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World-renowned nanotechnology expert proves there is big potential in the smallest of matter
Date:6/24/2009

ence Foundation, and conceived, managed and directed by Mirkin. There, Mirkin's research, with the help of NU graduate students and colleagues, has formed the basis of several start-up companies that are helping to bring his inventions from the lab to the market.

Nanotechnology as a Disease Detector

Current medical diagnostic tools make it challenging to understand the identities of molecules circulating in the human bloodstream, which provide early warning signs of disease. Often, a disease isn't detected until an illness has progressed and indicator molecules become visible in higher concentrations. Current genetic testing, often performed in a distant lab, may take weeks to deliver results and authenticate or rule out the presence of a threatening disease or illness an inefficient and costly process with potential negative health consequences.

Mirkin invented a highly precise method of identifying low concentrations of disease-signifying molecules. "In the case of proteins, the test can be thousands of times more sensitive than any commercial protein detection system out there, and has the power to revolutionize medical diagnosis," states Mirkin.

Mirkin commercialized many of the nanoparticle-based medical diagnostic assays through Nanosphere Inc., leading to the development of the Verigene ID System. This innovative biodiagnostic system can test patients for several different disease targets at the same time, on-site in a research laboratory, community hospital, or doctor's office in under an hour.

One of the most promising applications of this technology is in Alzheimer's disease, which presently affects as many as 5.3 million Americans.3 Today, patients can only be posthumously confirmed as having Alzheimer's. Mirkin's bio-barcode test has the potential to evaluate living patients for Alzheimer's by detecting very low concentrations of the protein associated with the disease, allowing for early intervention
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Contact: Julie Staadecker
jstaadecker@coneinc.com
617-939-8427
Lemelson-MIT Program
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3 4

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