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July 18, 2005

UCLA Researchers Create Nano Valve

Topics: Medical Science News

The University of California reports that its researchers have created a molecular nanosystem that one day could be used for a very specific drug delivery:

(Image via Medgadget.com)

(...) "The valve is like a mechanical system that we can control like a water faucet," said UCLA graduate student Thoi Nguyen, lead author on the paper. "Trapping the molecule inside and shutting the valve tightly was a challenge. The first valves we produced leaked slightly." "Thoi was a master nano plumber who plugged the leak with a tight valve...

(...) This nano valve consists of moving parts -- switchable rotaxane molecules that resemble linear motors designed by California NanoSystems Institute director Fraser Stoddart's team -- attached to a tiny piece of glass (porous silica), which measures about 500 nanometers, and which Nguyen is currently reducing in size. Tiny pores in the glass are only a few nanometers in size.

(...) "It's big enough to let molecules in and out, but small enough so that the switchable rotaxane molecules can block the hole,"

(...) "The fact that we can take a bistable molecule that behaves as a switch in a silicon-based electronic device at the nanoscale level and fabricate it differently to work as part of a nano valve on porous silica is something I find really satisfying about this piece of research"

(...) "It shows that these little pieces of molecular machinery are highly adaptable and resourceful, and means that we can move around in the nanoworld with the same molecular tool kit and adapt it to different needs on demand."

Read more ...

UC Press release

Related readings:
Chitosan nanoparticles for plasmid DNA delivery: effect of chitosan molecular structure on formulation and release characteristics.

Lipid nano/submicron emulsions as vehicles for topical flurbiprofen delivery.

Preparation and characterization of solid lipid nanoparticles containing cloricromene.

Companion post at Hyscience

Posted by Richard at July 18, 2005 2:39 PM

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