Probing the organelle

Drexel University has been awarded a $1m grant to design and build nanotube-tipped probes.

The Los Angeles, California-based W.M. Keck Foundation has awarded a $1m grant to Drexel University to design and build nanotube-tipped probes that are able to interrogate single organelles inside living cells.

The new probe will be based on engineered carbon nanotubes capable of metering and transferring fluids with volumes of approximately one attolitre (10-18 of a litre) while performing electrical, optical and mechanical measurements of the probe environment.

Drexel professors Drs. Yury Gogotsi, Gary Friedman and Bradley Layton of the College of Engineering, Jane Clifford of the Drexel University College of Medicine and Elisabeth Papazoglou of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems will serve as the investigators for the two-year project.

Based in Los Angeles, the W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W.M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The Foundation’s grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical research, science and engineering.