Credit: By Neil Brake, Vanderbilt University

NanoMedicine News

Last Week
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Batten Down the Hatches Against HIV
Researchers from Stanford University in the U.S. report that they have used carbon nanotubes as vehicles for delivering RNA fragments into T-cells to block the receptors that serve as entry points for HIV. Once in the T-cell, the RNA fragments "shut off" the genes that cause the T-cell to produce the HIV-specific receptors, eliminating the virus' point of entry. According to the article, earlier studies have found that this form of gene therapy can significantly slow HIV infection, but researchers lacked an efficient and targeted vehicle for delivering the RNA fragments. The article can be viewed online at the link below.
Read More:http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-02/jws-bdt022007.php#

Natural gum improves gold nanoparticles for cancer imaging
Gold nanoparticles have shown significant promise as agents to detect and treat cancer, but researchers have had difficulty creating gold nanoparticles that have suitable pharmacological properties for use in humans. A team of researchers at the Hybrid Nanoparticles in Imaging and Therapy of Prostate Cancer Platform Partnership based at the University of Missouri, may have solved this problem using old-fashioned gum arabic, a compound widely used in processed foods. The investigators reasoned that gum arabic, a natural polymer made of sugars and some protein, would bind tightly to gold nanoparticles because of its chemical composition. Sure enough, the researchers found that simply mixing a commercially available gold salt with a dilute solution of gum arabic and a chemical-reducing agent resulted in the nearly instantaneous formation of gum arabic-labeled gold nanoparticles. The investigators noted that over 98% of the gold salt was converted to gum arabic-labeled gold nanoparticles. The resulting nanoparticles were stable in biological fluids for at least seven days.
Read More: University of Missouri

Nanotube, heal thyself
Pound for pound, carbon nanotubes are stronger and lighter than steel, but unlike other materials, the miniscule cylinders of carbon – which are no wider than a strand of DNA – remain remarkably robust even when chunks of their bodies are blasted away with heat or radiation. A new study by Rice University scientists offers the first explanation: tiny blemishes crawl over the skin of the damaged tubes, sewing up larger holes as they go.
Read Moer: nanoforum.org

Scientists use nanoparticle to discover disease-causing proteins
A complex molecule and snake venom may provide researchers with a more reliable method of diagnosing human diseases and developing new drugs. Purdue University researchers bound a complex nanomolecule, called a dendrimer, with a glowing identification tag that was delivered to specific proteins in living venom cells from a rattlesnake. The scientists want to find a better way to ascertain the presence, concentration and function of proteins involved in disease processes. They also hope the new method will facilitate better, more efficient diagnosis in living cells and patients.
Read More: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/hp/TaoVenom.html

Next-Generation Retinal Implant
Scientists plan to test an implanted chip with four times the resolution of the previous version in people blinded by retinal degeneration.People with retinal-degeneration diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration, lose their sight as the cells in the eye that normally sense light deteriorate. Retinal implants can take over for these lost cells, converting light into neural signals that are then interpreted by the brain. Simpler versions of these devices, developed by researchers at USC and other institutions, have already been tested in humans, giving patients rudimentary vision, such as the ability to detect light and to occasionally distinguish between simple objects. One patient, for example, wears the device to her grandson's soccer games and reports that she perceives the sensation of the players' movement as they run by, says Weiland.
Read More: MIT

An Ultrafast Silicon Filter
A porous silicon membrane that is a few nanometers thick can quickly filter liquids and separate molecules that are very close in size, researchers at the University of Rochester report in this week's Nature. The new membrane could lead to efficient protein purification for use in research and drug discovery. It could also act roughly 10 times faster than current membranes used for blood dialysis, the artificial purification of blood. In addition, the membrane could be employed as a filter to separate molecules in microfluidics devices used to study DNA and proteins and as a substrate for growing neurological stem cells.
Read More: Technology Review

Polymer nanoparticles create potential anticancer vaccine
Using a biodegradable nanoparticle as a means of delivering tumor cell debris and proteins to the immune system, investigators at Yale University have developed a promising new method for creating therapeutic anticancer vaccines. To test whether these nanoparticle delivery vehicles could stimulate a meaningful immune response to tumor antigens, the investigators encapsulated the melanoma-associated protein known as gp100 and administered this formulation to mice. The researchers found that the mice produced a robust immune response of the type known to be crucial for developing antitumor immunity.
Read More: NCI

Flow of tiny bubbles mimics computer circuitry
In work that could boost the capabilities of "lab on a chip" devices, MIT researchers have created a way to use tiny bubbles to mimic the capabilities of a computer. The team, based at MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms, reports that the bubbles in their microfluidic device can carry on-chip process control information while also performing chemical reactions. Microfluidics allow scientists to create chips where nanoliters of fluids flow from one part of the chip to another, undergoing controlled chemical reactions in different parts of the chip. The technology has the potential to revolutionize large-scale chemical analysis, medical testing and industrial production processes, but applications outside of the laboratory have been limited so far by the external control systems (valves and plumbing) required for its operation.
Read More: MIT

King Abdulaziz University Hospital (KAUH)Using Nanotechnology to Remove Clots in Arteries
King Abdulaziz University Hospital (KAUH) used the nanotechnology for a surgical procedure recently. The technology helps clear clogged and clogging arteries using lasers. This was the first time the technology was used in the Middle East to remove clots in the lower extremities of a patient. The surgical procedure is performed on patients that suffer arterial conditions caused by smoking, diabetes or other conditions that can cause artery hardening or blockage. Arteries in the body’s extremities can become damaged, causing in extreme cases gangrene or other debilitating conditions. This is the second nanotechnology machine in Saudi Arabia after the one in Prince Sultan Heart Center in Riyadh.
Read More:Arab news

Nanotechnology is part of the fight against Alzheimer's
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease and its ultimate cause is still unknown. The disease affects an estimated 4.5 million people in the United States alone. That figure is expected to rise dramatically as the population ages, experts predict. Genetic factors are known to be important in causing the disease, and dominant mutations in different genes have been identified that account for both early onset and late onset Alzheimer's. For a number of years, researchers have been working to alleviate neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease through gene therapy. In this type of treatment, a gene's DNA is delivered to the neurons in individual cells, allowing them to produce their own therapeutic proteins. Gene therapy typically aims to supplement a defective mutant allele (the location of DNA codings on a chromosome) with a functional one.
Read More:Nanowerk

Nanotechnology meets biology and DNA finds its groove
The object of fascination for most is the DNA molecule. But in solution, DNA, the genetic material that hold the detailed instructions for virtually all life, is a twisted knot, looking more like a battered ball of yarn than the famous double helix.To study it, scientists generally are forced to work with collections of molecules floating in solution, and there is no easy way to precisely single out individual molecules for study. Now, however, scientists have developed a quick, inexpensive and efficient method to extract single DNA molecules and position them in nanoscale troughs or "slits," where they can be easily analyzed and sequenced. The technique, which according to its developers is simple and scalable, could lead to faster and vastly more efficient sequencing technology in the lab, and may one day help underpin the ability of clinicians to obtain customized DNA profiles of patients.
Read More: Spirit India

UC Davis creates new nanoparticles
Researchers at UC Davis have created a new type of nanoparticle that could be used in tests for environmental pollution and contamination of food products, as well as for medical diagnosis. Nanoparticles, according to Ian Kennedy, professor in the department of mechanical and aeronautical engineering and senior author of a paper describing the work, are microscopic particles whose size is measured in nanometers or one billionth of a meter. These new nanoparticles have optical and magnetic properties that can be used for biosensors - devices that use these properties to test samples of food products, the environment and even human blood.
Read More: California Aggie Online

Instrument will help allergy sufferers reduce exposure
Vegrandis has received a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the development of a new technology termed carbon nanopipettes (CNPs). These devices were originally conceived at the University of Pennsylvania which will collaborate with Vegrandis on this Phase I project. The collaborative effort will demonstrate the unique capabilities of CNPs for combining ultra-sensitive detection of biomolecules with nano-fluidic delivery. Potential applications include medical diagnostics, high-throughput screening and life sciences research. Upon completion of the Phase I project, Vegrandis will be eligible to apply for additional research and development funding in Phase II and IIB of up to $1 million from NSF. Carbon nanopipettes can be applied for fluid handling in high-through! put, micro-titer assays with off-the-shelf 96, 384, and 1536 well plates. In addition, since carbon is conductive, the CNPs can act as individually addressable electrodes for electrochemical analysis at nanoscale. The nanopipette and nanoelectrode properties can be employed simultaneously for a complete fluid handling/electrochemical detection system.
Read More: Penn University

Promising New Nanomedical Cancer Therapy Also Highlights Tech Transfer
If a new approach to cancer therapy, still experimental and in a phase I clinical trial, turns out as well as hoped, the credit will go as much to technology transfer as to scientific acumen.
That's the opinion of Mark Davis, the Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Davis's custom-designed nanoparticles for fighting cancer are currently being tested on patients at City of Hope in nearby Duarte, and likely will soon be ready for more extensive phase II trials. The nanoparticles are built to deliver chemotherapy drugs to tumors in such a way that the adverse effects of the drugs on the rest of the body are minimized.
Read More: Caltech

A Better Way to Deliver Cancer Drugs
A paper-thin, biodegradable implant is proving an effective way to attack cancer cells without punishing the body with chemotherapy. The implant is a clear, flexible film that can be designed in any shape or size. A key ingredient in the film is chitosan, which is derived from a natural material extracted from algae and the exoskeletons of shellfish. Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a way to dissolve a high concentration of various cancer-fighting drugs within the film, which is then applied directly to a site where a tumor has been removed. The drugs, which are loaded into polylactide nanoparticles, are control-released over several weeks as the implant breaks down in the body. "The formulation appears to be quite flexible," says Micheline Piquette-Miller, an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the university and codeveloper of the drug-delivery system. "We can incorporate very diverse types of chemicals into it, and that's what a lot of other systems have had trouble with."
Read More: Technology Review

NANOFORUMEULA Call for Research Visit Grants

Nanoforum EU Latin American (NANOFORUMEULA), an EU-funded project designed to strengthen bilateral research relations between the EU and Latin American nanotechnology communities, has issued a call for research visit grants to support Latin American nanoscientists for three month exchange visits to four European public nanotechnology research centers in 2007 and 2008. The call specifies that candidates must demonstrate the relevance of their research projects to the socio-economic development of Latin America or their respective country. Additionally, candidates are required to publish their research results in a scientific publication and communicate those results to the general public through lay-audience lectures, interviews with local media, or opinion articles in public periodicals. Details of the call can be viewed online at the link below.
Read More: MESA

Can carbon nanotubes act as nanosyringes?
Researchers seeking to develop carbon nanotubes for biomedical applications have moved forward in their quest by showing that the tiny structures can effectively cross biological barriers, enabling their use in the delivery of drug therapies. Researchers at The School of Pharmacy, University of London, have shown that carbon nanotubes which have been chemically modified with a variety of different functional groups are able to enter a wide range of cell types, including human cancer cells.
The multinational research team, led by Dr Kostas Kostarelos, Deputy Head of the Centre for Drug Delivery Research at The School of Pharmacy, incubated a variety of functionalized carbon nanotubes with a range of live cells, including mammalian, bacterial and fungal cells. Their study showed that the various types of nanotubes exhibited a capacity for cellular uptake and cross-intracellular movement without causing cell death. Dr Kostarelos said, “The nanotubes moved through the cells as individual nanotubes or as small bundles, even under conditions that inhibit endocytosis. Nanotubes capable to act as cell-penetrating materials will have tremendous advantages”
He added, “The potential of functionalized carbon nanotubes to act as nanoneedles that pierce plasma membranes and translocate directly into cytoplasm without causing cell damage or death is significant for a variety of biomedical and biotechnology applications.” The team’s next step is to investigate further how the carbon nanotubes interact with specific cell types to determine the exact mechanisms that lead to their ‘nanoneedle’ behaviour and correlate that with toxicity studies. The study, published online in Nature Nanotechnology this week, was carried out in collaboration with colleagues at the CNRS Laboratory of Immunology & Therapeutic Chemistry in Strasbourg, France and the University of Trieste in Italy.
More Infomraiton: School of Phramacy, UCL,London

“Nanotechnologies and health” an interactive popularization document
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) just achieved a study on nanotechnologies and health intended to general public. CNRS regularly publishes popularization documents on the main relevant scientific topics (Big Bang, evolution, climate …). These studies called Sagascience are available for free on CNRS website.The study presents what are nanotechnologies, what is their potential for health improvement but also why nanotechnologies and health is a source of debate on ethical, toxicological aspects. All of these topics are illustrated with more than 150 pictures and illustration, movies, educational animations, researchers’ interviews.
Read More: nanoforum

Towards Development Of An "Eggshell-And-Yolk" Anticancer Nanomedicine
Scientists in Hong Kong are reporting synthesis and early laboratory tests of a new nanostructure that they believe may lead to the design of an anticancer nanomedicine.Like a chicken's egg, the structure has an outer shell that encloses a "yolk" that can be released from the shell. In their experiments, the researchers used a yolk consisting of iron and platinum, the metal responsible for the activity of the widely used chemotherapeutic drug, cisplatin. Cultures of human cancer cells took up the nanostructures and the nanostructures released their yolks, which proved to have "exceptionally high toxicity" for the cancer cells.
Read More: Medical News Today

Easy-to-Make Nanosensors
One of the most compelling promises of nanotechnology are tiny detectors that could instantly screen for hundreds of toxins or pathogens. Bundled into small handheld devices, these sensors could provide fast alerts of bioterror attacks. They could also be used to quickly and precisely detect early signs of cancer, before the disease turns deadly.Now researchers at Yale University have developed ultrasensitive nanoscale sensors that are easy to manufacture. The sensors are based on semiconducting nanowires, which can detect single virus particles or ultra-low concentrations of a targeted substance, as other researchers have already shown.
Read More: Technology Review

A Tiny Robotic Hand
An ultrasmall grabbing gadget might someday become a new tool in microsurgery.
The "microhand" measures one millimeter across when closed into a fist. It consists of four "fingers," each of which is made from six silicon wafers, with polymer balloons doing the work of "muscles" at the wafers' joints. It is the world's smallest robotic hand, and [it] could be used to perform microsurgery," says Chang-Jin Kim, the lead researcher at UCLA, who says the device is safe for biological applications. Since it runs on gas pressure instead of electricity, it can be used in both dry and wet environments.
Read More: Technology Review

EC grants € 2.8M to cancer camera project
A European consortium has received a € 2.8 million grant from the European Commission to develop a camera that can be ingested to obtain images of the digestive tract. The three year EU funded project entitled “Nano-based capsule endoscopy with Molecular Imaging and Optical Biopsy”, or “NEMO”, will combine optical imaging with nanotechnologies, biosensing and manoeuvring to create an integrated imaging-biosensing system to screen for cancer of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The objective of the NEMO project is to make cancer screening more patient-friendly through the development of an advanced cancer screening system. The system will consist of a PillCam capsule endoscope capable of analysing secretions and detecting deep tissue disorders, a datarecorder on a belt that receives signals transmitted by the capsule, and a workstation enabling physicians to view and edit the video of the small intestine images.
Read More: CORDIS

Ethical aspects of nanomedicine: opinion presented to the Commission by the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies
Following the request made by President Barroso on 10 November 2005, the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) chaired by Swedish philosopher Göran Hermerén yesterday handed the President its Opinion on the ethical aspects of nanomedicine. The EGE underlines the vital importance of addressing concern for safety with respect to nanomedical developments (and, in fact, nanotechnology in general) and therefore advocates the need to establish measures to verify the safety of nanomedical products and to ensure that nanomedical devices are properly assessed with regard to public health. The Group proposes that institutions already operating at European and national level to protect the safety of patients and citizens should be charged with the additional task of overviewing the safety and security aspects of new tools and devices in nanomedicine. The Group then underlines the need to properly address risk assessment at national and EU level and invites relevant stakeholders to devote adequate efforts to understanding and preventing risks that may be linked to nanomedicine.
Download the report: : EUROPA

DNA Gets New Twist: Scientists Develop Unique "DNA Nanotags"
Carnegie Mellon University scientists have married bright fluorescent dye molecules with DNA nanostructure templates to make nanosized fluorescent labels that hold considerable promise for studying fundamental chemical and biochemical reactions in single molecules or cells.
Read More: Carnegie Mellon University

Catholic plea for broader debate on ethics of nanomedicine
Positive and negative results of risk assessment of nanomaterials inside the human body must be published in an honest way. It is necessary to provide for public control of investment in research as well as regulating nanomedicine products and technologies. This must be independent of the interests of the industry or researchers. The secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) recently published an opinion, produced by its Bioethics Reflection Group meeting of 17 October 2006. It is entitled “Opinion on some ethical issues raised by Nanomedicine”.
Read More: nanoforum

Nanotechnology enhances the therapeutic effect of tumeric
The Chemistry Department at Delhi University has developed a nano-particular vehicle for helping turmeric get absorbed in the body.
“The nano-particular vehicle for turmeric which is being developed by experts at Delhi University, is under testing in different in-vitro culture and animal modules and will finally be used for human trials,” said Dr AK Dinda, of the Department of Pathology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Turmeric has a therapeutic effect. The medicinal properties of turmeric, a spice commonly used in curries and other South Asian cuisine, have for millennia been known to the ancient Indians and have been expounded in the Ayurvedic texts. It is only in recent years that Western scientists have increasingly recognised the medicinal properties of turmeric.
Read More: Delhi Newsline

Health Care :: Using nanotechnology to improve health care in developing countries
What is nanotechnology? How is nanotechnology expected to transform medicine and health care in the future? How can nanomedicine help the truly needy in developing countries? And what are the challenges of ensuring that nanotechnology meets the specific health needs of Third World peoples? These questions are the focus of an event and live Web cast at noon Tuesday, Feb_27 in the 5th Floor Conference Room of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Webcast live at: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/nano
More Information: Woodrow Wilson Centre

New Nanotechnology Able To Examine Single Molecules
A new nanotechnology that can examine single molecules in order to determine gene expression, paving the way for scientists to more accurately examine single cancer cells, has been developed by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at UCLA's California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI), New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and Veeco Instruments, a nanotechnology company. Their work appears in the January issue of the journal Nanotechnology.Previously, researchers have been able to determine gene expression using microarray technology or DNA sequencing. However, such processes could not effectively measure single gene transcripts—the building blocks of gene expression. With their new approach, the researchers of the work reported in Nanotechnology were able to isolate and identify individual transcript molecules—a sensitivity not achieved with earlier methods.

"Gene expression profiling is used widely in basic biological research and drug discovery," said Jason Reed of UCLA's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the study's lead author. "Scientists have been hampered in their efforts to unlock the secrets of gene transcription in individual cells by the minute amount of material that must be analyzed. Nanotechnology allows us to push down to the level of individual transcript molecules."

"We are likely to see more of these kinds of highly multi-disciplinary research aimed at single molecule sequencing, genomics, epigenomic, and proteomic analysis in the future," added Bud Mishra, a professor of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Cell Biology from NYU's Courant Institute and School of Medicine. "The most exciting aspect of this approach is that as we understand how to intelligently combine various components of genomics, robotics, informatics, and nanotechnology—the so-called GRIN technology—the resulting systems will become simple, inexpensive, and commonplace."
Resource: Technology News Daily

Clinatec: a future experimental clinic dedicated to nanotechnologies
Jean Therme, director of CEA Grenoble, announced on January 15 the creation of an experimental clinic specialized on nanotechnologies based treatment within three years in Grenoble, France.Clinatec is the name of this experimental clinic. Its founder will be Professor Alim-Louis Benabib a famous brain surgeon specialized in degenerative diseases like Parkinson disease. The clinic will use new medical opportunities offered by nanotechnologies especially in the field of brain surgery. “The concept is to build an experimental centre which will treat on average one patient per month and whose activity will be followed by an ethics committee” specified Jean Therme during a press conference.
Read More

New diagnostics with nanometer-sized particles

As part of the EU 6th Framework Programme in the field of genomics and biotechnology for health, a new consortium "FLUOROMAG" coordinated by Dr. Donna Arndt-Jovin at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany, will develop new diagnostic tools for use in tumor biology and the detection of very low levels of pandemic viruses. Precise diagnosis is based on multiple end-points involving several tests with antibodies or DNA probes for particular biomolecules in a tumor or a virus. Antibodies and DNA are usually labeled with different fluorescent dyes, generally requiring multiple modes of excitation and detection that can render the measurement slow and laborious. Advances in nanotechnology have led to the emergence of new fluorescent materials, semiconductor nanoparticles (NPs) called "quantum dots", which can be excited by a single light source (wavelength) but that according to their size and composition emit in discrete and separated spectral bands. The "multiplexing" of such probes is thereby greatly simplified. Scientists working in the Molecular Biology Dept. have shown that single quantum dots can be detected on and in living cells.
Read More

Nanofiber scaffolds grow neural stem cells
Cells can be controlled in culture, but once they are placed inside the body their environment – and the probability of their survival and growth – changes. Neuroscientist Hongjun Song and materials engineer Hai-Quan Mao at Johns Hopkins are investigating nanofiber scaffolds that can create artificial 3-D local environments for neural stem cells. Song and Mao have developed nanofibers to which they can attach adult neural stem cells by first binding bioreactive proteins. The nanofiber scaffolds provide an environment for neural stem cells to grow, proliferate, and develop.

“One of the benefits of using nanofibers is the ability to have successful cell self-renewal without requiring a high concentration of growth factors,” says Song.The collaborators are exploring new projects together and have recently started to expand their initial work to include embryonic stem cells. Song says stem cell science has much to offer biology. “By studying the mechanisms of stem cell behavior, we can learn how cells do it: what is happening in the body, how an animal can start with one cell type and develop specificity,” he explains.“Eventually, stem cells will be very important for treating disease using cell replacement therapy, but more immediately stem cells offer the opportunity to model human disease and find ways to screen for therapeutic drugs to treat the disease.”

Song is assistant professor of neurology and neuroscience, faculty member of the Institute for Cell Engineering and the Institute for NanoBioTechnology at Johns Hopkins, and member of the Johns Hopkins Stem Cell Policy and Ethics Program. Mao is assistant professor of materials science and engineering and faculty member of the Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Institute and the Institute for NanoBioTechnology at Johns Hopkins.
Resource: John Hopkins University

Ultrasensitive optical sensor detects viruses fast
Scientists of the Biophysical Engineering Group of the University of Twente in The Netherlands have developed an ultrasensitive sensor that can be used in a handheld device to, within minutes, detect various viruses and measure their concentration. The sensor could be used to quickly screen people at hospitals, airports and emergency clinics to control outbreaks of diseases such as SARS and the bird flu. All it would take is a tiny sample of saliva, blood, or other body fluid.

The essential innovation in the technique is the combination of an integrated optics interferometric sensor with antibody-antigen recognition approaches to yield a very sensitive, very rapid test for virus detection. The technology is amenable to miniaturization and mass-production, and thus has significant potential to be developed into a handheld, point-of-care device.The technique is better than traditional methods such as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) because of its speed and ease of use without compromising sensitivity. In principle, with a device such as this, minimal pre-processing of samples is required, and one could imagine having several different, interchangeable, detection modules for rapid detection. It’s also possible to consider configuring the device to detect multiple analytes.
Read More: University of Twente

Centre for Regenerative Medicine - Ian Wilmut to head
The University of Edinburgh has announced the launch of a new Centre for Regenerative Medicine to develop new treatments for human disease through innovative research with stem cells.

Edinburgh’s landmark work in this field is highlighted in the report of the UK Stem Cell Initiative, which has been strongly supported by the Government, with £50 million extra research funding committed over the next two years.The new centre will be led by Professor Ian Wilmut, world-renowned for research that led to cloning of Dolly the sheep.

“This Centre will provide a unique environment for world class research with stem cells with the aim of developing therapies for diseases which in many cases do not have any treatment at the present time,” said Professor Wilmut. “I am delighted and excited to lead this very important project.”Professor John Savill, head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, said “Ian Wilmut and the new Centre will serve as magnets, drawing the very best young clinical and basic scientists from around the world to Scotland to work with our NHS partners and develop new approaches towards prevention and treatment of debilitating diseases affecting the nervous system, liver and other key organs.

“I have no doubt that Edinburgh will remain a key player in the UK Stem Cell Initiative, particularly because of strong support from Scottish Enterprise, with whom exciting commercial development plans are being progressed.

”Stem cells provide revolutionary opportunities to study diseases and develop new treatments. They are able to grow indefinitely, producing many daughter cells that can form different tissues. In particular, stem cells from embryos are able to form all of the tissues of an adult.Stem cells and their derivatives will enable discovery of new drugs for prevention of inherited diseases such as Motor Neuron Disease and cancer. In the longer term, stem cells may also be administered to patients to treat disorders such as liver disease, Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes and spinal cord injury.

Progress to clinical application will be accelerated by planned location of the Centre on the site of the Royal Infirmary at Little France, adjacent to the outstanding new research facilities of the Medical School.The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service and NHS Lothian will be key partners. Collaboration with other groups throughout Scotland will be fostered within the Scottish Stem Cell Network, which has been supported by Scottish Enterprise.

The Centre will build upon existing expertise in Edinburgh within the University’s Institute of Stem Cell Research, and in Roslin Institute.Professor Grahame Bulfield, head of the University’s College of Science and Engineering and formerly Director of the Roslin Institute, said “It is incredibly exciting to participate in the first steps towards clinical translation of fundamental research being pursued at the University’s Institute for Stem Cell Research and the Roslin Institute”.
Resource: www.scottish-enterprise.com

Panasonic Develops Multi-task Biosensor Equipment for On-site Health Checks; Single-drop Blood Tests Provide Quick and Accurate Disease Detection

Panasonic, the leading brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is well known, has developed a prototype of a multi-task biosensor that can detect the presence of disease markers in the blood sample. The compact multi-task biosensor (MBS) can, from just one drop of blood, measure levels of certain proteins and other small molecules that act as disease markers for diseases like liver disorders and infections. The multi-task sensor is compact and can measure the levels of multiple number of proteins and other small molecules quickly.
Read more


Magnetic Nanoparticles Improve Diagnosis of Metastasis

One of the critical factors that determine the course of cancer therapy is whether there are metastases in given patients' lymph nodes. Today, however, there are few methods short of a full surgical biopsy to accurately determine if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. And while researchers are developing a variety of non-invasive imaging techniques using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasound, for finding lymph node involvements, the jury is still out on how well these techniques perform compared to surgical biopsy.
Read more

Nanolaser Device Detects Cancer in Single Cells 

Using an ultrafast, nanoscale semiconductor laser, investigators at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, have discovered a way of rapidly distinguishing between malignant and normal cells. Moreover, this new technique has the potential of detecting cancer at a very early stage, a development that could change profoundly the way cancer is diagnosed and treated.
Read more.

DNA-wrapped Carbon Nanotubes Serve As Sensors In Living Cells

Single-walled carbon nanotubes wrapped with DNA can be placed inside living cells and detect trace amounts of harmful contaminants using near infrared light, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their discovery opens the door to new types of optical sensors and biomarkers that exploit the unique properties of nanoparticles in living systems. Read more.

Italians Make Fastest Nanomotor

Italy has made the world's fastest nanomotor - a molecular engine designed to carry drugs into cells. The engine, called Sunny because it runs on solar power, is a million times faster than the only other eco-friendly nanomotor, recently built in the Netherlands. Read more.

Nanomedicine and Nano Device Pipeline Surges 68%

According to data compiled in the just- released NanoBiotech News 2006 Nanomedicine, Device & Diagnostic Report, 130 nanotech-based drugs and delivery systems and 125 devices or diagnostic tests have entered preclinical, clinical, or commercial development, meaning the clinical pipeline has grown 68% since last year at this time.

Read more.

Taking a page from pharmaceutical chemists, researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School have created a library of 146 different nanoparticles that they were then able to search for nanoparticles capable of targeting specific cells in the body. Using this approach, the investigators have found a previously undiscovered nanoparticle capable of targeting pancreatic cancer in vivo. Read more.

Two engineering professors at the University of California, Riverside are developing devices 100,000 times thinner than a human hair, that can listen to cancerous cells, deliver chemotherapy to them and leave surrounding healthy tissue intact. Read more.

In the first-ever study of metal nanoparticles' interaction with HIV-1, silver nanoparticles of sizes 1-10nm were attached to HIV-1 and prevented the virus from bonding to host cells. Read more.

Chinese scientists have invented a tiny vehicle which can carry drugs in human blood vessels and unload drugs only at therapeutic targets. Read more.

Viruses by their very nature are well-defined nanoparticles, and several teams of investigators are taking a cue from nature and developing non-infectious, engineered viral nanoparticles for use as multifunctional nanoscale devices. The plant virus known as cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) has become a researcher favorite, in large part because it is relatively easy to produce in large amounts, and the virus is benign to humans and other animals. In addition, researchers have developed methods of altering the virus’s coat protein to give it chemical functionality that might be useful for adding targeting and drug delivery capabilities to these nanoparticles. Read more.

Tiny tubes are implanted in cancer cells Nanotechnology has been harnessed to kill cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. The technique works by inserting microscopic synthetic rods called carbon nanotubules into cancer cells. When the rods are exposed to near-infra red light from a laser they heat up, killing the cell, while cells without rods are left unscathed. Read more.

Investing in Medical Nanotechnologies II