ASTF to fund AUC's nanotechnology research

Cairo, 18 Dec. 2009 (WAM) - The UAE-based Arab Science & Technology Foundation (ASRF) is funding a ground breaking research programme conducted by scientists at the American University in Cairo (AUC) aimed at creating a new generation of nano-devices that include smart bricks with tiny sensors, which can analyze building safety and warn of fires and earthquakes, according to the Egyptian daily Al Ahram.

The paper quoted Dr Hassan Azzazy, Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at AUC, as saying that the research was aimed at constructing and utilizing a variety of Nan particles including gold Nan particles and Nan crystals to develop unique diagnostic tests for sensitive detection of the hepatitis C virus.

"Nan particles are also used in different test configurations to develop experiments for the detection of cancer biomarkers such as alpha-fetoprotein, a marker of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer)," said Azzazy.

He added that these Nan particle-based tests are cheaper and generate results in a shorter time compared to their commercial counterparts.

"We are also working on designing nano-carriers for controlled simultaneous delivery of therapeutic drugs and genetic materials into liver cells using built-in nano-switches," he explained.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2009.