Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCF nanotechnology may speed up drug testing

20.12.2011
Testing the effectiveness of new pharmaceuticals may get faster thanks to a new technique incorporating quantum dots developed at the University of Central Florida.

Some drug testing can take a decade or more, but UCF associate professor Swadeshmukul Santra and his team have created an electronic quantum dots (Qdots) probe that "lights up" when a drug it is delivering attaches to cancer cells. The research appears online in this month's Biomaterials. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0142961211012841#FCANote

A researcher can use a microscope to see where and how much of the drug has been delivered because the probe emits a reddish color under special lighting or via MRI because of its optical and magnetic components.

As the drug testing continues, images can be taken over and over without any loss of optical or MRI signal. Researchers can then measure the size of the tumor and number of cancer cells that "light up" compared with the original untreated tumor.

This provides a way to determine whether the drug is doing what it is supposed to be doing in the targeted areas. The technique is much easier than the current process of removing treated cancer tumors and weighing them at regular intervals to determine the drug's efficiency in an animal.

"Many people in my area have been studying this approach for years," Santra said. "But we have now moved it into a live cell, not just in test tubes."

Sudiptal Seal, the director of UCF's NanoScience Technology Center and nanoscience scientist believes Santra's research is significant.

"This is indeed a major breakthrough in Qdot research," Seal said. "This new diagnostic tool will certainly impact the field of nanomedicine."

Santra and his team used semiconductor Qdots to create the probe. Because of their small size and crystal-like structure, Qdots display unique optical and electronic properties when they get excited. These unique properties make them ideal for sustained and reliable imaging with special lights.

For this research funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, the UCF-led team used a superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle core decorated with satellite CdS:Mn/ZnS Qdots which carried the cancer-fighting agent STAT3 inhibitor. The Qdot optical signal turned on when the probe bonded with the cancer cells.

"The potential applications for drug testing specifically for cancer research are immediate," Santra said.

Collaborators on the research included: Andre J. Gesquiere also of UCF, James Turkson of the University of Hawaii, Glenn A. Water of the University of Florida and Patrick T. Gunning from the University of Toronto.

Santra has his own team of students and scientists at the UCF NanoScience Technology Center, which has been studying nanotechnology, quantum dots and their applications for years. The team focuses on the engineering of nanomaterials for bioimaging and sensing, drug delivery and anti-microbial applications.

Santra joined UCF in 2005 after working as a research assistant professor at the University of Florida. He has a Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida. He has written dozens of articles and book chapters on nanoscience and nanotechnology. Santra also holds eight US patents in nano-bio and biomedical fields.

CONTACT: Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala, UCF News & Information, 407-823-6120 or zenaida.kotala@ucf.edu

UCF Stands For Opportunity --The University of Central Florida is a metropolitan research university that ranks as the second largest in the nation with more than 58,000 students. UCF's first classes were offered in 1968. The university offers impressive academic and research environments that power the region's economic development. UCF's culture of opportunity is driven by our diversity, Orlando environment, history of entrepreneurship and our youth, relevance and energy. For more information visit http://news.ucf.edu

Zenaida Kotala | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucf.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>