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Sandia researchers discover way to see how a drug attaches to a cell

hing is to make sure that the number of photocatalyst molecules - and thus the number of platinum clumps - within the liposome double layer is very high," Shelnutt says. "The resulting dendrites are then close enough to join and take the shape of the liposome.

When the liposomes are broken up, the platinum spheres remain intact.

The thickness of the platinum shell around the sphere can be controlled by reducing or increasing the amount of the platinum salt placed into the solution.

Shelnutt sees many potential applications for this process, including "nanotagging" biological structures such as drug molecules.

"This would involve labeling the drug by attaching a porphyrin molecule and, after allowing the drug to bind to a cell, using light to grow a nanometer-sized particle. The nanoparticles can then be imaged with electron microscopy to reveal the location of the drug receptor molecules on the cell," Shelnutt says. "This type of nanotagging technique might be used in non-biological applications as well - such as finding flaws in semiconductor surfaces."


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Source:DOE/Sandia National Laboratories


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