Business & Finance
News
4/20/2007
05:06 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

IBM Nano Research Promises Better Drugs And Circuits

Almaden Research Center Scientists have found a way to use MRI techniques to see nanoscale objects.

IBM on Monday plans to announce a breakthrough in nanoscale visualization technology that could lead to more powerful drugs and integrated circuits.

Researchers at IBM's Almaden Research Center have found a way to use magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, techniques to see nanoscale objects.

Dan Rugar, manager of nanoscale studies at the research center, said the discovery represents "a milestone that has shown that the principles of MRI can be married with scanning microscopy."

While the eventual goal -- building a microscope than can see individual atoms in three dimensions -- remains "a number of years away," Rugar said that extending MRI technology into the nanoscale realm is a significant achievement.

MRI, Rugar said, "is a great technology but it has always had one important limitation: It's not very sensitive." What IBM researchers have managed to do is use Magnetic Resonance Force Microscopy to image objects as small as 90 nanometers in two dimensions. A nanometer is a unit of measurement equal to one billionth of a meter.

With the future development of atomic scale 3-D imaging techniques, Rugar said that scientists will be able to better determine protein structure and function, insight that will improve drug and materials development.

IBM researchers have a long history of imaging breakthroughs. Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer of IBM's Zurich Research Laboratory won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the scanning tunneling microscope.

The report on this work, "Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging with 90-nm resolution," is scheduled to appear in the April 22 issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.