Implantable Drug Delivery

Implantable drug delivery (IDD) devices offer more uniform drug release rates, lower required doses, and localized delivery. These devices are generally composed of the drug of interest distributed in a polymer matrix. Examples of marketed implantable drug-delivery formulations include Norplant for birth control (Wyeth Laboratories), Gliadel for localized delivery of a chemotherapeutic agent to the brain (Guilford Pharmaceuticals), and Viadur for slow release of hormones for prostate cancer...

The Future of Nanotechnology

Only a fool would predict the future.Ancient Chinese Proverb Predicting the future is a hazardous task. What we need is a tool chest of relevant experience and intuition, one that enables us to move from today's paradigm to a vision of tomorrow's potential. These tools are needed because the rules of the physical world change when technology moves to the atomic level. Our everyday understanding of mass and inertia, which govern actions such as driving an automobile, no longer apply at the...

The Story of Biotechnology

Although the story of biotechnology began much earlier, it was Jim Watson and Francis Crick's 1953 announcement of the structure of DNA that made the new biology a public issue. 1 The double-helix model they described was simple and eloquent. It provided an explanation for the replication of life at the molecular level. An avalanche of research followed, but it was not until 1972 that Paul Berg and colleagues at Stanford University developed techniques to cut and paste DNA, creating the first...

Public Markets and Nanotechnology Companies

Historically, public equity markets have provided capital for rapidly expanding firms having established products and seeking growth capital. Periodically, new technology or corporate growth models, combined with unusually heavy money flows into the stock market, fuel speculative demand for shares in new companies. Biotechnology investing has run in such cycles for more than 20 years. The Internet boom of the late 1990s reached unprecedented levels of irrational expectations and speculation....

Nanotechnology and Our Energy Challenge

I've increasingly begun to believe that a grand challenge before usthe world and humanityis what I call the terawatt challenge. I've been looking into the energy issue and I've been on a quest for terawatts, or trillions of watts of electricity. What I'm looking for is to solve what I believe is the most important problem facing humanity, the problem of generating energy of the magnitude that we will need in this century for what could very well turn out to be ten billion people on the planet....

Nanotechnology Startup Companies

Nanotechnology start-up companies should not expect to defy fundamental business principles, as did the Internet companies of the mid- to late 1990s, if only for a brief period. Nanotechnology companies should expect to be measured by standard metrics and to confront the same industry dynamics and fundamental business issues (for example, personnel choices, sales strategy, highvolume manufacturing, efficient allocation of capital, marketing, execution of their business model, time-to-market...

Technology Exponentials

Despite a natural human tendency to presume linearity, accelerating change from positive feedback is a common pattern in technology and evolution. We are now crossing a threshold where the pace of disruptive shifts is no longer intergenerational instead, it begins to have a meaningful impact over the span of careers and eventually over product cycles. As early-stage venture capitalists (VCs), we look for disruptive businesses run by entrepreneurs who want to change the world. To be successful,...

Concept 1 Lessons From the SCurve

The first concept is that of the S-curve. Introduced by Richard Foster, the S-curve describes the relationship between the investment of resources in a technology or process and the resulting performance produced by that investment (Figure 1-1).UH It is referred to as an S-curve because when the results are plotted, the resulting figure typically takes the shape of the letter S. Figure 1-1. An example of an S-curve. Figure 1-1. An example of an S-curve. In an early stage, as effort is ramping...

Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery

Dendrimers Nanoparticles

Nanoparticle-based delivery vehicles improve drug efficacy by modulating drug pharmocokinetics and biodistribution. Small-molecule drugs are rapidly eliminated from the circulation by the kidneys. Injectable nanoparticledelivery vehicles, typically ranging from 5nm to 200nm in size, substantially increase circulation (particles > 5nm avoid kidney clearance) while minimizing removal by cells that police the blood for foreign particles (macrophages have less propensity for particles < 200nm...

Jianjun JJ Cheng

Jianjun Cheng is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Cheng received his B.S. in chemistry at Nankai University and his M.S. in chemistry from Southern Illinois University. He then received his Ph.D. in materials science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His industry experience includes working as a Senior Scientist and Project Leader for Insert Therapeutics, Inc., where he developed...

Water

These soft nanostructures do work on demand. When you add dish liquid to hot water in a dishpan full of dirty pots and pans, the nanoscale structure of the surfactant micelles change as they migrate to the oily surfaces, encapsulate the grease, and carry it into solution. When you paint a wall with a good-quality emulsion-based paint, the brush moves easily as you spread the paint on the wall, but as soon as you finish brushing an area, the structure changes and the viscosity of the paint...