander says. "There's no reason to think that this same process can't be used with similar effect on other existing drugs."

Tiny Crystals Make a Stronger, More Durable Iron

Iron that is made up of nanoscale crystals is far stronger and harder than its traditional counterpart, but the benefits of this "nano-iron" have been limited by the fact that its nanocrystalline structure breaks down at relatively modest temperatures. But the NC State researchers have developed an iron-zirconium alloy that retains its nanocrystalline structures at temperatures above 1,300 degrees Celsius - approaching the melting point of iron.

Kris Darling, a Ph.D. student at NC State who led the project to develop the material, explains that the alloy's ability to retain its nanocrystalline structure under high temperatures will allow for the material to be developed in bulk, because conventional methods of materials manufacture rely on heat and pressure.

In addition, Darling says the ability to work with the material at high temperatures will make it easier to form the alloy into useful shapes - for use as tools or in structural applications, such as engine parts.

The new alloy is also economically viable, since "it costs virtually the same amount to produce the alloy" as it does to create nano-iron, Darling says.

Dr. Carl C. Koch, an NC State professor of materials science engineering who worked on the project, explains that the alloy essentially consists of 1 percent zirconium and 99 percent iron. The zirconium allows the alloy to retain its nanocrystalline structure under high temperatures.

The research will appear in the journal Scripta Materialia. Kris Darling is the lead author on the paper, "Grain-size Stabilization in Nanocrystalline FeZr Alloys," but co-authors include Koch, fellow NC State materials science professor Dr. Ronald O. Scattergood, NC State doctoral student Jonathan E. Semones, and NC State undergraduates Ryan N. Chan and Patrick Z. Wong.

####

About North Carolina State University
With more than 31,000 students and nearly 8,000 faculty and staff, North Carolina State University is a comprehensive university known for its leadership in education and research, and globally recognized for its science, technology, engineering and mathematics leadership.

NC State students, faculty and staff are focused. As one of the leading land-grant institutions in the nation, NC State is committed to playing an active and vital role in improving the quality of life for the citizens of North Carolina, the nation and the world.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:

Copyright © North Carolina State University

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

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules August 22nd, 2014

A breakthrough in imaging gold nanoparticles to atomic resolution by electron microscopy August 22nd, 2014

Ultra-short pulse lasers & Positioning August 21st, 2014

Malvern’s Dr Alan Rawle talks TLAs in plenary lecture at Particulate Systems Analysis conference August 21st, 2014

Possible Futures

Air Force’s 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Nanomedicine

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules August 22nd, 2014

Ultra-short pulse lasers & Positioning August 21st, 2014

Nanotechnology Helps Production of Super Adsorbent Polymers August 21st, 2014

Newly-Developed Nanobiosensor Quickly Diagnoses Cancer August 20th, 2014

Announcements

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules August 22nd, 2014

A breakthrough in imaging gold nanoparticles to atomic resolution by electron microscopy August 22nd, 2014

Malvern’s Dr Alan Rawle talks TLAs in plenary lecture at Particulate Systems Analysis conference August 21st, 2014

Water window imaging opportunity: A new theoretical study elucidates mechanisms that could help in producing coherent radiations, ultimately promoting high-contrast imaging of biological samples August 21st, 2014

Automotive/Transportation

New Method Provides Nanoscale Details of Electrochemical Reactions in Electric Vehicle Battery Materials August 4th, 2014

A protecting umbrella against oxygen: Toward fuel cells built from renewable and abundant components - Scientists from Bochum und Mülheim report in NATURE Chemistry August 4th, 2014

Stanford researchers seek 'Holy Grail' in battery design: Pure lithium anode closer to reality with development of protective layer of interconnected carbon domes August 1st, 2014

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

The channel that relaxes DNA: Relaxing DNA strands by using nano-channels: Instructions for use August 20th, 2014

Сalculations with Nanoscale Smart Particles August 19th, 2014

Interaction between Drug, DNA for Designing Anticancer Drugs Studied in Iran August 17th, 2014

Scientists fold RNA origami from a single strand: RNA origami is a new method for organizing molecules on the nanoscale. Using just a single strand of RNA, this technique can produce many complicated shapes. August 14th, 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