Nanobiotechnology, the manipulation of extremely small particles of matter, holds big promise for North Carolina and for the world.
It’s a sector of research and business capitalizing on a wide range of applications made possible because particles at such small sizes exhibit unusual, often useful properties.
A stack of about 100,000 “nanoparticles” equals the thickness of a piece of paper. Scientists can form them into shapes that perform specific functions — like hollow beads that transport therapeutic molecules through the bloodstream and deposit them where they’re most effective at fighting cancer or infection.
|Analyzer. Courtesy of Advance Liquid Logic|
Big Business Starts with Tiny Particles
Advance Liquid Logic, a Research Triangle Park firm spun out of Duke University with the help of a Biotechnology Center loan, uses nano-sized droplets of blood for high-speed diagnostic tests. It’s called “lab-on-a-chip” technology, because it shrinks big jobs into miniscule spaces.
Advance Liquid Logic is one of some 75 N.C. companies wielding nanotechnology applications. And because the possibilities for more are almost endless, North Carolina intends to be a big player in the nano world.
A few examples:
- The University of North Carolina System has launched a $65 million Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering in Greensboro. The school, a collaboration between North Carolina A&T State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is one of fewer than 10 schools nationally offering degree programs in nanotechnology.
- The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has helped launch the NC Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology (COIN) to help create more jobs from the output of academic and commercial labs across the state.