• GE Global Research (Niskayuna, New York), the technology development arm for General Electric, reported signing a two-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to accelerate development of nanoparticle-based imaging agents that have the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and heart disease. Researchers in GE's Nanotechnology Lab have developed nanoparticle-based imaging agents that could increase imaging resolution and sensitivity. The ability to see and target disease with higher resolution and sensitivity could promote the detection of cancer and cardiac disease at much earlier stages. These agents could also be used to more rapidly and accurately monitor the effectiveness of treatments. NCI's Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL), operated by contractor SAIC-Frederick (San Diego), will apply its nanotechnology characterization tools to evaluate the safety and feasibility of GE's nanoparticle diagnostic imaging agents. "GE's nanoparticle-based imaging agents have the potential to be huge enablers of a new medical imaging paradigm, not only in the treatment of cancer but also cardiac disease, by allowing clinicians to see, target and treat disease at much earlier stages than what is possible today,." said Amit Kulkarni, manager, Chemical Nanotechnology Lab, GE Global Research.The NCL is a collaboration of the NCI, the FDA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and is part of the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer. The cooperative research and development agreement between GE and NCI is the first under NCI's new Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative, which seeks to accelerate the delivery of new products to cancer patients.

• Strategic Polymer Sciences (SPS; State College, Pennsylvania), which specializes in polymeric electronic materials, said it has struck a joint-development agreement with Solvay's (Brussels, Belgium) affiliate for fluorinated resins, Solvay Solexis, about large-scale production of ultra-high-energy density capacitor dielectric materials based on biaxially-oriented polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). SPS has patents on using these materials in capacitor applications, which are aimed at a variety of specialty capacitor markets, including hybrid electric vehicles and defibrillators in the medical market. Some of the main benefits from the materials for hybrid electric vehicle systems are lower cost and weight-saving and thus an increased energy efficiency. "This joint-development agreement with one of the world's top chemical companies is an important step in the growth of Strategic Polymers," said Ralph Russo, president/CEO of SPS.

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