Advano features a patented platform technology regarding the manufacturing and processing of nanoparticles. This technology has the competitive advantage of providing a facile, efficient and very scalable process that produces nanoparticles at greater economies of scale than methods used by industrial powerhouses. This technology has applications in several high value markets (eg. renewable energy, biotech, and electronics) with an immediate application in the field of biotech and most notably in the areas of bioimaging, drug delivery and gene therapy.
In this size domain, novel properties arise that are unique to nanomaterials that may not be present in either atomically sized or bulk sized materials. Approaching industrial technology with nano-sized materials has produced improvements to current applications, and also has granted access to groundbreaking applications that were once technologically or cost prohibited.
Silicon is of particular interest. Once its size is reduced to the nano-domain, silicon begins to fluoresce a blue-green color. It is non-toxic, and it maintains the ability to act as a semi-conductor. These characteristics make silicon a prime candidate for use in applications in the electronics and biotechnology industry. Advano has the expertise and experience required to successfully produce industrially relevant quantities of functionalized silicon nanoparticles.
The process implemented is called “mechanochemical attrition via high energy ball milling”. This process utilizes hardened ball bearings to fracture and pulverize the material of interest. Also, the material is communited in the presence of a reactive liquid, such that each successful reduction in size is accompanied by a simultaneous binding of the reactive liquid onto the surface of the particle. This iterative process creates stable nano-sized particles with surface functionalities that allow the particles to be dispersed in a solvent.
One key aspect of Advano’s process is that it consolidates 4 essential steps (reduction of material size, functionalization, dispersion and separation) into 1 step, making it one of the most efficient manufacturing processes available. The final product is a solution of stable functionalized nanoparticles that can easily under-go subsequent chemical modification for specific applications.
Advano’s initial offerings are functionalized silicon nanoparticles for use in biological applications like transfection. For example: transfection (depicted left) involves the introduction of nucleic acids (DNA) into a cell. Acting as transport vehicles, nanoparticles provide a viable method of non-viral transfection. Our nanoparticles are able to be tailored for biological and medical applications while maintaining fluorescence and cellular non-toxicity.
Advano is a manifestation of Tulane University’s focus on entrepreneurship and translatable research. Now a part of the burgeoning entrepreneurial ethos of New Orleans, Advano’s mission coincides with that of New Orleans by forwarding the community through innovation and commercialization.