Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A first lady of nanotech

Atoms, molecules and medicine
A cocktail party conversation led Nanocopoeia CFO Karen Arnold into the world of nanotechnology (Minnesota Women's Press)

    nanocop6Karen Arnold is not your typical engineer. For one thing, she’s a woman (a whopping 91 percent of engineers are male). For another, she’s an entrepreneur—of the venture capitalist variety, to boot. Arnold is also cofounder and the chief financial officer of Nanocopoeia, Inc., a biotechnology firm that has recently transitioned from startup to full-fledged product development mode.

    The St. Paul-based firm, founded in 2001, is working with pharmaceutical companies to develop new ways to deliver medications to patients using nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is a sort of catch-all description for cutting-edge technologies being developed by engineers and scientists at the level of atoms and molecules.

    You don’t have to be a science nerd to catch Arnold’s excitement about Nanocopoeia’s work. “We can take any material and turn it into a nanoparticle,” she said. “We can retain the properties of the original material and change the way it is used.”

    Why is that important? In the case of medications, Arnold explained, it makes them more water soluble, which helps the body absorb them more quickly and enables physicians to control dosage more exactly. More here

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