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Home > News > Science And the City - A look at the healthy and diverse state of Galway’s science industry

May 13th, 2010

Science And the City - A look at the healthy and diverse state of Galway’s science industry

Abstract:
In my work, the focus is on a method to deliver the normal type VII collagen gene to a cell found in the skin called keratinocytes. An average keratinocyte in the human body is about 10-30µm, or roughly one tenth the size of a grain of salt! If we want to deliver something into this cell it must be much smaller than this. As a result, we focus on nano-systems.

Nanoscience is a fast emerging field of scientific research. It refers to the study of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally nanotechnology deals with structures of the size 100 nanometres or smaller. One nanometre is a millionth of a millimetre - this cannot be seen by the naked eye, but can be viewed using very high powered microscopes in the lab.

The nanosystem we propose to use are called nanospheres. The nanospheres are formed using different biodegradable materials made from natural and synthetic polymers which render them biocompatible and absorbable. The gene of interest, in this case the Type VII collagen gene, is encapsulated in the hollow core of the nanosphere.

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