Using tiny snippets of DNA as 'barcodes', researchers have developed a new technique for rapidly screening the ability of nanoparticles to selectively deliver therapeutic genes to specific organs of the body.
Graphene-based materials, prepared from the exfoliation of graphite oxide, are used as a model of interstellar carbon dust as they contain a relatively large amount of atomic defects, either at their edges or on their surface. These defects are thought to sustain the Eley-Rideal chemical reaction, which recombines two H atoms into one H2 molecule.
Researchers have devised a rapid screening method to select the most promising nanoparticles, thereby fast-tracking the development of future treatments. In less than a week, they are able to determine whether nanoparticles are compatible or not with the human body - an analysis that previously required several months of work.