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Winners Announced in 2009 Collegiate Inventors Competition(R)
Date:10/21/2009

ach after spending time with then-law student Jonathan Ko, who has quadriplegia. Diebold said, "I saw that to Jonathan, the pointing stick was his arms and hands, and he had to ask somebody every time he wanted to use his hands -- that seemed absurd to me." By attaching the pointing stick to a cup which is in turn attached to a strap that loops around the user's neck, the user is able to freely engage the pointer as he wishes. Diebold is currently majoring in industrial design.

Graduate prize winner Geoffrey von Maltzahn, 29, turns what may be a new page in nanomedicine with his method of using a pair of nanoparticles that work together in an innovative way to increase the effectiveness and lower the side effects of existing cancer drugs. Powerful cancer-killing drugs are well-known to science and widely used in clinical medicine, but since these drugs are also highly toxic to healthy cells, targeting drugs specifically to tumors has been a major focus in cancer research. Of late, much of this drug-targeting research has looked at using nanoparticles to carry the drugs to tumors. A major challenge, however, is that cancer cells, and the tumors they may form, have a finite numbers of targets to which nanoparticles can attach -- and since a given nanoparticle can carry only a small drug payload, this limits the amount of drug that can be delivered.

In von Maltzahn's approach, one set of nanoparticles lodge in a tumor's blood vessels and cause local bleeding. The bleeding prompts clotting factors to be produced, which in turn, attracts a second set of nanoparticles that have been programmed to be attracted to the clotting factors and that deliver a cancer drug. The use of the clotting factors dramatically increases the number of targets for the drug-carrying particles. Raised first in Arlington, Texas and then Fairfax, Virginia, von Maltzahn received degrees from MIT and the University of California, San Diego before beginning his current w
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SOURCE National Inventors Hall of Fame
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