BOS Science


Call for Listener Question’s: Webster Nanomedicine Lab

May 8, 2020

Everyone get your thinking caps out and get excited, because the next interviews for "BOS Science" are right around the corner. But before I can get down to brass tacks with these scientists, I need your help!

In the next episode, I talk to the Webster Nanomedicine Lab at Northeastern University, to learn about how this research group is working to use nanotechnology as a way to diagnose and treat disease. Before I sit down with my next guests, I'm going to give you some details on some of the wicked cool science that is being worked on at the Webster lab. Now you get the chance to submit your very own questions about this research, which will be answered by these scientists live on the show! And trust me, you're going to want to ask a million questions after you read all about this lab's amazing research.


Our next guests will feature chemical engineering professor and director of the nanomedicine lab, Professor Thomas J. Webster, and one of the nanomedicine labs brightest graduate student's, David Medina Cruz. These scientists are working on some truly fascinating research, including:

1. Nanotech Implants that Improve Bone Growth and Prevent Infection

One of the most common complications that arises after a patient receives a surgical implant, is the risk of bacterial infection. To combat this problem, these researchers have developed implants with "nano-features" covering the surface that they've found has significantly decreased the ability of bacteria to attach to the surface, and as an added bonus, the nano-surface has also been found to stimulate new bone growth!

2. Nanoparticles to Detect and Destroy COVID-19 virus

The extremely small size of the COVID-19 virus makes it difficult to detect, but by using nanoparticles of similar small size, these researchers have been able to specifically bind the nanoparticle to the exterior of the virus, and then disrupt the virus's structure using infrared light therapy. These nanoparticles can be sprayed directly onto objects or surfaces to destroy the virus, or they can be injected into the body to target and destroy the virus from within!

3. "Trojan Horse" Nanoparticles Produced by Bacteria, which Target and Kill their own Parent Bacteria Cells

Turns out humans aren't the only ones who can create nanoparticles; these researchers found that by feeding bacteria cells specific chemical compounds, the bacteria's internal mechanisms will actually synthesize nanoparticles. If that isn't cool enough, these "bacteria produced nanoparticles" are found to be particularly effective at killing whatever type of cell was used to create them; this could be antibiotic resistant bacteria, or even cancer cells!

*in the voice of Billy Mays* But wait, THERE'S MORE! This crazy cool science has now been turned into a real life chemical company that focuses on using these techniques to develop biomedical agents to combat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections and chemotherapy-resistant tumors! 


So are you freaking out from excitement yet? I sure am! Take a look at the article links to learn more about the Webster Labs research, and send me an email with whatever questions you have for our guests. No question is too big or too small, too complicated or too simple! You don't even have to give me your name, just SEND ME YOUR QUESTIONS!! You can submit your questions until 3:00 pm (EST) on Thursday, May 14th.

Thank you guys in advance for your questions, I know they are going to be amazing because you guys are amazing! Subscribe to make sure you don't miss the next episode of "BOS Science", and I'll see y'all next time!





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