By Cameron Chai
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has awarded Tomowave Laboratories a small business innovation research (SBIR) phase I grant in order to evaluate the health risks caused due to nanotechnology applications in medicine and industry. The innovative system by Tomowave will sensitively and quickly evaluate the health risks that are related with inducing nanoparticles into animals.
According to the CTO and the project’s principal investigator Dr. Alexander Oraevsky stated that the system will utilize adjustable near-infrared laser pulses to determine nanoparticle characteristics all through the body of the animal by changing absorbed optical energy into ultrasound sources. This technology also called optoacoustic tomography is highly effective in detecting gold silver, carbon nanoparticles with considerable biological tissue depths not possible using just optical techniques. Even minute quantities can be identified.
TomoWave will be permitted to optimize its system within a period of six months and will request for the Phase II grant worth $1 million each year in April 2012. The Phase II award will enable commercialization of the technology.
Present techniques available for nanoparticle detection, which include CT scans or X-ray imaging and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) do not detect carbon and metal nanoparticles effectively and cannot be accessed by companies that need to test industrial products and nanotechnology-based drugs.
TomoWave is recognized globally in the field of optoacoustic imaging development and research. According to Dr. Adler, it is anticipated that these imaging systems will have high demand in nanotechnology-based bioengineering businesses and in academic labs that identify the risk of nano-devices and nano-drugs.