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Rice uses light to remotely trigger biochemical reactions
Date:12/13/2012

the enzymes' performance dropped dramatically because the beads insulated the enzymes too well.

But when encapsulated complexes were illuminated by continuous, near-infrared laser light, they worked substantially better than under bulk heating while leaving the solution at near-room temperature. The researchers found the complexes robust enough for weeks of reuse.

"As far-fetched as it sounds, I think chemical companies will be interested in the idea of using light to make chemicals," Wong said. "They're always interested in new technologies that can help make chemical products more cheaply."

He sees other possible uses for the new approach in the production of fuels from degradation of biomass like lignocellulose; for drug manufacture on demand maybe from nanoparticle-infused tattoos on the body; or even for lowering blood sugar concentrations as a different way to manage diabetes.

"That we can now make these particles is great," Wong said. "The next exciting part is in thinking about how we can deploy them."

Ryan Huschka, a co-author of the paper, is a former Rice graduate student and now an assistant professor of chemistry at Newman University. Halas is the Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, a professor of biomedical engineering, chemistry, physics and astronomy and director of Rice's Laboratory for Nanophotonics. Gonzales is an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and also of bioengineering

The research was supported by the Peter and Ruth Nicholas Postdoctoral Fellowship Program administered by the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, the Rice University Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering Hamill Innovations Award Program, the Rice University Faculty Initiatives Fund, the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Air Force O
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Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

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