Navigation Links
New ORNL process brings nanoparticles into focus

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 23, 2008 Scientists can study the biological impacts of engineered nanomaterials on cells within the body with greater resolution than ever because of a procedure developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The method, detailed in the current issue of Nature Nanotechnology, uses scanning near-field ultrasonic holography to clearly see nanoparticles residing within cells of laboratory mice that had inhaled single-walled carbon nanohorns. Nanohorns are short, horn-shaped tubular structures capped with a conical tip.

"While carbon-based materials have countless potential uses, we need to know how they interact within a cell and whether they are able to penetrate cells," said Laurene Tetard, lead author and a member of ORNL's Biosciences Division. "We found that these nanohorns can indeed get into cells."

With this new tool, researchers will be able to determine whether a cell's shape changes because of nanomaterials such as the nanohorns used for this study. Tetard and co-authors expect this work to be of significant benefit to scientists studying drug delivery systems, nanotoxicology and interactions between engineered nanomaterials and biological systems.

"The rising commercial use of engineered nanoparticles and the ensuing need for large-scale production pose a risk of unintended human exposure that may impact health," the authors wrote. "Central to this issue is the ability to determine the fate of nanoparticles in biological systems and in more details their route after inhalation."

In contrast to conventional imaging techniques, scanning near-field ultrasonic holography provides a detailed look inside a cell, providing nanometer resolution.

"Conventional atomic force microscopy using a cantilever tip can only probe the surface of a specimen, making it difficult to analyze structures that are inside a cell," Tetard said. "Our method benefits from all of the advantages of a standard atomic force microscope but provides access to some of the features buried inside the cell."

Ultimately, this new imaging capability could help advance the field of nanoparticles-cell interactions. In addition to the high-resolution subsurface imaging and localization of nanoparticles in biological samples, scanning near-field ultrasonic holography allows for minimal sample preparation and requires no labeling with radioisotopes. The technique also offers relatively high throughput sample analysis, which enables researchers to image many cells quickly.

"The scanning near-field ultrasonic holography method should be especially useful for determining the efficacy of cell type-specific drug targeting, which is a critical goal for medical uses of nanomaterial," wrote the authors, who expect their results to help resolve critical questions about the fate and potential toxicity of nanoparticles within the body.


Contact: Ron Walli
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Related biology news :

1. ID Solutions Awarded Full-Production Order for Fingerprint Processing Software for TWIC
2. Forum to focus on math and mechanics behind life processes
3. Researchers discover architecture for fundamental processes of life
4. Expanded histology methods book covers processing of animal, plant, and microbial tissues
5. Pitt and University of Chicago researchers uncover process behind heart muscle contraction
6. NYU dental professor discovers biological clock linking tooth growth to other metabolic processes
7. New horizons in modelling surface processes
8. NYU scientists set stage for understanding how color vision is processed
9. Using ground-penetrating radar to observe hidden underground water processes
10. Substantial improvement in essential cheap solar cell process
11. New process makes nanofibers in complex shapes and unlimited lengths
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a global leader ... has released a new version of its IdentityX ... North America have already installed IdentityX ... includes a FIDO UAF certified server component ... to activate FIDO features. These customers include some of ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 2015 In the present market scenario, security ... various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, electronic ... demand for secure & simplified access control and growing ... hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , and ... PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide potential ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... 2015  Delta ID Inc., a company focused on ... PC devices, announced its ActiveIRIS® technology powers the iris ... launched by NTT DOCOMO, INC in Japan ... smartphone to include iris recognition technology, after a very ... in May 2015, world,s first smartphone to have this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  Culprits beware, a ... chemistry professor Jan Halámek, is taking crime scene ...   -->   ... --> --> ... have discovered a straightforward concept for identifying whether ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Zenith Epigenetics Corp. ("Zenith" ... Norman C.W. Wong to its Board of Directors ... to Zenith with a wealth of experience as co-founder of ... biology. --> --> Dr. ... Epigenetics, board of directors. Zenith,s long standing expertise in epigenetics ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Imagine Exhibitions and Universal ... Exhibition, opening in March 2016 at Melbourne Museum in Melbourne, Australia. Immediately following ... North American tour dates. The Exhibition is based on Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), the genomics-based, technology-driven ... Genomics, Inc., a leading genome informatics company offering highly ... The San Diego -based company has ... and Co-founder, Ashley Van Zeeland , Ph.D., who is ... of the deal were not disclosed. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: