Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Researchers have developed a device that uses 55,000 microscopic “pens” to write patterns with nanoscale features–and could even use biological molecules such as DNA or proteins as “ink.” The tool could someday lead to powerful new diagnostic tests and cancer therapies. Created by Northwestern University chemist Chad ­Mirkin, the device is a leap forward from earlier versions that had just one pen (see “Nanobiotech Makes the Diagnosis,” May 2002). The greater numbers translate to added speed, which could allow researchers to run thousands of experiments at once. For example, they could print nearly infinite combinations of proteins and test their effects on cells, a process that could lead to new drugs. The new nano machine is fast: as a demonstration, ­Mirkin printed 55,000 images of a nickel in an area smaller than a dime–and did it in less than half an hour.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Biomedicine, Materials

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me