20, 2005 --- Precise dendrimer nanostructures are
available at low cost for commercial applications
because of a breakthrough by a company at Central
Priostar™ dendrimers, created by Dendritic NanoTechnologies
Inc. at CMU's Center for Applied Research and Technology,
may be used as nanoscale building blocks in the medical,
food and agriculture, energy, electronics, environmental
and industrial safety, personal, household, chemical,
and manufacturing markets.
Dendrimers are sphere-shaped nanostructures that
can be precisely engineered to carry molecules — either
encapsulated in the interior or attached to the surface.
The size and shape of a dendrimer is determined by
shells, called generations, which are grown around
the core structure. The reactivity of the dendrimer
is determined by its surface chemical functionality
together with size and shape. Until dendrimers reach
a certain generation, other functions cannot be added
Priostar™ dendrimers radically change the economics
of nanotechnology and have broad commercial applications.
They share and improve the physical properties of
the original PAMAM dendrimers that were invented
about 25 years ago by DNT president and chief technology
officer Donald Tomalia while he was at The Dow Chemical
To create a PAMAM Generation 3 dendrimer, it took
eight steps and one month of processing time. Priostar™ Generation
3 dendrimers can be created in three steps and a
“Our new dendrimer process vastly reduces the amount of labor and reagents normally
required by our PAMAM process,” said Tomalia. “An exciting new feature of the
Priostar™ family of dendrimers is the ability to add extenders or functionality
to the interior of the dendrimer to customize interior spaces and reactivity.”
The Priostar™ dendrimers may be engineered in more than 50,000 variations
of size, composition, surface function and interior nanocontainer space,
said DNT CEO Robert Berry.
“Our new Priostar™ dendrimers place DNT in the enviable position of controlling
a dominant nanoscale platform with many applications in multiple billion-dollar
markets,” said Berry. “This new technology will establish a price point for an
DNT is located in one of Michigan's premier SmartZones for technology development
On May 17, CMU broke ground for a new wet lab facility to house the research
activities of companies such as DNT, with laboratory facilities currently in
CMU's Dow Science Complex, and MultiGEN Diagnostic Inc., which specializes
in developing new DNA-based technologies used for detection and diagnosis of
microbes and biological threats. MultiGEN is currently housed in CMU's Health
Research that can change the world is just what a university needs, said CMU
President Michael Rao.
“We're all amazed at the great opportunities to advance life through dendrimers,” said
Rao. “The laboratory that will be built on this site has the power to change
CMU, Mount Pleasant, mid-Michigan and even the state. It will provide research
opportunities for faculty and students, be a critical faculty recruitment tool,
and make a significant impact on economic development.”
Nanotechnology growth is expected to increase exponentially across manufactured
goods in the next 10 years. In 2005 $13 billion worth of products will incorporate
emerging nanotechnology, less than 1 percent of the global manufacturing output.
That figure is expected to reach $2.6 trillion and 15 percent of manufacturing
output in 2014.
Nature magazine recently named Mount Pleasant one of the country's major “biotech
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