BNC Collaborator Wins Prestigious IOP Award
News Nov 24, 2009
Bio Nano Consulting (BNC) has announced that one of their key collaborators has been specifically recognized for her scientific contributions to the field of nanomechanics.
The Institute of Physics (IOP) awarded Dr. Rachel McKendry the prestigious Paterson medal and prize in recognition of her international contributions, and in particular for her work developing label-free nanomechanical cantilever sensors.
Dr. McKendry’s work with cantilevers has significantly aided the understanding of the origins of surface stress at biomolecular interfaces. The cantilever system works by detecting interactions between ligands attached to one side of the cantilever and receptor molecules via changes in surface stress which cause the cantilever to bend. Being 500 µm long, 100 µm wide and only 900 nm thick, the cantilever has remarkable sensitivity, which enables it to detect very tiny changes in forces at the surface of the cantilever.
Dr. McKendry’s expertise in this field has enabled BNC to the commercially develop drug-screening technologies to speed up the discovery of new antibiotics.
The Paterson award is given for distinguished research in applied physics and is generally awarded to physicists in the early part of their careers as a mark of recognition. Dr. McKendry commented, “This area of research quantitatively measures molecular recognition forces which are fundamental to virtually every process in the living cell. To have had my contribution to this recognised is a great honour. I am thrilled to have received this award.”
Nanoparticles show great promise as diagnostic tools and drug delivery agents. But until now, most nanoparticles had to be injected into the bloodstream because they weren’t absorbed well orally. Now, researchers have modified nanoparticles to improve their uptake in the gastrointestinal tract.