Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Nanomedicine: ending 'hit and miss' design

Jennifer West, Isabel C. Cameron Professor of Bioengineering
Jennifer West, Isabel C. Cameron Professor of Bioengineering

Abstract:
Rice, TMC team wins stimulus funds for nanoparticle standardization.

Nanomedicine: ending 'hit and miss' design

Houston, TX | Posted on December 9th, 2009

One of the promises of nanomedicine is the design of tiny particles that can home in on diseased cells and get inside them. Nanoparticles can carry drugs into cells and tag cells for MRI and other diagnostic tests; and they may eventually even enter a cell's nucleus to repair damaged genes. Unfortunately, designing them involves as much luck as engineering.

"Everything in nanomedicine right now is hit-and-miss as far as the biological fate of nanoparticles," said Rice University bioengineering researcher Jennifer West. "There's no systematic understanding of how to design a particle to accomplish a certain goal in terms of where it goes in a cell or if it even goes into a cell."

West's lab and 11 others in the Texas Medical Center -- including three at Rice's BioScience Research Collaborative -- are hoping to change that, thanks to a $3 million Grand Opportunity (GO) grant from the National Institutes of Health. NIH established the GO grant program with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

One problem facing scientists today is that nanoparticles come in many shapes and sizes and can be made of very different materials. Some nanoparticles are spherical. Others are long and thin. Some are made of biodegradable plastic and others of gold, carbon or semiconducting metals. And sometimes size -- rather than shape or material -- is all-important.

West demonstrates this using a video on her computer that was created by Rice GO grant investigator Junghae Suh. The movie was created by snapping an image with a microscope every few seconds. In the video, dozens of particles move about inside a cell. Half of the particles are tagged with a red fluorescent dye and move very slowly. The rest are green and zip from place to place.

"These are made of the same material and have the same chemistry," said West, Rice's Isabel C. Cameron Professor and department chair of Bioengineering. "They are just different sizes. Yet you can see the profound differences in how they are moving in the cell. As we start to explore out further in the range of sizes and in altering the chemistry of the particles, we think we're likely to see even bigger impacts on where things go inside the cell."

The job of determining whether that's the case falls to Suh, assistant professor in bioengineering at Rice. Unlike other studies in the field, which rely on snapshots of dead cells, Suh's method lets researchers track single particles in living cells. Her lab will use the method in side-by-side comparisons of particles provided by the other 11 laboratories in the study.

In all, eight classes of nanoparticles will be studied. These include long, thin tubes of pure carbon called fullerenes, tiny specks of semiconductors called quantum dots, pure gold rods and spheres, as well as nanoshells -- nanoparticles invented at Rice that consist of a glass core covered by a thin gold shell. In addition, Suh's lab will examine organic particles made of polyethylene glycol and of chitosan.

"We will use a method called single-particle tracking to capture the dynamics of nanoparticle movement in live cells," Suh said. "Using confocal microscopy, we first create movies of the particles as they transit the cells. Then, we use image-processing software to extract information about how fast they move, what regions they're attracted to, etc. By comparing the movement and fate of the various nanoparticles designed by the multiple research laboratories, we hope to identify correlations between a nanoparticle's physicochemical properties and their intracellular behavior."

At the end of the two-year study, the team hopes to have a database that charts the expected response of particles of a given size, type and chemistry. Ultimately, the hope is to provide researchers with a tool that will help predict how a particular particle is likely to behave. That, in turn, could help researchers speed the development of new treatments for disease.

"We want to understand where the particles go inside the cell, what organelles they associate with, whether or not they associate with any of the cytoskeletal structures and how they move inside the cell," Suh said. "For different applications, you're going to want your particles going to different places. We need to know where they go and how they behave so we can design the right particle for a particular job."

"We are thrilled to get the opportunity to really join forces to study this," Suh said. "It's just the sort of problem that requires the kind of support NIH is providing with ARRA funding. It's a problem that really requires a multidisciplinary, interinstitutional approach."

The project's other principal investigators include Rebekah Drezek and Lon Wilson, both of Rice; Mauro Ferrari, Paolo Decuzzi, David Gorenstein, Jim Klostergaard, Chun Li, Gabriel Lopez-Berestein and Anil Sood, all of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; and Wah Chiu of Baylor College of Medicine.

GO grant funding is provided by the NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences. NIH established the GO grant program to support projects that address large, specific research endeavors that are likely to deliver near-term growth and investment in biomedical research and development, public health and health care delivery.

####

Contacts:
Jade Boyd
PHONE: 713-348-6778

Copyright © Rice 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

Haydale Secures Exclusive Development and Supply Agreement with Tantec A/S: New reactors to be built and commissioned by Tantec A/S represent another step forward towards the commercialisation of graphene October 24th, 2014

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

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

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Invites the Public to Attend its Popular Statewide 'NANOvember' Series of Outreach and Educational Events October 23rd, 2014

Chemistry

Iranian, Malaysian Scientists Study Nanophotocatalysts for Water Purification October 23rd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Novel Rocket Design Flight Tested: New Rocket Propellant and Motor Design Offers High Performance and Safety October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Brookhaven Lab Launches Computational Science Initiative:Leveraging computational science expertise and investments across the Laboratory to tackle "big data" challenges October 22nd, 2014

Bipolar Disorder Discovery at the Nano Level: Tiny structures found in brain synapses help scientists better understand disorder October 22nd, 2014

Possible Futures

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

Superconducting circuits, simplified: New circuit design could unlock the power of experimental superconducting computer chips October 18th, 2014

Nanocoatings Market By Product Is Expected To Reach USD 8.17 Billion By 2020: Grand View Research, Inc. October 15th, 2014

Perpetuus Carbon Group Receives Independent Verification of its Production Capacity for Graphenes at 140 Tonnes per Annum: Perpetuus Becomes the First Manufacturer in the Sector to Allow Third Party Audit October 7th, 2014

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

Materials for the next generation of electronics and photovoltaics: MacArthur Fellow develops new uses for carbon nanotubes October 21st, 2014

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

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

Beyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel lights based on carbon nanotubes - Planar light source using a phosphor screen with highly crystalline single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) as field emitters demonstrates its potential for energy-efficient lighting device October 14th, 2014

Nanomedicine

NYU Researchers Break Nano Barrier to Engineer the First Protein Microfiber October 23rd, 2014

Iranian Scientists Apply Nanotechnology to Produce Surgery Suture October 23rd, 2014

RF Heating of Magnetic Nanoparticles Improves the Thawing of Cryopreserved Biomaterials October 23rd, 2014

Sopping up proteins with thermosponges: Researchers develop novel nanoparticle platform that proves effective in delivering protein-based drugs October 22nd, 2014

Announcements

Haydale Secures Exclusive Development and Supply Agreement with Tantec A/S: New reactors to be built and commissioned by Tantec A/S represent another step forward towards the commercialisation of graphene October 24th, 2014

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Advancing thin film research with nanostructured AZO: Innovnano’s unique and cost-effective AZO sputtering targets for the production of transparent conducting oxides October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Quantum Dots/Rods

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

QD Vision Wins Prestigious Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency October 16th, 2014

Ultrafast remote switching of light emission October 2nd, 2014

Platinum meets its match in quantum dots from coal: Rice University's cheap hybrid outperforms rare metal as fuel-cell catalyst October 1st, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

NYU Researchers Break Nano Barrier to Engineer the First Protein Microfiber October 23rd, 2014

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

Mechanism behind nature's sparkles revealed October 22nd, 2014

‘Designer’ nanodevice could improve treatment options for cancer sufferers October 22nd, 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