Published on Tuesday August 21, 2007
Drs. Yury Gogotsi (MSE), Gary Friedman (ECE), Bradley Layton (MEM), Jane Clifford (College of Medicine), and Elisabeth Papazoglou (School of Biomedical Engineering) have received a $1,000,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation for the project titled “Keck Institute of Attofluidic Nanotube-Based Probes”. A major institutional effort led by President Papadakis and the Office of Institutional Advancement helped to add Drexel University to the prestigious list of Keck Foundation grantees.
The W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 in Los Angeles, CA, by William Myron Keck, founder of The Superior Oil Company. The Foundation is one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations, supporting pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research, and with assets of more than $1 billion. Grant programs supported by the Foundation are invested in people and programs that are making a difference in the quality of life, now and for the future.The goal of the Keck Institute of Attofluidic Nanotube-Based Probes is to design and build nanotube-tipped probes: tiny and versatile tools that will create opportunities in areas such as minimally invasive intra-cellular probing and drug delivery, single-cell surgery, molecular scale manufacturing, and environmental sensing. These tools may lead to breakthroughs in our ability to directly detect and treat disease, such as cancer, at the cellular level; and to dramatically improve the ability to detect toxins in air and water at the single molecule level, identifying possible biological attack and other threats.“We were among the first in the world to study fundamentals of fluid behavior in individual nanotubes,” according to Gogotsi, Principal Investigator for the project.Members of the research team have already produced nanotube-tipped capillaries with the ability to transfer fluid and to perform cell injections. They have also created carbon nanotubes that incorporate magnetic and gold nanoparticles.“The challenge that we now face is to fine tune the design and function of nanotube-tipped probes and demonstrate their usefulness for cell interrogation, sensing and other applications,” Gogotsi said.