Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

New metal surfaces can improve medical implants



Rights: Nano Letters


A multidisciplinary team of scientists led by the Université de Montréal has discovered a process to produce new metal surfaces that promise to lead to superior medical implants that will improve healing and allow the human body to better accept metal prostheses.

According to new research published in Nano Letters, the scientists capitalized on recent advances in nanotechnology to change how metals can influence cell growth and development in the body. A critical aspect of the finding is that the surfaces can directly stimulate cells – thereby eliminating the need for pharmaceuticals and resulting side-effects.

The study is a collaboration between the Université de Montréal, McGill University, the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS-EMT), Plasmionique Inc and the Universidade de São Paulo.

“Using chemical modification, we have produced metals with intelligent surfaces that positively interact with cells and help control the biological healing response,” says Antonio Nanci, the study’s senior author and a professor at the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Dentistry. “These will be the building-blocks of new and improved metal implants that are expected to significantly affect the success of orthopedic, dental and cardiovascular prostheses.”

Dr. Nanci and colleagues applied chemical compounds to modify the surface of the common biomedical metals such as titanium. Exposing these metals to selected etching mixtures of acids and oxidants results in surfaces with a sponge-like pattern of nano (ultra small) pits. “We demonstrated that some cells stick better to these surfaces than they do to the traditional smooth ones,” says Dr. Nanci. “This is already an improvement to the standard available biomaterial.”

The researchers then tested the effects of the chemically-produced nanoporous titanium surfaces on cell growth and development. They showed that the treated surfaces increased growth of bone cells, decreased growth of unwanted cells and stimulated stem cells, relative to untreated smooth ones. In addition, expression of genes required for cell adhesion and growth were increased in contact with the nanoporous surfaces. Read more about this research here

January 30, 2009 Posted by | Nano News | Leave a comment

INL International Advisory Board Meeting in Braga


A research laboratory in the forefront of knowledge and technology like the INL needs advice of leading experts. The next meeting of the INL International Advisory Board will be held in Braga  on Friday, January 23rd, 2009. The significant track records and achievements of all members will offer a uniquely exciting opportunity to succesfully advance in different areas of INL project.

INL International Advisory Board Members:

*Roberto G.M. Caciuffo
European Commission Directorate General Joint Research Centre
Institute for Transuranium Elements Karlsruhe, Germany

*Thomas Jovin
Max Planck Institute for biophysical Chemistry
Göttingen, Germany

*Emilio Méndez
Director of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials-Brookhaven National
Laboratory – Upton, US

*Christopher B. Murray
Departments of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering
University of Pennsylvania, US

*Aristides A. G. Requicha
Director of the Laboratory for Molecular Robotics,
University of Southern California, US

*Mihail C. Roco
National Science Foundation – US

*Heinrich Rohrer
Nobel Laureate in Physics

January 22, 2009 Posted by | Braga, INL Project | Leave a comment

Fluoromag Symposium in Santiago de Compostela

fluoromag-symposium1FLUOROMAG is an European consortium formed by well known European research Institutions such as the Max Planck for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen-Germany,  the University  of  Santiago de Compostela in Spain; The University of Twente at The Netherlands; The University of Nottingham Trent in UK and Nanogap Sub-nm-powder SA, from Spain.

The consortium will organize,  in March 27-29th, a conference about Nanodots and diagnostics in the city of  Santiago de Compostela (Spain) .  Some speakers keep a close relation with the INL project.

Click here if you are interested on attending the conference.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Events | Leave a comment

Scientists develop mini-submarine to blast diseased cells in the body

nanoparticleWe came across a really interesting article on medical devices. You an read the introduction here and read the rest of it at nanowerk.

«Ever since the 1966 Hollywood movie, doctors have imagined a real-life Fantastic Voyage a medical vehicle shrunk small enough to “submarine” in and fix faulty cells in the body. Thanks to new research by Tel Aviv University scientists, that reality may be only three years away

The blueprints for the submarine and a map of its proposed maiden voyage were published earlier this year in Science by Dr. Dan Peer, who now leads the Tel Aviv University team at the Department of Cell Research and Immunology. The team will build and test-run the actual “machine” in human bodies. Dr. Peer originally developed the scenario at Harvard University.

Made from biological materials, the real-life medical submarine’s Fantastic Voyage won’t have enough room for Raquel Welch, but the nano-sized structure will be big enough to deliver the payload: effective drugs to kill cancer cells and eradicate faulty proteins».

The image shows a nanoparticle decorated with targetins agents that guide it to a specific cell type, leaving healthy cells untouched.

January 16, 2009 Posted by | Nano News, Nanomedicine | Leave a comment

The Nano School Box

NanoBioNet has developed a multi-lingual (German, English and French) experimental kit (NanoSchoolBox) to teach school students about nanotechnology. Some of the contents in this NanoSchoolBox are suitable to demonstrate with experiments; others can be integrated without too much preparation into hands-on lessons with guidance of a teacher.
The box has been developed within an EFRE project that includes the European diffusion. You can learn a little more about the amazing box here


January 9, 2009 Posted by | Educational & Teaching Resources | 8 Comments