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Measurement and Standards Issues in Nanobiotechnology

For Immediate Release: December 22, 2005

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Contact: Michael Baum

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will co-host a workshop to discuss needed measurement technologies and standards in the rapidly evolving field of nanoscale biotechnology at Rice University (Houston, Texas) on Jan. 19, 2006.

The convergence of nanotechnology—with its focus on synthesizing materials and devices, and controlling their properties on an atomic scale—and biotechnology has opened up a broad landscape of potential applications and issues in medicine, basic research, manufacturing, and materials science. Nanoparticles and nano-structured materials are being studied for new methods of drug delivery and targeting therapeutic agents, for improving contrast and detection levels in medical imaging, and for basic research on the structure and dynamics of biomolecules. Manufacturers studying nanotechnologies are concerned with basic issues of safe materials handling and scale-up.

The January workshop will seek to identify the most critical measurement and standards needs in this diverse and important new area of technology. The U.S. Measurement System (USMS) Workshop on Measurement and Standards Needs in NanoBiotechnology is sponsored by NIST, The Alliance for NanoHealth, Battelle, Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (Rice), Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (Rice), the departments of Defense and Energy, BioHouston, Environmental Protection Agency, ASTM International, Gulf Coast Consortium, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Naval Research, National Cancer Institute, Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCI), and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Pennsylvania.

Registration information is available at http://cohesion.rice.edu/centersandinst/cnst/conference.cfm. There is a $50 registration fee.

The workshop is one of a series on the U.S. Measurement System (USMS) sponsored by NIST to assess and document the nation's priority measurement and measurement-related standards needs for technological innovation, U.S. industrial competitiveness, safety and security, and quality of life.