Editorial Feature

Nanotechnology in Missouri, USA: Market Report

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Missouri is situated in the Midwestern region of the U.S. It encompasses a total area of 180,533 km2, and as of 2012, it has an estimated population of 6,021,988.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Missouri’s GDP was more than $249 billion in 2011 with manufacturing being the largest contributor (12.8%) together with government services.

Missouri is centrally positioned in terms of logistics for US markets and offers low operating and labor costs, rendering it a great business proposition.

Missouri also has a large and renowned manufacturing industry, with transportation and aerospace equipment being the key sectors covered in this classification. Top brands that call Missouri home include Harley Davidson and Boeing. The state also provides several incentives to attract and motivate advanced manufacturing businesses to set up there.

Missouri also has a large and proven bioscience industry that employs more than 50,000 people in 3,400 companies as stated in the 2011 statistics. It is also the home to Sigma-Aldrich and Monsanto.

Nanotechnology Organizations

A short introduction to the main nanotechnology-related organization in Missouri is given below:

NanoTechnology Enterprise Consortium (NTEC)

NTEC concentrates on the commercial and military application of nanotechnology by offering access to advanced ideas from research facilities and labs, knowledgeable individuals, industry, government organizations, academic and commercial organizations, and pre-existing intellectual property (IP). The NTEC aims to create products for the U.S. military and the civilian market.

Nanotechnology Companies

The leading nanotechnology-related companies in Missouri are listed below together with a short introduction:

Sigma Aldrich

The company offers nanoparticle dispersions, inorganic nanopowders, and surface-functionalized nanoparticles with compositions covering the Periodic Table. Fullerenes and carbon nanotubes are available with a variety of purity grades and surface alterations. Dendrons, dendrimers, and hyperbranched polymers are organic nanomaterials with distinct surface chemical groups and sizes. Nanoclays and Lumidot™ Quantum Dot nanocrystals are the newest advanced products that are available for users’ work.

Labconco

The company supplies a broad range of laboratory equipment through an international network of distributors. Main areas of expertise include freeze dry systems, enclosures and exhaust systems, evaporators, gas purifiers, gloveboxes, and water purification systems.

Kereos

It is a biopharmaceutical company that has created a nanoscale drug delivery technology that allows targeted delivery of a wide variety of therapeutic drug compounds. That includes currently available drugs, new drug candidates and compounds that are too lethal or too delicate to be delivered without the safeguarding and targeting offered by the Kereos technology.

Nanotechnology Research and Education

Some of the top academic institutes in Missouri offering courses and research programs in nanotechnology and nanoscience are given below:

University of Missouri

It promotes the study of nanotechnology via the following study centers.

  • International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine—A study center that concentrates on the discovery and application of translational and fundamental medical science based on new chemistry integrated with nanotechnology and biosciences. The center has study projects that deal with the development of nanotechnology-based devices, agents, and materials that can be used in different fields.
  • Center for Micro/Nano Systems and Nanotechnology—Aids research activities that aim to process and develop nanotechnology for academic and industrial users. This center also helps in commercializing nanomaterials research to realize the necessities of the commercial and defense sectors.

University of Missouri-St. Louis

It promotes research in nanotechnology via the following center:

  • Center for Nanoscience—Conducts nanotechnology-based studies on the topics mentioned below:
    • Nanomedicine and Nanobioscience
    • Nanosensors and Chemical/Biological Sensing
    • Quantum 1/f
    • Energy and Nanomaterials

Northwest Missouri State University

It offers a major in nanoscience that involves partnership between various departments, including statistics, biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Three important areas available for this major are nanoscale biology, nanoscale physics, and nanoscale chemistry.

Recent Developments

Researchers from the University of Missouri recently established that a new form of prostate cancer treatment using radioactive gold nanoparticles can be safely used on dogs. Furthermore, gold nanorods attached with biomolecules can test biopsies for colorectal cancer.

Scientists at the University of Missouri will also be exploring the use of metal nanoparticles on the healing of ACL (knee) surgeries.

Another latest discovery by scientists from the University of Missouri involves a new heat-to-electricity conversion technique called nantenna. A nano-antenna is positioned over a thin, moldable sheet that can capture over 90% of light. Nantenna collects heat from industrial processes and turns it into operational energy.

Scientists at the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine at the University of Missouri have formulated a process known as Boron Neutron Capture Therapy that is a substitute to radiation therapies such as chemotherapy for cancer treatment. The treatment has been demonstrated to selectively target cancerous cells, without damaging the adjoining cells.

Missouri has a great concentration of activity in pharmaceuticals and medicine. With a large variety of companies working in this field and research work at the University of Missouri, it is expected that there will be further developments in this field in the coming days and this will continue to be a local focus.

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