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Symposium to explore role nanoparticles may play in disease
Date:4/2/2008

BETHESDA, Md. (April 2, 2008) Two Mayo Clinic researchers who study the role nanoparticles may play in hardening of the arteries and in the formation of kidney stones, will lead a symposium on how these super-small particles may affect the bodys physiology. The symposium will take place April 8 at the Experimental Biology conference in San Diego.

Nanoparticles are a thousand times smaller than the bacteria, E. coli, but recent advances in microscopy have allowed researchers to watch them interact with cells in the body, said Virginia M. Miller and John C. Lieske of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. They will lead the symposium, Using nanotechnology to answer physiological questions.

One of the questions physiologists want to explore is whether nanoparticles can cause diseases such as atherosclerosis, kidney stones, gall stones and periodontal disease. Dr. Lieske is investigating how nano-sized crystals in the kidney can lead to the development of kidney stones. Dr. Miller has been studying the link between atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and nanoparticles which calcify within the arteries.

A fuller audio interview with the researchers is available at www.lifelines.tv.

New technology: promise and peril?

Nanotechnology presents intriguing possibilities and some troubling unknowns. The technology is already applied in commercial products as disparate as flame resistant materials and cosmetics. In addition, the technology holds promise in the development of medications that can target precise areas of the body, such as a tumor.

Because of their size, nanoparticles may more easily gain entry to the body, where the longterm effects are unknown. Dr. Miller has found that some nanoparticles cause inflammation when injected into the blood vessels of animals, an early step in the development of atherosclerosis.

Using the latest in microscopy, Dr.
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Contact: Christine Guilfoy
cguilfoy@the-aps.org
301-634-7253
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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