Nanoclusters for Medicine

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy


This project aims to scale up the production of nanoclusters and create nanoclusters for use in medical applications. This will be achieved through the development of the Matrix Assembly Cluster Source (MACS), with the aim of creating grams of clusters per hour. The MACS will then be used to create binary clusters, specifically gold/gadolinium and gold/boron. Gold is biocompatible and the interactions between gold nanoparticles and proteins have been widely researched, making them easy to functionalise. Boron and gadolinium have both been mooted for use in Neutron Capture Therapy, a novel cancer treatment, due to there high propensity to capture slow neutrons (especially boron). Additionally, gadolinium is the most commonly-used MRI contrast agent, so gold/gadolinium nanoclusters could be used to both image and treat cancer.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509590/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1816890 Studentship EP/N509590/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2020 Alexander James Pattinson
Description National Centre for Electron Microscopy 
Organisation Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Development of tungsten tip as a sample platform for electron tomography
Collaborator Contribution Carried out electron tomography experiments using TEAM0.5 microscope in NCEM.
Impact Tomography carried out on bare tungsten tip and gold nanoparticle on the end of a tungsten tip.
Start Year 2011