Dresden and Grenoble nanotechnology clusters strengthen their cooperation

In order to better face competition – especially from Asia – the two most important European nanoelectronics & nanotechnology clusters (Dresden in Germany and Grenoble in France) will strengthen their cooperation in the coming months.  They will set up common expert committees regarding education, R&D, industrial coordination, SMEs and environment ; the first common projects are expected to be launched by the end of 2010 (article).

Clinical Applications of Nanotechnologies in the Field of Cancer

The “Clinical applications of nanotechnologies in cancer” conference will take place in Montpellier (France) on January 28 and 29, 2010. According to the program, the sessions will focus on the following topics :

SESSION 1: Presentation of nano research activities: IBEC/Biopol L´H-Barcelona, Cancéropôle Grand Sud-Ouest and Cancéropôle Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes

SESSION 2: Transfer of nanotechnology to clinical applications related to cancer 
SESSION 3: Ethics and regulatory issues related to nanotechnologies in the field of cancer

SESSION 4: Proof of concept of clinical applications in oncology  

[[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

# Nanoparticles & cancer therapy : volumetry in biomedical publications since 2000

# A nanotech sensor to distinguish between the breath of lung cancer patients and healthy controls

 # Gold nanoparticles for cancer detection animation

# Fighting cancer with magnetic nanoparticles – animation ]]]

Modified phytoglycogen nanoparticles to protect oil in foods from oxidation

A researcher from Purdue University sucessfully modified the surface of phytoglycogen nanoparticles to make them behave “like an emulsifier, creating phytoglycogen octenyl succinate, or PG-OS. PG-OS is thicker and denser than commonly used emulsifiers, creating a better defense from oxygen, free radical and metal ions, which cause lipid oxidation“. His work also showed that ε-polylysine, a polypeptide much smaller than the PG-OS nanoparticles, can be added to the oil droplets to aid in the protection from oxidation : “PG-OS nanoparticles with ε-polylysine significantly increased the amount of time it took for oxidation to ruin the oil droplets, in some cases doubling the shelf life of the model product“. The main applications of these findings would be in systems  in which the oxidation of lipids is a concern, especially in the food, cosmetics, or nutritional supplement industries (article).

Gold nanoparticles and magnetic microparticles to detect an indicator of prostate cancer

A new assay developped by US and Austrian researchers uses gold nanoparticles and DNA as amplification agents to detect prostate specific antigen (PSA), a protein associated with prostate cancer. The immunoassay is based on the use of 1) PSA antibody-functionalised gold nanoparticles decorated with DNA strand and 2) magnetic microparticles functionalised with a second PSA antibody. In solution, these two particles both bind to PSA ; the probes can then be magnetically separated thanks to the presence of the magnetic particles. DNA is then cleaved from the gold nanoparticles surface and its quantity (measured owing to a scanometric assay) indirectly indicates the level of PSA initially present in the sample. According to the researchers, this assay is ~300 times more sensitive than other commercial assays (see for example this article for more details).

[[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

# Gold nanoparticles in biomedical publications since 2000

# Functionalized nanoparticles in patents since 2000

# Gold nanoparticles for cancer detection animation ]]]

New Russian nanotechnology funding program

According to President Dmitry Medvedev at the opening of Rusnanotech 09 on Tuesday, “nanotechnology will rival oil as a global powerhouse industry, so Russia’s economy needs to embrace it now (…) The global nanotechnology market is worth about $250 billion today and may reach $2 trillion to $3 trillion by 2015, making it comparable to the market of natural resources (…)” A new nanotechnology funding program approved by the Russian government this week totalizes ~318 billion rubles ($3.95 billion) until 2015 ; the sector’s sales in Russia are expected to reach 900 billion rubles by that time. The innovations should be created by small and midsized businesses according to Sergei Mazurenko, head of the Federal Science and Innovations Agency : “We should be more systematic in developing new high-tech production by creating medium-sized and small science-intensive businesses (…) In addition, we need extensive applied research in order to create competitive nanoproducts.” (article)

[[[ Additional links suggested by Nanocolors :

# Tracking everything produced in Russia that uses nanotechnology

# Nanonewsnet.ru ]]]

Carbon nanotubes can dramatically accelerate the germination and growth of plants

In the frame of a new study entitled Carbon Nanotubes Are Able To Penetrate Plant Seed Coat and Dramatically Affect Seed Germination and Plant Growth recently published in the online edition of ACS Nano, researchers have demonstrated that carbon nanotubes can penetrate thick seed coat and support water uptake inside tomato seeds. According to some of the authors : “The fact that nanomaterials have a strong influence on the growth kinetics of the plants is a clear indication of the bio-activity of these nanomaterials (…) The activated process of water uptake could be responsible for the significantly faster germination rates and higher biomass production for the seeds and seedlings that were exposed to carbon nanotubes [CNT], although the exact molecular mechanisms of CNT-induced water uptake inside plants seeds are not clear yet and require further investigation (…)” (see Nanowerk article and original publication for further details)

[[[ Additional link suggested by Nanocolors :

# Carbon nanotubes in sci-tech publications since 2000 ]]]

A nanotech sensor to distinguish between the breath of lung cancer patients and healthy controls

Israeli researchers have demonstrated that an array of sensors based on functionalized gold nanoparticles in combination with pattern recognition methods can distinguish between the breath of lung cancer patients and healthy controls. Their study was published online in Nature Nanotechnology on August 30th in an article entitled “Diagnosing lung cancer in exhaled breath using gold nanoparticles” (abstract).

The gold nanoparticles are functionalized with different organic groups that respond to various Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) relevant to lung cancer ; when exposed to biomarkers, the molecularly modified gold particles move apart and, as a result, the resistance of the organic film at their surface increases differently, depending on several factors. Pattern recognition algorithms can then be used to obtain information on the identity, properties and concentration of the vapor exposed to the sensor array from the resistance patterns.  

According to one of the authors of the study : “Our results show great promise for fast, easy, and cost-effective early diagnosis and screening of lung cancer, including different types of primary lung cancer“.

(source : Nanowerk article)