Nanoscale sensors based on silicon nanowires and carbon nanotubes are capable of detecting molecules at ultra low concentrations. The potential applications include early detection of cancer and fast sequencing of genome. However, for these applications, the time taken by the sensor to reach stable response is crucial. This time is dictated by the diffusion of molecules (e.g. cancer markers) through the solution and their subsequent capture at the sensor surface. Researchers at Purdue University show that this response is governed by the geometry of diffusion of the system and that nanobiosensors are capable of detecting bio-molecules at much lower concentration than the classical planar sensors.
Multidrug resistance, the principal mechanism by which many cancers develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs, is a major factor in the failure of many forms of chemotherapy. New research by Chinese scientists suggests that nanoparticle surface chemistry and size as well as the unique properties of the magnetic nanoparticles themselves may contribute to a synergistic enhanced effect of drug uptake of targeted cancer cells. These findings could result in promising biomedical applications for cancer therapy.
The controlled release of biomolecules or nanoparticles is a problem of general interest for a wide range of applications. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have demonstrated the programmed release, by applying a small voltage pulse, of biomolecules and nanoparticles chemically tethered to patterned electrode arrays.
Researchers in Belarus developed a new technology that significantly improves the safety of using laser nano-thermolysis to destroy cancerous cells. The method, dubbed LANTCET (laser activated nano thermolysis as cell elimination technology), uses clusters of gold nanoparticles to create vapor microbubbles that can kill targeted cells.
Scientists at the University of Washington are developing natural polymer based nanofibers using electrospinning to mimic the native extracellular matrix of cartilage in terms of microstructure, mechanical properties, and chemical composition. This reesearch holds great implication for the generation of functional cartilage tissues to help the millions of people who suffer from degeneration of articular cartilage due to primary osteoarthritis or trauma.
Optical labeling is an important tool in biological imaging because it offers superb discrimination between the sites of interest and the crowded background of a biological specimen. Diamonds nanocrystals have several advantages over other optical labels and open new opportunities in optical imaging, especially in applications where the size of optical labels represents an important parameter.
Nanoparticles can be modified to create selective surfaces for targeted molecular interactions. As the biomarker populations present in blood are more fully characterized, nanoparticle harvesting platforms will have significant potential improve the detection of diseases at an early, more treatable stage.
The human heart does not have significant regeneration capabilities and cardiologists look to cell therapy as a promising new method for cardiac repair. Now there is a new delivery system that improves the results of cell therapy. The new system allows greater control of the intramyocardial environment (inside the heart muscle) by delivering growth factors to an injured heart muscle and using peptide nanofibers for prolonged delivery of the injected factor.