Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > UF researchers develop plant-based technology that helps biofuels, may fight cancer

Abstract:
For the first time, University of Florida researchers have developed plant-based technology that could reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and may also help treat cancer.

UF researchers develop plant-based technology that helps biofuels, may fight cancer

Gainesville, FL | Posted on March 29th, 2012

Known as lignin nanotubes, these cylindrical containers are smaller than viruses and tiny enough to travel through the body, carrying cancer patients' medicine. They can be created in biorefineries from lignin, a plant substance that is a byproduct of bioethanol production.

Bioethanol is a renewable alternative to fossil fuel created by fermenting sugar — such as that from sugarcane and sweet sorghum juices, stalks and stems.

"We're looking at biomedical applications whereby these nanotubes are injected in the body," said Wilfred Vermerris, an associate professor in UF's agronomy department and Genetics Institute who was part of the team that developed the nanotubes. The team's work is described in a March issue of the journal Nanotechnology.

Carbon-based nanotubes, which are the kind used today, cost around $500 a gram, and nanotechnology drug delivery has been projected to be a $220 billion market by 2015.

Nanotubes offer an advantage over radiation or traditional chemotherapy because they have a protective shell that keeps the drugs they contain from affecting healthy parts of the body, such as hair or intestinal lining, said Vermerris, a member of UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

As with current carbon nanotubes, cancer-fighting drugs can be enclosed in the plant-based nanotubes and sent to target specific tumors, he said.

But, the researcher said, unlike currently used carbon nanotubes, lignin nanotubes are flexible and lack sharp edges. That means they're expected to have fewer, if any, of the toxicity issues associated with current varieties.

"It is also much easier to chemically modify the lignin nanotubes so that they can locate their intended targets like homing devices," he said.

Vermerris envisions nanotubes as a way to reduce the cost of biofuel production.

"By selling the nanotubes for biomedical applications, an additional revenue stream is generated for the biorefinery that can offset some of the processing costs," he said. "That essentially reduces the price of the fuels and makes them more competitive with petroleum-based fuel."

Luisa Amelia Dempere, an associate engineer and director of the Major Analytical Instrumentation Center in UF's College of Engineering, guided the analysis and characterization of the lignin nanotubes as part of the research team.

She called the development of the lignin nanotubes "quite significant" and noted their ability to break down in the environment as another advantage over current nanotubes.

"They are taking something from the waste stream, like lignin is for a lot of industries, and making it into something that can be useful and then can degrade back into the environment," Dempere said. "This is probably a material that can be called green and sustainable because it comes from nature and goes back to nature."

UF has applied for a patent on the technology.

Vermerris said his research is now testing the technology in living cells in the lab as a first step toward tests in humans in the near future.

The research was funded by IFAS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Writer
Robert H. Wells

352-273-3569

Source
Wilfred Vermerris

352-273-8162

Contact
Luisa A. Dempere

352-392-6985

Copyright © University of Florida

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

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Draw out of the predicted interatomic force August 30th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use Artemisia Annua Plant to Produce Breast Cancer Drugs August 29th, 2015

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Draw out of the predicted interatomic force August 30th, 2015

These microscopic fish are 3-D-printed to do more than swim: Researchers demonstrate a novel method to build microscopic robots with complex shapes and functionalities August 26th, 2015

Glitter from silver lights up Alzheimer's dark secrets August 25th, 2015

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Developing Component Scale Composites Using Nanocarbons August 26th, 2015

Southampton scientists find new way to detect ortho-para conversion in water August 25th, 2015

Revolutionary MIT-Developed Nanotechnology Company Showcases at CAMX in Dallas August 20th, 2015

Engineering a better 'Do: Purdue researchers are learning how August 4th, 2015

Nanomedicine

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use Artemisia Annua Plant to Produce Breast Cancer Drugs August 29th, 2015

Small but heading for the big time: Nanobiotix half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2015, in line with expectations: Major clinical achievements and corporate developments August 28th, 2015

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

Discoveries

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Draw out of the predicted interatomic force August 30th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use Artemisia Annua Plant to Produce Breast Cancer Drugs August 29th, 2015

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

Announcements

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Draw out of the predicted interatomic force August 30th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use Artemisia Annua Plant to Produce Breast Cancer Drugs August 29th, 2015

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

Developing Component Scale Composites Using Nanocarbons August 26th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Provides Update On Hospital Project, PCAOB Audit, and New Heat Shield™ Line August 24th, 2015

Revolutionary MIT-Developed Nanotechnology Company Showcases at CAMX in Dallas August 20th, 2015

'Quantum dot' technology may help light the future August 19th, 2015

Energy

Nanocatalysts improve processes for the petrochemical industry August 28th, 2015

Nanotechnology that will impact the Security & Defense sectors to be discussed at NanoSD2015 conference August 25th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Provides Update On Hospital Project, PCAOB Audit, and New Heat Shield™ Line August 24th, 2015

Novel nanostructures for efficient long-range energy transport August 21st, 2015

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic