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Nanotechnology

Scientists Make Artificial Cell Membranes on Silicon Chips

21 years, 1 month ago

8450  0
Posted on Jan 14, 2003, 3 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Researchers at New York's Cornell University are currently busy making minute artificial cell membranes - one thousandth of a millimetre wide - on silicon chips. The artificial membranes have been created in an attempt to help the scientists work out exactly what triggers immune system cells into action.

Researchers at New York's Cornell University are currently busy making minute artificial cell membranes - one thousandth of a millimetre wide - on silicon chips. The artificial membranes have been created in an attempt to help the scientists work out exactly what triggers immune system cells into action. Lead researcher Professor Harold Craighead and colleagues make the artificial membranes by covering slilicon chips with plastic, and then using light to engrave a template of squares into the chip. The holes are then filled with fatty lipids, and the template is ripped off to reveal the membranes. The technique has already helped the researchers to discover that mast cells are activated by antigens present in the membranes.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.nature.com on the 19th December 2002

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