Nanotechnology Now





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

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Bruker Introduces Second-Generation Inspire Nanochemical Imaging Solution: Featuring Unique PeakForce IR and IR EasyAlign Technology July 1st, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics Business: Transaction adds differentiating technologies, world-class technologists, and intellectual property July 1st, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Carnegie Mellon chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels: Methods will allow researchers to develop new 'smart' materials June 30th, 2015

Graphene flexes its electronic muscles: Rice-led researchers calculate electrical properties of carbon cones, other shapes June 30th, 2015

X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time: New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions June 29th, 2015

Graphene breakthrough as Bosch creates magnetic sensor 100 times more sensitive than silicon equivalent June 28th, 2015

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Cellulose from wood can be printed in 3-D June 17th, 2015

Researchers grind nanotubes to get nanoribbons: Rice-led experiments demonstrate solid-state carbon nanotube 'templates' June 15th, 2015

Environmental Issues to Hamper Growth of Global Nanocomposites Market June 4th, 2015

Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) Market Trends, Segments And Forecasts To 2022: Grand View Research, Inc June 1st, 2015

Nanomedicine

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Carnegie Mellon chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels: Methods will allow researchers to develop new 'smart' materials June 30th, 2015

Chitosan coated, chemotherapy packed nanoparticles may target cancer stem cells June 30th, 2015

Researchers from the UCA, key players in a pioneering study that may explain the origin of several digestive diseases June 30th, 2015

Discoveries

Measurement of Tiny Amounts of Heavy Metals in Baby Food Samples July 1st, 2015

Chitosan coated, chemotherapy packed nanoparticles may target cancer stem cells June 30th, 2015

Graphene flexes its electronic muscles: Rice-led researchers calculate electrical properties of carbon cones, other shapes June 30th, 2015

Researchers from the UCA, key players in a pioneering study that may explain the origin of several digestive diseases June 30th, 2015

Announcements

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Bruker Introduces Second-Generation Inspire Nanochemical Imaging Solution: Featuring Unique PeakForce IR and IR EasyAlign Technology July 1st, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics Business: Transaction adds differentiating technologies, world-class technologists, and intellectual property July 1st, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics Business: Transaction adds differentiating technologies, world-class technologists, and intellectual property July 1st, 2015

NEI Announces the Issuance of Multiple Patents on Self-Healing & Superhydrophobic Coatings June 30th, 2015

Solegear Further Strengthens its Product Development Team: New Hire Seeks to Create New, Disruptive, Sustainable Materials June 17th, 2015

High-tech nanofibres could help nutrients in food hit the spot June 17th, 2015

Energy

Visible Light-Sensitive Photocatalysts Used for Purification of Contaminated Water in Iran June 30th, 2015

The Hydrogen-Fuel cell will revolutionize the economy of the world: New non-platinum and nanosized catalyst for polymer electrolyte fuel cell June 29th, 2015

June 29th, 2015

Making new materials with micro-explosions: ANU media release: Scientists have made exotic new materials by creating laser-induced micro-explosions in silicon, the common computer chip material June 29th, 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