Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

Biomaterials used to repair liver

Biocompatible materials that emulate living tissues can be used for tissue repair and regeneration. Polymer scaffolds, for example, mimic the network that connects cells and stimulates cell adhesion. They can also transport various cell types. Now, stem cells differentiated into liver-like cells from bone marrow stem cells can be delivered to the liver using a fibrous polymer scaffold containing the peptide RGD, thanks to a technique developed by a team led by Dr Andrew Wan at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. You can read the full article here.

The photo by Benjamin Tai shows a fluorescence microscopy image of the scaffold-embedded cells showing the integration of the fibers (yellow-green) with differentiated cells after implantation. Cell nuclei are stained blue.

March 19, 2010 Posted by | Nanobiology, Nanomaterials, Nanomedicine, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Taking a (even) closer look at cells

For two decades, scientists have been pursuing a potential new way to treat bacterial infections, using naturally occurring proteins known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that kill bacteria by poking holes in their cell membranes. Now, MIT scientists have recorded the first real-time microscopic images showing the deadly effects of AMPs in live bacteria.
Researchers led by MIT Professor Angela Belcher modified an existing, extremely sensitive technique known as high-speed atomic force microscopy (AFM) to allow them to image the bacteria in real time. Their method, described in the March 14 online edition of Nature Nanotechnology, represents the first way to study living cells using high-resolution images recorded in rapid succession.
Using this type of high-speed AFM could allow scientists to study how cells respond to other drugs and to viral infection, says Belcher, the Germeshausen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering and a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.
It could also be useful in studying cell death in mammalian cells, such as the nerve cell death that occurs in Alzheimer’s patients, says Paul Hansma, a physics professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara who has been developing AFM technology for 20 years. “This paper is a highly significant advance in the state-of-the-art imaging of cellular processes,” says Hansma, who was not involved in the research.
Atomic force microscopy, invented in 1986, is widely used to image nanoscale materials. Its resolution (about 5 nanometers) is comparable to that of electron microscopy, but unlike electron microscopy, it does not require a vacuum and thus can be used with living samples. However, traditional AFM requires several minutes to produce one image, so it cannot record a sequence of rapidly occurring events.
In recent years, scientists have developed high-speed AFM techniques, but haven’t optimized them for living cells. That’s what the MIT team set out to do, building on the experience of lead author Georg Fantner, a postdoctoral associate in Belcher’s lab who had worked on high-speed AFM at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The image was taken by Georg Fantner with atomic force microscopy. It shows E. coli bacteria after they have been exposed to the antimicrobial peptide CM15. The peptides have begun destroying the bacteria’s cell walls.

You can read the full article here

Source: MIT News office

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Nano News | Leave a comment

GENNESYS Congress on Nanotechnology in Barcelona

The International GENNESYS Congress on Nanotechnology and Research Infrastructures will be held in Barcelona on 26th-28th May 2010 under the auspices of the Ministry of Research and Innovation of Spain, during the Spanish EU-Presidency. The congress will bring together renowned experts and key decision and policy makers to highlight and discuss the major conclusions and recommendations of the GENNESYS foresight project.

The European GENNESYS project has provided a European and worldwide vision for future strategies in nanoscience and nanotechnology in order to master the grand challenges of our society. Together with more than 600 authors from universities, research labs and industry GENNESYS has composed detailed research and technology roadmaps devising a new strategic role for the existing and emerging research infrastructures which are mandatory, should we overcome the key barriers in the development of advanced nanomaterials for better technologies.

The GENNESYS Congress will also make key recommendations on how to structure and organize nanomaterials development in Europe and to promote a new culture in the world of nanomaterials in which research-discoveries will smoothly be transferred into industrial innovations by human-resource networks around modern research infrastructure platforms.

Topics and speakers of the Congress will be carefully selected by our Scientific and Industrial Advisory Board and by the International GENNESYS Council. Each topic will be strategically discussed in a panel of worldwide scientific and political representatives.

The posters sessions and industrial exhibition at GENNESYS Congress will turn the Congress into the “meeting point” for worldwide research institutes, universities, companies and research infrastructures who work in  the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The Congress will provide an excellent platform to present institutions and organizations in front of an international audience and get in contact with other members of this community.

March 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nanotechnology in the healthcare sector

In an interview published in PharmTech, four specialists give their opinion on the contribution of Nanotechnology in the healthcare sector. It become clear that a lot as been done, but even more is yet to be achieved.

Professor Jamie C. Oliver, President & CEO, Peptagen; Adriana Vela, Founder and CEO, NanoTecNexus; Dr Gary Liversidge, Chief Technology Officer, Elan Drug Technologies and Professor Mike Eaton Executive Board Member, European Technology Platform on Nanomedicines answer the following questions: ‘What has been nanotechnology’s greatest contribution to the healthcare sector in the last 5 years?’, ‘What challenges does nanotechnology pose to the pharma industry?’, ‘Will pharmaceutical manufacturing processes need to be adapted in any way to work with nanomaterials?’, ‘How do you think nanomedicines will be regulated in the future?’ and ‘What future advances in nanotechnology do you think will have a significant impact on the pharma and biopharma industries?’

March 2, 2010 Posted by | Nanomedicine | 2 Comments