United Press International 04-10-07 Scientists create unique nanoparticles PRINCETON, NJ, United States (UPI) -- A U.S. research team has created nanoparticles that can deliver medicines deep into the lungs and infiltrate cancer cells while ignoring normal cells. The tiny, biodegradable particles were created using a technique invented by a Princeton University-led team. More than 100 times thinner than a human hair, the particles can be loaded with medicines or imaging enhancing agents. 'The intersection of materials science and chemistry is allowing advances that were never before possible,' said Robert Prud`homme, a Princeton chemical engineering professor and the director of a National Science Foundation-funded team of researchers from Princeton, the University of Minnesota and Iowa State University. 'No one had a good route to incorporate drugs and imaging agents in nanoparticles.' The technique, dubbed 'Flash NanoPrecipitation,' allows researchers to mix drugs and the materials that encapsulate them and apply the technology, for the first time, to the creation of nanoparticles. The nanoparticles are too large to pass through normal cell membranes but will pass through larger defects in the capillaries of rapidly growing solid tumors. Prud`homme was to discuss the work Wednesday in Washington during a National Academy of Sciences meeting on Nanomaterials in Biology and Medicine.