Polymer nanoparticles that are drawn to cancer cells could become an important detection tool, according to a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.
The near infrared (NIR) fluorescent nanoparticles are generated from a class of materials referred to as a Group of Uniform Materials Based on Organic Salts (GUMBOS). GUMBOS are largely frozen ionic liquids, although the concept is more general and is also easily applied to solid ionic materials with melting points in excess of 100 °C.
"We believe that these GUMBOS represent a truly different approach to micro- and nanotechnology," said Professor Isiah Warner of Louisiana State University (LSU) Baton Rouge, who led the scientific team that developed the first GUMBOS five years ago. "Unlike some products of the revolution in nanomaterials and nanotechnology, nanoGUMBOS can be designed for specific uses, rather than simply adapted for a particular use after being synthesized in the lab."