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

and potential treatment.

Mirkin's work with nanostructures made of gold has since led to new ventures and the founding of Aurasense, a company focused on developing a novel class of nanotherapeutics that are nontoxic and extremely effective in gene regulation for application in oncology and heart disease.

Manipulating Biological Materials with Dip-Pen Nanolithography

Printing is the cornerstone for many core technologies, including information transfer, electronics, medical diagnostics, and drug discovery. Modern microfabrication processes have made printing on the microscopic scale widely accessible. The challenge of creating flexible tools that allow one to print on the nanoscopic scale led Mirkin to invent Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN).

This technology, licensed by NanoInk, can be used to print features of proteins, DNA and other biological materials on surfaces with sub-50 nanometer resolution.

Commercialized in the form of the NscriptorTM, it has become a novel research tool, allowing scientists to better understand how cells interact with surfaces and function, the chemical and physical consequences of miniaturization, and how structures including individual viruses behave at the single particle level. This knowledge is important for learning how viruses infect cells, understanding the chemical and physical differences between healthy and cancerous cells, or discovering the genetic code associated with a new flu virus all of which could lead to new therapeutics and diagnostics. DPN's applications extend even further than this to highly miniaturized polymer- and molecular-based electronics.

Mirkin's latest invention, Polymer-pen lithography, which uses millions of polymer-based tips, is designed to cover a larger surface area and has more commercial applications ranging from computational tools, medical diagnostics like gene chips, and pharmaceutical discovery through combinatorial biomolecule ar
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Contact: Julie Staadecker
jstaadecker@coneinc.com
617-939-8427
Lemelson-MIT Program
Source:Eurekalert  

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