May 2011

LVEM5 User News: University of Talca, Chile doing research on Cancer

The joint work of scientists at the Center for Bioinformatics and Molecular Simulation and the Institute of Chemistry of Natural Resources allowed for the synthesis of a nanocomposite that has the ability to detect cancer at a cellular level, in its initial stage.

Danilo Gonzalez with LVEM5
Danilo Gonzalez with LVEM5 Benchtop TEM

The announcement stunned the scientific world and the such that these results will be entered in the April issue of the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.


No doubt this is a development that places our University at the frontier of scientific development of nanotechnological applications, thanks to the work of more than two years by the researcher Leonardo Santos and his group at the Institute of Chemistry of Natural Resources, along with the Center for Bioinformatics headed by Danilo Gonzalez.


“The research stems from the collaboration of researchers from our University, in partnership with the National Cancer Institute in the United States,” said Gonzalez, director of the Computer Centre.


“The quantum dot nanoparticle has the property of being a semiconductor. That is however, with nanoscale properties never seen before. With this background and a series of studies, we have been able to implement a system with a good ability to characterize cancer cells”.


Molecular modeling and simulations done in the laboratories of the Center for Bioinformatics allowed for characterization of some properties of the particles. “using electron microscopy we observed how these nanocomposites are organized. The equipment used are in our data center, ” he adds.


In this research a set of special machines are used. For the calculation with quantum mechanics a 208 core computing cluster. Additionally the Electron Microscope Center, unique in its kind in Latin America, has had particular relevance for the study of Quantum dots.


The following stages are carried out over the next years, under the eaves of the Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation, which funded the research project. Now coordination of the project ensues. “The basic science yielded fruit. The remainder, along with more science, is the development of a practical application of this technological breakthrough, held jointly with Fraunhofer Chile. Hopefully in about three years we hope to have some concrete results, with the implementation of a medical treatment for cancer detection in its early stages, ” says Gonzalez, who notes that they are already working in the evaluation of other applications in different areas.


“Our intention is to apply this technology in other areas such as aquaculture, agriculture, mining, among others”, he says.


Original Source (In Spanish): http://www.maulee.cl/2011/04/22/utalca-realiza-investigacion-sobre-el-cancer/

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