Home Back Issues July 2011 Magnetic nanobeads detect chemical and biological agents

Magnetic nanobeads detect chemical and biological agents

| Print |  Email
Articles - July 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

0711_NextA multi-disciplinary team at Oregon State University is using nanoparticles of iron oxide to help detect chemical and biological agents, proving again Neil Young’s truism that rust never sleeps. Existing methods for identifying chemicals are often time-consuming, and require expensive equipment and trained experts. So Pallavi Dhagat, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering, and Vincent Remcho, a professor of chemistry, assembled a cheap and efficient alternative: a tiny, all-in-one diagnostic laboratory in which the rust nanoparticles perform double duty. The iron oxide helps ferret out the chemical in question, then instantly relays the information, via magnetism and electronics, to a tiny computer, which in turn displays the results to the user. Funded by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, in collaboration with the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, the magnetic “nanobeads” project began four years ago as a technology to locate bioterrorism toxins. But the system, which Remcho extols for its “sensitivity and specificity,” can also be used in any number of civilian applications, including medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring, and food and water safety. “It’s an amazingly flexible detection platform,” says Remcho, whose team is currently “miniaturizing ancillary components.” No rest for the rusty.

LINDA BAKER

 

More Articles

What I'm Reading

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peter Lizotte at ACME Business Solutions and Roger Busse at Pacific Continental Bank share their favorite reads.


Read more...

Healthcare pullback

News
Thursday, November 20, 2014
112014-boehnercare-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Read more...

Water World

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


Read more...

Fly Zone

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


Read more...

I Know How You Feel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


Read more...

Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS