Nanotechnology in Maryland, USA: Market Report

Maryland, located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, covers a total area of 32,133 km2 and has a population of 5,884,563 as of 2012. in 2011, Maryland's GDP was $301.1 billion. The main non-government contributors to the local economy were real estate, scientific and technical services, healthcare and manufacturing. Key industry sectors for Maryland include:

  • Aerospace and defense
  • Energy and sustainability
  • Health and life sciences
  • Manufacturing and production
  • Education and research
  • Finance and professional services
  • Hospitality and recreation
  • Information and technology

Maryland has an extremely highly educated population. Some interesting statistics include:

  • The highest concentration of employed doctoral scientists and engineers
  • The highest number of employed Ph.D. scientists per 100,00 employed workers
  • Second in the percentage of professional and technical workers in the workforce
  • Ranks second in the percentage of the population aged 25 and above with a bachelors degree or higher (36.9%) and second in the percentage with a graduate or professional degree (16.5%)
  • Fourth in the concentration of technology jobs (87 out of every 1000 private-sector workers)

It follows that they also rank highly in terms of research and development. Highlights include:

  • Johns Hopkins University was the top-rated university or US college when it comes to National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, including awards, grants, contracts, etc.
  • Maryland ranks first for NIH research and development contract awards
  • Johns Hopkins University ranks first nationally for academic institutional spending on R&D and federally funded research
  • Maryland ranks second for federal obligations for R&D and first on a per capita basis
  • Maryland ranks second in R&D R&D intensity (ratio of R&D expenditure to GDP) by state, fourth in total R&D performance, first in federal intramural R&D, and fourth in R&D performed at universities and colleges.

In 2010 Maryland maintained it's second-place ranking in Milken Institute's State Technology and Science Index, which is a measure of the science and technology assets of a state, and their ability to foster and sustain the technology sector. This factor is a key indicator of the future economic success of a state.

Maryland ranked fifth in the 2012 State New Economy Index, which is a measured economy as knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, information technology-driven, and innovation-based.

Nanotechnology Organizations

A brief introduction to the key nanotechnology-related organizations in Maryland is given below:

National Cancer Institute Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer - Focuses on the development of nanotech solutions for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer.

Nanotechnology Companies

The major nanotechnology-related companies in Maryland are listed below along with a brief introduction to each of them:

Colossal Storage Corp - Colossal Storage is a research and development company focused on 2D Spintronic and 3D Holographic Optical Nanostorage. Colossal Storage has exclusive licenses to dominant patents.

Blue Wave Semiconductors - Blue Wave Semiconductors, Inc. is a global leader in developing advanced thin film and nanomaterials deposition systems, tool components, and nanotechnology-based electronic and photonic devices.

CytImmune Sciences - CytImmune Sciences is a clinical-stage nanomedicine company with a core focus on the discovery, development, and commercialization of multifunctional, tumor-targeted therapies. Based on an R&D strategy which harnesses the unique properties of gold nanoparticles, cytotoxic agents, and biology of tumors, the Company is developing a pipeline of proprietary drug candidates binding potent anti-cancer agents (whose toxicity profiles currently prevent or severely limit clinical use) to its patented colloidal gold tumor-targeting nanotechnology.

Neocera - Neocera serves nanotechnology Research and Development markets worldwide and semiconductor labs for failure analysis and electrical characterization. Neocera introduces new technology products that accelerate nanotechnology development. Its thin-film fabrication tools (Thin Film) provide nanofabrication methods for R&D labs and deposition systems for pilot lines. Its failure analysis tool (Magma) provides non-contact fault isolation for nanoscale circuits at both package and die levels.

Pixelligent - Pixelligent Technologies, the producer of PixClear™, is an innovator in manufacturing high-quality nanocrystal dispersions and polymer nanocomposites for demanding applications in the electronics, semiconductor, and industrial markets. Pixelligent works closely with leading-edge technology firms and Fortune 500 companies to create next-generation products with dramatically improved properties.

SEAC - Surface Engineering Associates (SEAC) has in-depth experience in the area of a novel, high-performance thin-film surface coatings, and plasma surface modification. This includes academic research and product engineering/manufacturing experience.

Allegiance NanoSolutions - Allegiance NanoSolutions provides analytical testing & consulting services for companies with emerging nano and micro technology-based products. Their facilities help startups, mid-sized & large commercial & industrial entities as well as government organizations throughout North America with analytical testing solutions. Allegiance NanoSolutions also supports a broad spectrum of nanotechnology-based research programs and contract manufacturing for private industry and government organizations.

The company’s core competencies is to apply strong analytical testing expertise in the field of nanotechnology along with a world-class facility to provide quality services that cater to their customer’s needs.

JASCO Analytical Instruments - JASCO manufactures a wide range of UV-Vis/NIR, FT-IR, Fluorescence, RAMAN, and related spectroscopic instrumentation. JASCO is also the world leader in the field of Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy and Chiral Detection. The experience gained by JASCO in both optical design and computer technology led to the production of spectrophotometric detectors for HPLC. The move into the HPLC market continued with the production of solvent delivery systems, gradient elution devices, and a complete range of detectors. JASCO now has over 30 years of experience in the design and development of innovative chromatography instrumentation for a wide range of applications.

Vorbeck Materials - Graphene is one of the strongest, most thermally and electrically conductive materials known. Vorbeck Materials is making this promising material reality with its Vor-x® graphene formulations and composites.

Vorbeck develops Vor-x® products to meet real-world industrial challenges. Vor-ink™ formulations harness the exceptional conductivity of graphene: ultra-flexible and robust inks and coatings for the printed electronics market. In energy applications, Vor-x® delivers demonstrable performance gains by breaking traditional technology trade-offs between battery capacity and power output. Plastic and rubber composites with low Vor-x® loadings attain extreme levels of strength, dimensional stability, conductivity, and environmental resistance, opening new application and design possibilities.

AparnaBio - AparnaBio is a privately held biotechnology company formed to pursue our passion to develop biomedical nanoparticle technology and products for research and treatment of human disease. We are developing NanoElectroPlex™, a proprietary tissue-selective nanoparticle platform technology based on biodegradable macromolecular carriers.

Nanotechnology Research and Education

Some of the leading academic institutes in Maryland offering courses and research programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology are listed below:

Johns Hopkins University - Nanotechnology research at the Johns Hopkins University is promoted through the following research facilities:

  • Institute for Nanobiotechnology (INBT) - Promotes research on nanoscience to enhance the understanding of molecular and cellular dynamics at the molecular level and also promotes research on the impact of nanotechnology and nanoscience on the environment and health.
  • Bowen Group - A research group that focuses on nanoparticles and clusters. This group also concentrates on the preparation and characterization of nanoparticles and on designing sources of cluster ions that are unique in nature.
  • Engineering for Professionals - Provides working engineers with appropriate graduate-level education. A Materials Science and Engineering program is also available which enables students to choose nanotechnology as an optional subject.  

Center for Cancer Research Nanobiology Program (CCRNP) - Research activities in this program is based on how nanodevices can be designed using biomolecules. This devices will further act as diagnostic tools for cancer and also used to analyze and trace cellular processes and disease progression.

National Institute of Standards and Technology - The Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) focuses on inventing nanoscale measurement methods and instruments. The current research areas include:

  • Nanofabrication and Nanomanufacturing
  • Future Electronics
  • Energy Storage, Transport, and Conversion

University of Maryland - Their involvement in nanotechnology is through the following departments:

  • The Department of Materials Science and Engineering - Offers nanotechnology by coursework for their materials science and engineering degree.
  • Maryland NanoCenter - In response to the growing need for nanotechnologists in the workforce, they are developing an undergraduate program, the Interdisciplinary Minor Program in Nanoscale Science and Technology.

Recent Developments

Recently, a research team guided by a professor from the University of Maryland has collaborated with The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore to discover simple ways that will prevent silver artifacts from tarnishing. The process involves coating silver artifacts with a 1 atom thick layer of aluminium oxide via a reversible atomic layer deposition (ALD) process. According to experts, this research team is likely to collaborate with museums that will permit them to detect forgeries of silver artifacts. Further research will be conducted to analyze other advanced technologies like nanotechnology that can be used to preserve art.

Another discovery in the field of nanotechnology evolved when researchers from the University of Maryland, the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology and the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm identified a microscopic method for the identification of magnetic defects in magnetic nanostructures.

NIST is also very active in the area of nanotechnology recently reporting such things as:

  • Technique for purifying carbon nanotubes
  • Measurement tool for MEMS devices
  • Spray on coating combining
  • Fluorescent technique for measuring photoacid distribution in photoresists with nanoscale resolution

With the amount of grant money coming in to Maryland and the highly educated population is seems logical to think that Maryland could become a hot bed of nanotechnology activity, with the medical industry being a likely area of development thanks to Johns Hopkins University, while NIST researchers will also continue to develop various new nanotechnologies.

Sources and Further Reading


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