23 July 2007

Old Spice smells like... a cure

Curcumin is worth googling about. It may well be the next wonder drug. Its nanotech connection is in some research being performed at Johns Hopkins:
Anirban Maitra, a professor of pathology and oncology at Johns Hopkins, and his collaborators in Delhi--including his father, Amarnath Maitra, a professor of chemistry--used special polymers to synthesize tiny nanoparticles about 50 nanometers in diameter. The particles have hydrophobic interiors and hydrophilic exteriors. The hydrophobic component holds the curcumin, while the hydrophilic exteriors make the particles soluble. This way, they can pass easily from the gut to the bloodstream. Once in the blood, the curcumin leaks out as the polymers slowly degrade.
This is a fine example of how nanomaterial technologies can provide new properties and facilitate new promise, even for something as venerable as curry spice.

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