University of Rochester opens facility that will develop biothreat detectors

The University of Rochester in upstate New York has opened a $10 million fabrication and research facility to develop microscopic materials for multiple industries.

The Integrated Nanosystems Center, or URNano for short, consists of a 1,000 square-foot metrology facility and a 2,000 square-foot cleanroom fabrication facility. The cleanroom was equipped and designed in a way that makes sure it is virtually free of foreign particles, dust and chemical vapors.
The Integrated Nanosystems Center will bring together experts in chemistry, biomedicine, bioengineering and optics to work on everything from implantable biomedical devices to energy systems. The center also plans to create biosensors with embedded nanosystem components that can be used to detect biological warfare agents, such as anthrax, even at very low concentrations, CMIO reports.

"URNano will complement nanotechnology research at other New York State universities, such as Albany, Cornell and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute," Nicholas P. Bigelow, the chair of the university’s physics department and director of URNano, said in a statement, according to CMIO.
URNano will also advance battery and fuel-cell designs that promise less frequent recharging and greater portability and can be applied to GPS systems, mobile communications, night vision devices and computers.
A total of $4.4 million of the center's $10 million price tag will be paid for by federal taxpayers.