Gold Nanoparticle Research Secures $2.5m Investment


". . .will use the gold-based particles to help treat cardiovascular disease"

A university start-up that has used gold nanoparticles to develop a new system for sweeping up cholesterol in the bloodstream has secured $2.5 million (1.53 million) to commercialize the technology.

AuraSense, which was spun-out by Northwestern University in Illinois, will use the gold-based particles to help treat cardiovascular disease by cutting the chances of patients suffering a heart attack or stroke, Med City News reports.

The gold nanoparticles are designed to act in the same way as high-density lipoproteins, or "good" particles, which carry cholesterol to the liver for excretion.

Researchers led by Northwestern professor and AuraSense founder Dr. Chad Mirkin, coated the gold particles with fats and proteins so they bind with cholesterol deposited on vessel walls and carry it through the bloodstream.

Because the particles use metals, they could also be used in diagnosis as they will show up well in medical imaging.

Dr. Mirkin has authored 380 manuscripts and filed over 350 patents, as well as founding three spin-out companies.

In June 2009, he was awarded the prestigious $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for his work in the field of nanotechnology.

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