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Lab Technologies

X-Ray Dark-Field Radiography Offers Clues into Lung Disorders

Scientists, for the first time, tested X-ray dark-field radiography on a living organism to diagnose lung disease.   More...
12 Jun 2014

A New Slide-Staining System for Tuberculosis with Highly Flexible Programming

An international multicenter study has been carried out to assess the performance of a new generation of slide-staining device.   More...
12 Jun 2014
Image: No bigger than a soda can, the small-scale incubator microscope is a space-saving and cost effective solution for time-lapse observation of cell cultures (Photo courtesy of Fraunhofer IBMT).

Small-Scale Incubator Microscope Designed to Study Cells in Time Lapse

German scientists have now devised innovative technology that combines the functions of both incubators and microscopes in a compact small-scale system.   More...
11 Jun 2014
Image: Remaking an artificial enzyme pair in the test tube and having it work outside the cell is a big challenge for DNA nanotechnology. To meet the challenge, they first made a DNA scaffold that looks like several paper towel rolls glued together. Using a computer program, they were able to customize the chemical building blocks of the DNA sequence so that the scaffold would self-assemble. Next, the two enzymes were attached to the ends of the DNA tubes. In the middle of the DNA scaffold, they affixed a single strand of DNA, with the NAD+ tethered to the end like a ball and string. Yan refers to this as a swinging arm, which is long, flexible and dexterous enough to rock back and forth between the enzymes (Photo courtesy of the Biodesign Institute at ASU).

DNA Nanotechnology Strategy Puts Enzyme Catalysis Within Reach

Using molecules of DNA in an architectural scaffold, scientists have developed a 3D synthetic enzyme cascade that mimics an important biochemical pathway that could prove important for future biomedical and energy applications.  More...
10 Jun 2014

Drug-Target Database and Algorithm Help Match Old Drugs to New Uses

A new database is helping scientists match existing drugs to genetic targets in new diseases.   More...
10 Jun 2014
Image: Early tests of the “nanodaisy” drug delivery technique show promise against a number of cancers (Photo courtesy of Ran Mo).

“Nanodaisies” Designed to Transport Drug Cocktail to Cancer Cells

The researchers are from the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.   More...
09 Jun 2014
Image: A general synthetic route was developed to encapsulate small molecules in monodisperse zeolitic imid-azolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) nanospheres for drug delivery. Electron microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, and elemental analysis show that the small-molecule-encapsulated ZIF-8 nanospheres are uniform 70-nm particles with single-crystalline structure. Several small molecules, including fluorescein and the anticancer drug camptothecin, were encapsulated inside of the ZIF-8 framework. Evaluation of fluorescein-encapsulated ZIF-8 nanospheres in the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line demonstrated cell internalization and minimal cytotoxicity. The 70 nm particle size facilitates cellular uptake, and the pH-responsive dissociation of the ZIF-8 framework likely results in endosomal release of the small-molecule cargo, thereby rendering the ZIF-8 scaffold an ideal drug delivery vehicle. To confirm this, the researchers demonstrated that camptothecin encapsulated ZIF-8 particles show enhanced cell death, indicative of internalization and intracellular release of the drug. To demonstrate the versatility of this ZIF-8 system, iron oxide nanoparticles were also encapsulated into the ZIF-8 nanospheres, thereby endowing magnetic features to these nanospheres Photo courtesy of the  American Chemical Society (ACS) journal ACS Nano).

Smart Drug-Delivery Cage Designed to Fight Cancer

Chemists have developed a nano-scale cage of chemical bonds that entraps small molecule drugs and then infiltrates cancer cells, showing potential to act as a “smart” drug-delivery processes to fight cancer and other disorders.  More...
04 Jun 2014

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