Tech Industry

Rice lab makes nano parts less toxic

Rice University researchers say they have figured out a way to reduce the potential toxicity of Buckyballs.

Researchers at Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) said they have figured out a way to reduce the potential toxicity of Buckyballs, tiny carbon globes that many believe could be used inside electronic devices or to deliver medicine in the future. Buckyballs with molecules attached to the outside of the sphere killed fewer cells in a solution than unadorned Buckyballs, the scientists found.

Toxicity is sometimes good, noted Vicki Colvin, a Rice chemistry professor who conducted the study. Toxic substances can be used to wipe out cancer cells. Still, the ability to control toxicity could become instrumental in using these substances, or other nano particles, in manufacturing. Health concerns have emerged as a major issue with nanotechnology.