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The growing field of Nanotechnology

Brianna Willard

on 9 October 2012

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Transcript of Nanotechnology

A growing Field Nanotechnology! Nanotechnology is the study, and engineering of particles so small, that they measure from 1 to 100 nanometers. Nano-scientists have equipment, such as scanning tunneling microscopes (STM) and the atomic force microscope (AFM), which they use to see and manipulate the nano-particles. In doing this, nano-particles can be used for a variety of things; for instance, to improve the treatment of disease, consumer products, and the speed of certain chemical reactions. What is Nanotechnology? Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing field due to its practical and useful application in our world today, and also because it can be applied to all fields of science. (Pohanka and Tinkle, 2012) One example of a nano particle is: Nano Particles Today PEG-HCC (combined polyethylene glycol-hydrophilic carbon clusters) How is PEG-HCC useful? Researchers at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine recently developed this useful nano particle. With further tests and experiments, PEG-HCC will be used for:
The treatment of brain injuries
Cancer treatment
War victims
Organ transplants
Stroke victims In order to fully understand how this new nano particle is useful to victims of a traumatic brain injury, it is important to take a closer look at how it works in relation to how the brain works. A Closer Look What are superoxides? (SO) What is superoxide dismutase? (SOD) Superoxides (a reactive oxygen species, or ROS) are toxic free radicals that are released by the brain after a brain injury. Their chemical formua is O2-. (Williams, 2012) Normally, the blood vessels in the brain dilate or contract depending on the change in blood pressure, in order to regulate blood flow accordingly. When trauma is caused by a brain injury, the brain is unable to perform its usual task of regulation. This causes further damage to the brain. (Williams, 2012) A couple of definitions: What are free radicals? Free radicals are toxic molecules that are highly reactive because of an unpaired valence electron. (Helmenstine, 2012) Superoxide dismutase is an enzyme (an antioxidant) that neutralizes superoxides one by one. (Williams, 2012) The autoregulatory system of the brain: The Brain During a Traumatic Injury The Administration of PEG-HCC: In the event of a brain injury (mild or severe), cells in the brain give off large quantities of a superoxide (O2-). Normally, the brain neutralizes these highly charged free radicals with superoxide dismutase. However, in the case of a head injury, the number of toxic free radicals (the superoxides) being released into the blood is too high, and too rapid. The presence of the superoxides prevents the brain's autoregulatory system from functioning properly. If PEG-HCC is injected into the blood, they interfere with the superoxides by joining up with the unstable electron in O2-, which rebalances the autoregulatory system of the brain. (Williams, 2012) Polyethylene glycol and Hydrophilic Carbon clusters are joined together by a double bond. They are 2-3 nm wide, and 30-40 nm long. They are water soluble. Also, they are an incredibly effective antioxidant. (Williams, 12) General Info on PEG-HCC Unfortunately, because PEG-HCC is such a new nano particle, it it still patented, and therefore it is difficult to obtain information on the two components combined. Structure! They are more effective than SOD, because of their ability to neutralize a bigger number of superoxides in one given amount of time. (Diehl, 2012)
PEG HCC Life Cycle! So far, no risks or concerns have been found. Many tests have been run, which have proven that PEG-HCC is non-toxic. (Williams, 2012) Risks References The End!
By Brianna Willard Information on the life cycle of this nano particle is limited, because it has not yet been administered to a human. PEG-HCC is injected into the blood
It combines with the unpaired electron on the superoxides, neutralizing thousands with just one nano particle
The circulation of the blood in the brain is brought back to normal more quickly than usual
The half-life of PEG-HCC is between 2 and 3 hours
The traumatic brain injury victim is left with less post brain injury trauma
(Williams, 2012) (ACS Nano, 2012) ***Unfortunately, this program does not allow italicizing, subscripts, or superscripts to be used. It was also impossible to remove the hyperlink and underlining from each reference, and to have every line after the first indented. (Extreme Tech, 2012) Nanogloss, 2012) (Drug Future, n.d.) Williams, M., (2012). Rice University News: Nanoparticles reboot blood flow in brain. Retrieved September 25, 2012, from the Rice University news and media web site:

http://news.rice.edu/2012/08/23/nanoparticles-reboot-blood-flow-in-brain/ Antioxidant Carbon Particles Improve Cerebrovascular Dysfunction Following Traumatic Brain Injury. (2012). ACS Nano. Retrieved

October 5, 2012, from:

Diehl, P. (2012). About: Biotech/Biomedical: Nanoparticles Minimize Brain Injury from Trauma. Retrieved October 6, 2012, from

About web site:

Drug Future: Polyethylene Glycol. (n.d.). [Photograph]. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from:


Carrlee, E., (2009). Ellen Carrlee Coservation: What do we know about PEG? Retrieved October 8, 2012, from Ellen Carrlee web site:

http://ellencarrlee.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/what-do-we-know-about-peg/ Extreme Tech: New nanoparticle could save lives, limit brain damage by ‘rebooting’ brain blood flow. (2012, August 27). [Photograph]. Retrieved September 25, 2012, from

Helmentine, A., (2012). About: Free Radical Definition. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from About Chemistry web site:

Nanogloss: Introduction to Nanotechnology. (2009, August 2). [Photograph]. Retrieved September 24, 2012, from

Pohanka, R., Tinkle, S. (2012). Nano: National Nanotechnology Initiative. Retrieved September 24, 2012, from the National Nanotechnology Web site:

Composition: Composed of Carbon
Shape: Single-walled carbon nanotubes
Solubility: Water soluble
Intermolecular forces: London forces
Polarity: Non-polar
Bonding: Carbon atoms bonded to each other, forming a nanotube
(Diehl, 2012) Composition: Composed of hydrogen and oxygen, and a carbon backbone
Intermolecular forces: Hydrogen Bonding
Polarity: Polar Covalent
Bonding: Oxygen atoms bonded to a carbon backbone, with a hydroxyl group at each end *Properties such as the melting point and solubility vary depending on the number of oxygen atoms bonded to each other. (Carrlee, 2009) Azonano: Synthesis of Carbon nanotubes. (2012, October 8). [Photograph]. Retrieved Ovtober 8, from

<http://www.azonano.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=3029> (Azonano, 2012) Nanotube
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