report Micro, Nano & Materials
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NanoMedicine – a local Technology Circle and the 10th CLINAM, May 2017

The 10th Clinical NanoMedicine conference will take place in Basel from 7 to 10 May 2017. With 175 speakers and many national and international guests, the conference promises to a major highlight of the year. Are you a start-up in the Basel region looking for new insights, inspiration or contacts? You could be eligible for a free day-ticket. Send an email to Ralf Dümpelmann with a 2-line description of your company.

For local interaction on a more regular basis, look no further than the Technology Circles NanoMedicine, organised by These brief, two-hour meetings – plus apero – foster the local network and encourage information exchange. The last TC NanoMedicine, which was held on 21 March 2017 at the Biozentrum Basel, is a great example of this. Over 30 people attended, mainly from Basel but also from Zurich, Fribourg and Lörrach, drawn by the two speakers who presented on the biology of cellular processes at the nanoscale.

David Martinez, from the biophysics group of D-BSSE ETH, presented on a new way of measuring the weight of individual, living cells in liquid environment with an as yet unsurpassed accuracy. Also called a picoscopic cell balance, this technology uses cantilevers and laser beams, much like AFM technology but with some essential modifications. The technology has been patented and is due to be commercialised with industrial partners. The videos and explanations about cell size, virus infection and growth control mechanism provided a very illustrative insight into this exciting technology.

Professor Roderick Lim’s presentation on transport mechanisms in nuclear pore complexes was equally fascinating. His work at the Biozentrum, University of Basel looks at how the nuclear pore complex (NPC) facilitates the rapid and selective exchange of specific cargo proteins, what are known as karyopherins, into and out of the cell nucleus. He described the rapid diffusion along two dimensions with the ‘dirty velcro effect’ and explained how even artificial nanopores are now being explored based on these principles.

NanoMedicine still has a long way to go, but events like the CLINAM and the Technoology Circle provide just the right platforms for future progress.


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