The Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC) was established in January 2000 as a Science & Technology Center, with core funding from the National Science Foundation. Nanobiotechnology is an emerging area of scientific and technological opportunity that integrates nano/microfabrication and biosystems to the benefit of both. The Nanobiotechnology Center is characterized by its highly interdisciplinary nature and features a close collaboration between life scientists, physical scientists, and engineers. It has a fully integrated education and outreach effort in which all NBTC faculty participate. The Center brings together experts in their fields from Cornell University, the Wadsworth Center (New York State Health Department in Albany), Princeton University, Oregon Health & Science University, Clark Atlanta University, and Howard University. It also involves the active collaboration of K-12 educators, the Sciencenter Museum in Ithaca, NY, and representatives from industry and the government.
Our Future Nanobiotechnology is beginning to generate substantial new insights into how biological systems function, and likewise, nanobiotechnology will lead to the design of entirely new classes of micro- and nanofabricated devices and systems. The use of microfabrication as a method of miniaturizing biological and biomedical devices is just beginning to reach the biotechnology industrial community. Compared to the electronics industry, the fabrication technology now employed in biotechnology industrial development is relatively unsophisticated. This is due, in part, to the challenge of the vastly more diverse array of materials and chemical systems important to biological applications, compared to silicon-based technology in the integrated circuit industry. Thus new fabrication processes must be developed for use with biologically relevant material systems. At the same time, the ability to effectively address dimensions at the molecular scale will open a new world of understanding and methods for scientific exploration and device construction. Our program aggressively pushes the boundaries of technological capabilities and scientific understanding at the interface between the organic and inorganic systems.