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Research Tools

The NIH Nanomedicine Program has supported the production of many research tools with potential uses beyond the Nanomedicine Development Centers’ goals.  Selected, published examples are listed below. 


Cell Cultures and Model Systems

  • An optimized small molecule inhibitor cocktail for long-term maintenance of human embryonic stem cells, designed by using a feedback system control scheme (Tsutsui et al., 2011).

Structural Analyses


  • The first light-gated native GPCRs and demonstration that they regulate synaptic function in brain slice and in vivo (Levitz et al., 2013).
  • Red-shifted and spontaneously relaxing photoswitches (DENAQ, PhENAQ) (Mourot et al., 2011).
  • One component system (AAQ) that can restore important aspects of vision to the blind mouse (Polosukhina et al., 2012).
  • Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) specific to parvalbumin-positive interneurons in the mouse primary visual cortex, used for optogenetic intervention in cortical neural activity (Lee et al., 2012).                                                         


  • Bright and compact quantum dots with broadly tunable adsorption and fluorescence spectra (Smith and Nie, 2011).
  • Protocells—porous nanoparticle-supported lipid bilayers for targeted delivery of multicomponent cargos to cancer cells (Ashley et al., 2011).
  • Phi29 DNA-packaging motor for translocation of double-stranded DNA across membranes through nanopores (Wendell et al., 2009).

Computational Tools

This page last reviewed on April 12, 2024