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Nanotechnology Research and Education
Missouri is located in the Midwestern United States. It covers a total area of 180,533 km2 and has an estimated population of 6,021,988 in 2012.
Missouri's GDP was over $249 billion in 2011 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, with manufacturing being the largest contributor (12.8%) along with government services.
Missouri is centrally located in terms of logistics for US markets and offers low operating and labor costs, making it an attractive business proposition.
Missouri also has a large and well established advanced manufacturing industry, with aerospace and transportation equipment being the main sectors covered in this classification. Big names that call Missouri home include Boeing and Harley Davidson. The state also offers a number of incentives to attract and encourage advanced manufacturing businesses to locate there.
Missouri also has a large and well established bioscience industry that employs over 50,000 people in 3,400 companies according to 2011 statistics. It is also the home to Monsanto and Sigma-Aldrich.
A brief introduction to the key nanotechnology-related organization in Missouri is given below:
NanoTechnology Enterprise Consortium (NTEC) - Focuses on the military and commercial application of nanotechnology by providing access to innovative ideas from research facilities and laboratories, government organizations, knowledgeable individuals, industry, commercial and academic organizations and pre-existing intellectual property (IP). The NTEC aims at developing products for the civilian market and the U.S. military.
The key nanotechnology-related company in Missouri is given below along with a brief introduction:
Sigma Aldrich - Sigma Aldrich offer inorganic nanopowders, nanoparticle dispersions, and surface-functionalized nanoparticles with compositions spanning the Periodic Table. Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes are available with different purity grades and surface modifications. Dendrimers, dendrons and hyperbranched polymers are organic nanomaterials with well-defined surface chemical groups and sizes. Nanoclays and Lumidot™ Quantum Dot nanocrystals are the latest innovative products we made available for your work.
Labconco - Labconco supplies a wide range of laboratory equipment through a worldwide network os distributors. Key areas of expertise include enclosures and exhaust systems, evaporators, gloveboxes, gas purifiers, freeze dry systems and water purification systems.
Kereos - Kereos is a biopharmaceutical company that has developed a nanoscale drug delivery technology that enables targeted delivery of a broad range of therapeutic drug compounds, including existing drugs, new drug candidates and compounds that are too toxic or too fragile to be delivered without the protection and targeting offered by the Kereos technology.
Nanotechnology Research and Education
Some of the leading academic institutes in Missouri offering courses and research programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology are listed below:
University of Missouri - Promotes the study of nanotechnology through the following research centers.
- International institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine - A research center that focuses on the discovery and application of translational and fundamental medical science based upon unexplored chemistry combined with biosciences and nanotechnology.
The center has research projects dealing with the formation of nanotechnology-based devices, materials and agents that can be used in various fields.
- Center for Micro/Nano Systems and Nanotechnology - Supports research activities that focus in processing and developing nanotechnology for industrial and academic users. This center also helps in commercializing nanomaterials research to fulfill the requirements of the defense and commercial sectors.
University of Missouri-St. Louis - Promotes research in nanotechnology through the following center:
- Center for Nanoscience - Conducts nanotechnology-based research on the following topics:
- Nanosensors and Chemical/Biological Sensing
- Nanomedicine and Nanobioscience
- Energy and Nanomaterials
- Quantum 1/f
Northwest Missouri State University - Offers a major in nanoscience that involves the collaboration of different departments that include mathematics, biological sciences, statistics, physics and chemistry. Three significant areas available for this major include nanoscale physics, nanoscale biology and nanoscale chemistry.
Scientists from the University of Missouri recently proved that a new form of prostrate cancer treatment using radioactive gold nanoparticles can be safely used in dogs. Also gold nanorods with biomolecules attached are able to test biopsies for colorectal cancer.
Researchers at the University of Missouri will also be looking into the use of metal nanoparticles on the healing of ACL (knee) surgeries.
Another recent discovery by researchers from the University of Missouri refers to a new heat-to-electricity conversion method known as nantenna. A nano-antenna is placed over a thin and moldable sheet that is capable of capturing more than 90% of light. Nantenna collects heat from industrial processes and converts the heat into usable energy.
Researchers at the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine at the University of Missouri have developed a process called Boron Neutron Capture Therapy that is an alternative to radiation therapies such as chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. The treatment has been shown to selectively target cancerous cells, leaving neighbouring cells healthy.
Missouri has a high concentration of activity in medicine and pharmaceuticals. With a large number of companies working in this arena and research work at the University of Missouri, it is anticipated that there will be more developments in this area in the near future and this will continue to be a local focus.