March 22, 2010

Interests Converge At UAlbany

By: by Larry Rulison, Business Writer, Times Union


The convergence of nanotechnology and health care was on full display Friday at the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

It was part of a day-long symposium -- most of it highly technical in nature -- organized by the NanoCollege and Empire State Technology Group, a nonprofit association of technologists.

Researchers from Duke University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brown University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute came to speak.

So did scientists from the NanoCollege, including Nate Cady, a nanobioscience professor who talked about commercialization of nanobiotechnology, including his work with an Ithaca company called iFyber LLC that puts nanocoatings using different materials on fibers. Cady is also studying how to coat dressings for wounds, which could be especially helpful under battlefield conditions.

"You can make it have antimicrobial properties," Cady said.

Cady is also developing research techniques to print cells and bacteria on substrates that will allow pharmaceutical companies to more easily develop drugs -- possibly saving the health care system money.

"The NanoCollege's growing portfolio of nanobio education and research will enable just what the doctor ordered -- improved health care at a reduced cost," NanoCollege spokesman Steve Janack said.

Equipment vendors were also at the symposium, including John Piseck, of CTM Corp. in Frankfort, Herkimer County. CTM supplies Tokyo Electron, a semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker with a major research presence at Albany NanoTech. CTM makes specialty parts and has supplied NASA missions.

In addition to trying to attract nanobio researchers, Piseck also hopes to be able to supply the new $4.2 billion computer chip factory being built by GlobalFoundries Inc. in Malta.

"We're definitely hoping to get some ancillary business," Piseck said.

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