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ORNL nanoscience center 'jump starts' medical compound device

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 24, 2005 -- A device that could create custom-tailored medical compounds faster than ever before is one of the first projects launched under the new Center for Nanophase Materials Science at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Project director Joseph Matteo, founder and CEO of the local research firm NanoTek, is building a small, microfluidic machine to quickly and reliably synthesize drugs, medicines, diagnostic imaging agents and other compounds.

His work is part of the CNMS Jump Start Program, which gives selected nanoscience projects access to ORNL research facilities and staff before the center begins full operation in October.

The program includes more than 75 research proposals, all of which are evaluated by an external scientific review committee, selected for scientific merit and quality, and will be published in the scientific press.

"Being local and one of the first commercial clients of the CNMS, I feel added responsibility to make this a success," Matteo said. "There is a huge amount of support from the community. The road is by no means easy, but this region has a unique opportunity in having the first of five of these centers in the country, and we are trying to take advantage of it."

CNMS is the first of five Nanoscale Science Research Centers being built by the Department of Energy. The center will be housed in an 80,000-square-foot building on Chestnut Ridge beside the Spallation Neutron Source.

Assisting Matteo will be ORNL researchers Timothy McKnight and Gomez Wright, of Engineering Science and Technology Division and Michael Simpson of the Condensed Matter Sciences Division. Simpson is a CNMS Theme Leader, and a joint ORNL-University of Tennessee scientist.

Matteo's device uses ORNL developed technology to manipulate ions in a stream of solution. Potential commercial applications can be found in industry, medicine, and even bio-threat detection. The high-speed, low-vol
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Contact: Mike Bradley
bradleymk@ornl.gov
865-576-9553
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
24-May-2005


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