Seventh Annual Nanobiotechnology Symposium

Seventh Annual Nanobiotechnology Symposium
Reported by
H. Roger Segelken

Posted January 05, 2007

Presented By

NBTC Nanobiotechnology Center, the Kavli Institute at Cornell, and the New York Academy of Sciences


Nanobiotechnology's applications—ranging from fundamental investigations of how DNA can be "unzipped," to how a "human body on a chip" could be used in predictive pharmacology, to how an "evolution chip" could fulfill a Darwinian dream—were the topics of 11 presentations at the Seventh Annual Nanobiotechnology Symposium, held October 23, 2006, on Cornell University's Ithaca, New York, campus. As in previous years the event was organized by the Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC).

Established in 2000 with major support from the National Science Foundation, the Cornell-based NBTC also includes Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Oregon Health and Science University, Princeton University, and the New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center. NBTC is also supported by NYSTAR, the New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research.

Web Sites

Cancer Nanotech
A Web site published by NOVA featuring a slide show explaining how nanoscale devices might be used to fight cancer. (Requires Flash plug-in. Non-Flash version is here.)

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service
This branch of the USDA is supporting work in nanotechnology.

The Foresight Institute
A think tank and public interest institute focusing on nanotechnology.

Glossary for NanoBiotechnology
JPK Instruments has compiled this resource for nonspecialists interested in nanobiotechnology.

Institute of Nanotechnology (IoN)
A "network of networks," including the University of Cambridge Nanoscience Centre, IoN is useful for tracking European forums and other related events. It also offers a compendium of nanotechnology images.

The Kavli Foundation
Focusing on cosmology, neuroscience, and nanoscience, this organization is developing an international program of research institutes, prizes, symposia promoting increased public understanding of science and support for scientists and their work.

Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science
Fosters a collaborative multli-disciplinary research community of researchers working at the atomic and molecular scale.

Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory
Performs analytical tests to guide the research community, support regulatory decisions, and help identify and monitor environmental, health and safety ramifications of nanotech applications. The NCL is actively characterizing nanoparticles for academic and commercial researchers through a rigorous set of analytical protocols.

Nanotechnology Now
"Your gateway to everything nanotech" includes a glossary and white papers, most on developments in the commercial sector and some more technical than the breezy site introduction might lead you to expect.

Created by IoP, the publishers of the journal Nanotechnology, this site features nanotechnology news, products, jobs, events, and information.

National Nanotech Initiative
A multi-agency effort to coordinate and promote nanotech research. The Web site features nanotech facts, news for researchers, information on ethical issues, funding opportunities, an education center for teachers and students, and other resources.

National Science Foundation
General information about nanotechnology, as well as about NSF-funded nanotech projects.

NBTC Nanobiotechnology Center
This Cornell University institute is pursuing projects in an emerging area of scientific and technological opportunity that integrates nano/microfabrication and biosystems.

NCI Alliance for Nanotechnolgy in Cancer
The National Cancer Institute has created an initiative to accelerate the application of nanotechnology to cancer diagnosis and treatment. The Web site includes a nanotech news center, a scientific bibliography, a cancer nanotechnology brochure, and a video journey into the world of nanotechnology in cancer. They also operate a program called the Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, sponsor Teaching Grants for Nanobiotechnology, and are accepting applications for Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Fellowships in Cancer Nanotechnology Research.

NIH Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Information
This site features currently active NIH and BECON (Bioengineering Consortium) research and training opportunities, as well as listings of funded grants for NIH and BECON program announcements related to nanotechnology and nanoscience.

RCSB Protein Data Bank
A freely accessible data repository of three-dimensional biological macromolecular structures.

Small Times
"Big news in small tech." The site offers news, an events calendar, and career listings. Most services are free, but the webzine requires signing up.


Desai T, Bhatia S, Ferrari M, eds. 2006. Therapeutic Micro/Nanotechnology. In BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology, Vol 3. New York, Springer Verlag.

Ferrari M, Desai TA, eds. 2007. Introduction to Biomaterials. Hoboken, John Wiley & Sons.

Shuler ML, Kargi F. 2001. Bioprocess Engineering: Basic Concepts. Second Edition. New York, Prentice Hall.

Journal Articles

Evolution on a Chip

Keymer, J. E., P. Galajda, C. Muldoon, et al. 2006. Bacterial metapopulations in nanofabricated landscapes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103: 17290-17295. Full Text

Nanofabricated Interfaces for Therapeutic Delivery

Foraker, A. B., R. J. Walczak, M. H. Cohen, et al. 2003. Microfabricated porous silicon particles enhance paracellular delivery of insulin across intestinal Caco-2 cell monolayers. Pharm. Res. 20: 110-116.

Saifuddin, U., T. Q. Vu, M. Rezac, et al. 2003. Assembly and characterization of biofunctional neurotransmitter-immobilized surfaces for interaction with postsynaptic membrane receptors. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A 66: 184-191.

Tao, S. L., T. A. Desai. 2005. Micromachined devices: the impact of controlled geometry from cell-targeting to bioavailability. J. Control Release 109: 127-138.

Tao, S. L., T. A. Desai. Gastrointestinal patch systems for oral drug delivery. Drug Discov. Today 10: 909-915.

Vu, T. Q., S. Chowdhury, N. J. Muni, et al. 2005. Activation of membrane receptors by a neurotransmitter conjugate designed for surface attachment. Biomaterials 26: 1895-1903.

Nanohybrids for Cancer Targeting and Imaging

Tyner, K. M. , M. S. Roberson, K. A. Berghorn, et al. 2004. Intercalation, delivery, and expression of the gene encoding green fluorescence protein utilizing nanobiohybrids. J. Control Release 100: 399-409.

Tyner, K. M., S. R. Schiffman, E. P. Giannelis. 2004. Nanobiohybrids as delivery vehicles for camptothecin. J. Control Release 95: 501-514.

Controlling Microarray Spot Morphology with Polymer Lift-Off Arrays

McHale, G., S. Aqil, N. J. Shirtcliffe, et al. 2005. Analysis of droplet evaporation on a superhydrophobic surface. Langmuir 21: 11053-11060.

Shipp, M. A., K. N. Ross, P. Tamayo, et al. 2002. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma outcome prediction by gene-expression profiling and supervised machine learning. Nat. Med. 8: 68-74.

Tran, P. H., D. A. Peiffer, Y. Shin, et al. 2002. Microarray optimizations: increasing spot accuracy and automated identification of true microarray signals. Nucleic Acids Res. 30: e54. Full Text

Van de Vijver, M. J., Y. D. He, L. J. can't Veek, et al. 2002. A gene-expression signature as a predictor of survival in breast cancer. N. Engl. J. Med. 347: 1999-2009.

From Nanobiotechnology Towards Nanomedicine

Dernick, G., G. Alvarez de Toledo, M. Lindau. 2003. Exocytosis of single chromaffin granules in cell-free inside-out membrane patches. Nat. Cell Biol. 5: 358-362.

Dernick, G., L. W. Gong, L. Tabares, et al. 2005. Patch amperometry: high-resolution measurements of single-vesicle fusion and release. Nat. Methods 2: 699-708.

Gong, L. W., I. Hafez, G. Alvarez de Toledo, M. Lindau. 2003. Secretory vesicles membrane area is regulated in tandem with quantal size in chromaffin cells. J. Neurosci. 23: 7917-7921. Full Text

Hafez, I., K. Kisler, K. Berberian, et al. 2005. Electrochemical imaging of fusion pore openings by electrochemical detector arrays. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102: 13879-13884. Full Text

Zero-Mode Waveguides for Lipid Membrane Studies

Levene, M. J., J. Korlach, S. W. Turner, et al. 2003. Zero-mode waveguides for single-molecule analysis at high concentrations. Science 299: 682-686.

Samiee. K. T., J. M. Moran-Mirabal, Y. K. Cheung, Craighead HG. 2006. Zero mode waveguides for single-molecule spectroscopy on lipid membranes. Biophys. J. 90: 3288-3299.

Tailoring the Material-Biology Interface

Andruzzi, L., W. Senaratne, A. Hexemer, et al. 2005. Oligo(ethylene glycol) containing polymer brushes as bioselective surfaces. Langmuir 21: 2495-2504.

Senaratne, W., L. Andruzzi, C. K. Ober. 2005. Self-assembled monolayers and polymer brushes in biotechnology: current applications and future perspectives. Biomacromolecules 6: 2427-2448.

Senaratne, W., P. Sengupta, V. Jakubek, et al. 2006. Functionalized surface arrays for spatial targeting of immune cell signaling. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128: 5594-5505.

"Body on a Chip": A Tool for Predictive Pharmacology/Toxicology

Khamsi, R. 2005. Labs on a chip: meet the stripped down rat. Nature 435: 12-13.

Nel, A., T. Xia, L. Madler, N. Li. 2006. Toxic potential of materials at the nanolevel. Science 311: 622-627.

Sin, A., K. C. Chin, M. F. Jamil, et al. 2004. The design and fabrication of three-chamber microscale cell culture analog devices with integrated dissolved oxygen sensors. Biotechnol. Prog. 20: 338-345.

Viravaidya, K., M. L. Shuler. 2004. Incorporation of 3T3-L1 cells to mimic bioaccumulation in a microscale cell culture analog device for toxicity studies. Biotechnol. Prog. 20: 590-597.

Viravaidya, K, A. Sin, M. L. Shuler. 2004. Development of a microscale cell culture analog to probe naphthalene toxicity. Biotechnol. Prog. 20: 316-323.

Cellular and Biomolecular Isolation and Characterization Using Micro/Nanotechnology

Burnham, M. R., J. N. Turner, D. Szarowski, D. L. Martin. 2006. Biological functionalization and surface micropatterning of polyacrylamide hydrogels. Biomaterials 27: 5883-5891.

Hynd. M. R., J. P. Frampton, M. R. Burnham, et al. 2006. Functionalized hydrogel surfaces for the patterning of multiple biomolecules. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A [Epub ahead of print]

Mohabed, R., E. Gremaud, J. Richoz-Payot, et al. 2006. Quantitative determination of five ergot alkaloids in rye flour by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry. J. Chromatogr. A 1114: 62-72.

Stretching, Twisting, and Unzipping DNA

Deufel, C., M. D. Wang. Detection of forces and displacements along the axial direction in an optical trap. Biophys. J. 90: 657-667.

Jiang, J., L. Bai, J. A. Surtees, et al. 2005. Detection of high-affinity and sliding clamp modes for MSH2-MSH6 by single-molecule unzipping force analysis. Mol. Cell. 20: 771-781.

Koch, S. J., A. Shundrovsky, B. C. Jantzen, M. D. Wang. 2002. Probing protein-DNA interactions by unzipping a single DNA double helix. Biophys. J. 83: 1098-1105.

Koch, S. J., M. D. Wang. 2003. Dynamic force spectroscopy of protein-DNA interactions by unzipping DNA. Phys. Rev. Lett. 91: 028103.

Shundrovsky, A., C. L. Smith, J. T. Lis, et al. 2006. Probing SWI/SNF remodeling of the nucleosome by unzipping single DNA molecules. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 13: 549-554.


Harold G. Craighead, PhD

Cornell University
email | web site | publications

Harold Craighead is co-director of the Nanobiotechnology Center, of which he was the founding director. He is the Charles W. Lake, Jr. Professor of Engineering and professor of applied and engineering physics at Cornell University. From 1979 to 1984, he was on the technical staff of the device physics research department at Bell Laboratories. In 1984 he joined Bellcore, where he formed and managed the quantum structures research group. He joined the Cornell University faculty in 1989. He is an inventor on thirteen issued patents. Craighead's research focues on the study and development of new methods for nanostructure formation, integrated fluidic/optical devices, nanoelectromechanical systems, and single molecule analysis. Craighead has a PhD from Cornell University.

Graham S. Kerslick, PhD

Cornell University
email | web site | publications

Graham Kerslick is associate director of the Nanobiotechnology Center. Prior to joining the Center, Kerslick was principal scientist at XRT Corp., a medical device company that developed the first miniature X-ray catheter successfully operated in animal tests. Kerslick led a multi-disciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and technicians in this research and development project to improve treatment of restenosis. He is co-inventor on several patents related to X-ray catheters and has published many articles on relativistic electron beam research with colleagues at the Cornell Laboratory of Plasma Studies. Kerslick has a PhD from Imperial College, London.


Robert Austin, PhD

Princeton University
email | web site | publications

Robert Austin received his PhD in physics in 1975 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Illinois, Urbana and then at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, West Germany, before becoming an assistant professor in 1979 in the Department of Physics at Princeton University.

Austin's interests have broadened over the years from protein dynamics, in which he still is involved using picosecond infrared light sources, to include DNA dynamics and DNA sequence-dependent structures and lately the use of microfabrication and nanofabrication technologies in biotechnology. This work has broadened to include fractionation of cells in microfabricated structures and ultra-rapid mixing techniques for protein folding.

Austin is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science, President of the Division of Biological Physics (APS), President Elect of the Biological Physics Divison of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His activities in electronic publishing include membership on the Publications Committee of the American Physical Society and he is the Editor of the Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research.

Tejal Desai, PhD

University of California, San Francisco
email | web site | publications

Tejal Desai received her PhD in bioengineering from the joint graduate program at University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco, in 1998. In September 1998, she was appointed an assistant professor in the newly formed Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois. In January 2002, she joined the biomedical engineering faculty at Boston University as an associate professor and in 2005, she joined the University of California, San Francisco as professor of bioengineering and physiology. There, she directs the Laboratory of Therapeutic Micro and Nanotechnology.

Desai's research combines micro and nanofabrication methods to create implantable biohybrid devices for cell encapsulation, targeted drug delivery platforms, templates for cell and tissue regeneration, and novel protocols for the surface modification of biomaterials. In addition to authoring over 90 technical papers, she is senior editor of Langmuir, Biomedical Microdevices, and Sensor Letters and editor of a book on therapeutic microtechnology. She has chaired and organized several conferences and symposia in the area of bioMEMS, micro and nanofabricated biomaterials, and microscale tissue engineering. Her other interests include K-12 educational outreach, gender and science education, science policy issues, and biotechnology/bioengineering industrial outreach.

Desai's research efforts have earned her numerous awards. In 1999, she was recognized by Crain's Chicago Business magazine with their annual "40 Under 40" award for leadership. She was also named that year by Technology Review magazine as one of the nation's "Top 100 Young Innovators" and Popular Science's Brilliant 10. Desai's teaching and outreach efforts were recognized when she won the College of Engineering Best Advisor/Teacher Award and more recently, India New England's Woman of the Year. She also won the National Science Foundation's "New Century Scholar" award and the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program "CAREER" award, which recognizes teacher-scholars most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. Her research in therapeutic microtechnology has also earned her the Visionary Science Award from the International Society of BioMEMS and Nanotechnology and the 2006 Eurand Award for Outstanding novel research in oral drug delivery.

Emmanuel P. Giannelis, PhD

Cornell University
email | web site | publications

Emmanuel Giannelis is the Walter R. Read Professor of Engineering and director of materials science and engineering at Cornell University. In addition to his primary appointment, he is a member of the fields of chemistry and chemical biology, and chemical and biomolecular engineering at Cornell. His research interests include polymer nanocomposites, nanobiohybrids, nanoparticle fluids, and materials for flexible electronics. His group is internationally recognized as one of the leading groups in polymer nanocomposites.

Giannelis is a member of several organizations and serves or has served on the editorial boards of Small, Chemistry of Materials, and Macromolecules. He has co-organized half a dozen conferences or symposia on nanocomposites and has delivered more than 350 Invited Talks and Seminars. He is a member of several professional organizations and a corresponding member of the European Academy of Sciences.

David Lin, PhD

Cornell University
email | web site | publications

David Lin is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and in the Veterinary College at Cornell University. His primary area of research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of the mouse olfactory system. Lin is also director of the Cornell Microarray Core.

Manfred Lindau, PhD

Cornell University
email | web site | publications

Manfred Lindau was trained as a physicist and received his doctorate from the Technical University of Berlin in 1983 in the field of physical chemistry. Lindau was a postdoctoral associate at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and at the Free University of Berlin, where he became an assistant professor in 1988. From 1992 through 1997 he was an associate member of the Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research and taught biophysics at the University of Heidelberg. He joined the faculty at Cornell University in 1997. He is a founding member, member of the executive committee, and program coordinator of the Nanoscale Cell Biology Program at the Science and Technology Center for Nanobiotechnology at Cornell. He is an elected member of the Asian Institute of NanoBioScience and Technology.

Lindau is one of the leading scientists in the field of exocytosis and endocytosis. He has developed and applied biophysical techniques that allow investigation of single vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis in unprecedented detail. In 2003 he received a Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany in recognition of his scientific achievements. The citation index lists more than 1500 citations of his publications. Lindau has given over 90 invited lectures at conferences and seminars around the world. He is active as a consultant in the areas of biophysics, physiology, and cell biology, and is a member of the Biophysical Society and of the Society for Neuroscience.

Jose M. Moran-Mirabal

Cornell University

Jose Moran-Mirabal received his BS in engineering physics, with high honors, from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Studies, ITESM, Monterrey, Mexico) in 1999. He received his MSc in biotechnology from ITESM in 2001, after which he was a member of technical staff in the Department of Molecular Biology at the Instituto Potosino de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnologicas (Potosi Institute of Scientific and Technological Research, IPICyT, San Luis Potosi, Mexico). Moran-Mirabal joined the applied physics PhD program at Cornell University in 2002. Since then he has been working under the guidance of Harold Craighead. His research focuses on the integration of micro- and nanoscale devices with lipid membranes to probe biological systems.

Christopher Ober, PhD

Cornell University
email | web site | publications

Ober obtained a PhD in polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts in 1982. Prior to coming to Cornell in 1986 he worked at the Xerox Research Center of Canada, investigating polymers for advanced technologies. In 1993 he spent a sabbatical year at the Max Planck Institut für Polymerforschung in Mainz, Germany on a Von Humboldt fellowship and in 1999 was a guest professor at the University of Pisa (Italy). During the summer of 2004, he was a visiting professor at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. He is past director of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His activities in polymer science include serving as chair of the Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) Division of the American Chemical Society in 2000 and since 1995 as an associate editor of Macromolecules.

Ober is co-winner of the 2000 and 2003 Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) Award for Creative Invention and co-winner of the 2000 SRC/SSA/International Sematech (ISMT) award for research in manufacturing and environment, safety and health. He has received the 2003 International Sematech Outstanding Contribution Award and in 2004 was honored with the Photopolymer Science & Technology Award. In 2006 he received the ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science and a Senior Humboldt Research Prize.

Michael L. Shuler, PhD

Cornell University
email | web site | publications

Michael L. Shuler is the James and Marsha McCormick Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Chemical Engineering in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He is also a NYSTAR Distinguished Professor (2001–2006). Shuler received both of his degrees in chemical engineering (PhD, University of Minnesota) and has been a faculty member at Cornell University since January 1974.

Shuler's research is focused on biomolecular engineering and includes development of an "artificial" animal (in vitro) for testing pharmaceuticals and chemicals for toxicity, production systems for useful compounds, such as paclitaxel from plant cell cultures, production of foreign proteins using a wide variety of genetically engineered hosts, and computer models of cells relating physiological function to genomic structure. Shuler has coauthored a popular textbook in bioprocess engineering. He has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received numerous awards for research, teaching, and advising of students.

James N. Turner, PhD

Wadsworth Center
The University of Albany
email | web site | publications

James Turner completed his PhD in biophysics at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He joined the staff of the Wadsworth Center in 1977 and was a founding faculty member of the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany (SUNY). He has a long-standing interest in applying physical and engineering principles to the study of a wide variation of biological problems. He was a member of the NIH Imaging Resource from 1978 to 1996 and its director of microscopy from 1989 to 1996. He established a 3-D light microscopy facility in 1988 that he still directs. Turner's research efforts include characterizing the cell biology/microdevice interface and the development of nano- and micro-scale devices to separate and analyze the cellular and molecular components of biological systems. He is the leader of the Wadsworth Center's effort within the Nanobiotechnology Science and Technology Center and is one of its founding faculty.

Larry P. Walker, PhD

Cornell University
email | web site | publications

Larry Walker is a native of Detroit, Michigan and a graduate of Michigan State University with a PhD in agricultural engineering. During his 25 years at Cornell he has been involved in a number of biomass to energy and chemical projects including an assessment of New York State biomass resources available for ethanol production, farm-scale methane production and co-generation, the application of nanotechnology to characterizing and studying important biocatalysts for industrial biotechnology, and optimization of solid-state fermentation for the production of biocontrol products. His nanotechnology research is focused on using single-molecule detection methods to study cellulase adsorption and hydrolysis mechanisms and the application of these methods to molecular ecology.

Walker is the program coordinator for the Biomolecular Devices and Analysis Program of the Nanobiotechnology Center at Cornell, director of the Northeast Sun Grant Institute of Excellence, and coeditor-in-chief for the journal, Industrial Biotechnology.

Michelle D. Wang, PhD

Cornell University
email | web site | publications

Michelle Wang is a professor in the Department of Physics at Cornell University. She studies the dynamics of biological molecules, especially those involved in gene expression and regulation (such as DNA, RNA, RNA polymerases, helicases, DNA repair enzymes, nucleosome remodeling enzymes, and other DNA-based enzymes), using a combination of single-molecule mechanical measurements, and innovative state-of-the-art instrumentation, nanofabrication, and theoretical modeling.

Wang completed her PhD in biophysics at the University of Michigan, before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University. She joined the faculty of Cornell University in 1998 and is now an associate professor there. She is the recipient of many awards, including a National Cancer Institute Fellowship, a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Damon Runyon Scholar Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a Beckman Young Investigator Award, and a Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research Award.

H. Roger Segelken

H. Roger Segelken is a science writer in the Cornell Office of Publications and Marketing.