July 14, 2009
Fullerenes filled with radioactive metals
Three U.S. professors have co-invented a remote process for filling hollow carbon molecules called fullerenes with radioactive metals.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute Professor Harry Dorn, Emory University and Henry College Professor James Duchamp and Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Professor Panos Fatouros are the co-inventors of the process that can fill fullerenes with atoms of various metals.
Dorn said an important example of the use of the process is a fullerene encasing a sensitive contrast agent (gadolinium) for magnetic resonance imaging applications, including acting as a diagnostic and therapeutic agent for brain tumors.
Dorn and Fatouros have funding from the National Cancer Institute to further develop, produce, and test fullerene nanoparticles that can identify brain tumor cells and selectively target them for radiation therapy.
Dorn and Duchamp invented a generator that makes the new material by remote control, with the process managed remotely.
More information about the processes is available at www.vtnews.vt.edu/story.php?relyear=2005&itemno=1062.