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This university/corporate partnership is located at the university’s Nano Institute, which is overseen by co-director Dr.Hamid Ghandehari. (Aqua-Yield)

(AGPRO) Five years after introducing its crop fertility products with nanotechnology, Aqua-Yield is eyeing further product development while expanding its footprint.

“Today, 75% of our revenue comes from our ag products, and the balance is from the turf business,” says Aqua-Yield Clark Bell. “We currently have 30 distributors in the U.S, but we are looking to double that be the end of 2019.”

Bells says this includes expanding beyond its farmer network of distributors to include traditional ag retail and dealers, with that coming on-board in the first or second quarters of 2019.

Another development for the company is forming a first of its kind collaboration between the company and University of Utah’s Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization. This university/corporate partnership is located at the university’s Nano Institute, which is overseen by co-director Dr.Hamid Ghandehari.

Aqua-Yield Chief Science Officer Landon Bunderson will lead the company’s efforts to “building”/inventing nano-particles that will specifically focus on agriculture and combine these new findings with the “nanogronomy” advancements already instituted and in practice at Aqua-Yield.

“Nano isn’t the cure-all, but it does help a plant express its full genetic potential,” Bell says. “And we’ve made great waves with corn, soy, potatoes, wheat and cotton.”

The company also recently reported trials with Utah State University in alfalfa. The trials were performed over the growing season (three cuttings) of 2018, Aqua-Yield liquid fertilizer enhancer, NanoStress, was added to the traditional dry fertilizer protocol. Tons per acre increased as well as relative feed value. The trial showed increased per acre returns on overall product investment by more than $107.

Bell also says the company is looking to expand beyond fertilizer products and is pursuing partners for a pesticide product in the next 18 to 24 months.

While the company has product in 47 U.S. state, it’s also expanded internationally.

“For example, our export partners have realized the benefit of nanotechnology. What previously was a 2 container shipment of fertilizer is now condensed to only 2 pallets,” Bell says.

To view full article: Exclusive: Aqua-Yield Joins Nano Institute; Eyes Product Expansion

8/31/2018 Liquid to Solid Intravascular Embolic

Embolization is a minimally invasive therapy that provides stable and localized occlusion of arterial blood flow (transarterial embolization, TAE) with applications in rapidly growing markets of interventional radiology and cancer treatment. However, transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) treatments have severe shortcomings due to chemotherapeutic toxicity, off-target embolization, and non-degradability.

University of Utah researchers have developed an innovative biopolymer, composed of silk-like elastin proteins that overcomes the above shortcomings by combining the best properties of both liquid and solid embolics for TACE. The SELP embolic polymer is liquid at room temperature permitting localized delivery through smaller diameter catheters that transitions in vivo to a solid providing stable occlusion. This liquid to solid embolic enables pinpoint embolization of tumor-feeding arteries and can also be used to deliver therapeutics.

03/14/2018 Surprising Discovery Provides Insights into Aggressive Endometrial Cancers
One of the Nano Institute's notable researchers, Margit Janat-Amsbury, MD, PhD, was mentioned for her contribution to a surprising discovery about two receptors found in the endometrium, also known as the interior lining of the uterus. They found that these two receptors, estrogen and glucocorticoid, work together to promote more aggressive endometrial cancers, a behavior that is contradictory to their effect on the normal growth of the uterine lining. Endometrial cancer is one of the few cancers on the rise, and there has been an observed shift towards younger patients being diagnosed with the disease. Estrogen has been researched extensively in the past, but there seems to be communication between estrogen and glucocorticoids that is new and surprising. You can read more about this incredible discovery here
News Video: Researchers at Huntsman discover driving force of aggressive endometrial cancer

11/2017 Darwin Cheney, Assistant Director of the Nano Institute, was awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in November, 2017, for excellence in his field. 

Fast test classifies meningitis bacteria

Karen Faulds’ group at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, have developed a new method that uses surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) to quickly identify which meningitis causing bacteria is responsible f for an infection. Combining the SERS technique with chemometrics means the amount of bacteria in a sample can be measured whilst simultaneously identifying the bacteria. This would be particularly useful where co-infection of multiple species is common. Identifying the dominant pathogen present would allow targeted treatment.Marc Porter, USTAR Professor, whose group at the University of Utah uses SERS to examine biomarkers, says the ability to identify and concurrently quantify three common meningitis bacterial pathogens is impressive. According to Dr. Porter, ‘The work takes an important step in moving SERS and nanoparticle-based signalling much closer to meeting a critical need in pathogen detection’.  

New! Opportunity for Postdoctoral Fellowship in Nanomedicine-

Day Lab, University of Deleware, newark, DE.

Information is located available at:

Azadeh Poursaid, MD/PhD Bioengineering student granted National Research Service Award
These F30 awards are competitively awarded to the top MD/PhD or other dual degree graduate students. Ms. Poursaid proposed to develop silk-elastinlike polymers (SELP) for transarterial chemoembolization of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). When injected as a liquid SELP would penetrate tumors down to capillary levels and provide a broader range for drug delivery after gelling.

Tenth nanoUtah conference draws researchers, industry and students
Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) support continues to move Utah nanotechnology efforts forward
The University of Utah’s 10th Nanotechnology Conference and Exhibition, nanoUtah 2013, held October 18 and organized jointly by the Nano Institute of Utah and the College of Engineering to demonstrate and showcase advancements in nanotechnology, attracted almost 200 scientists, engineers, students and members of the nanotechnology industry from across the state. Attendees heard 25 research presentations in either “Materials and Characterization,” “Devices and Sensors,” Energy and Environment,” or “Nanomedicine.” Graduate students from around the state presented seventy-four posters while members of the nanotechnology industry exhibited their technologies and services.

Community Voices - August 1, 2013, kpcw Radio Hosts Lynn Ware Peek and John Wells talk to Professor Marc Porter about the huge impact nanoscience and nanotechnology has when scientists, engineers and clinics work across disciplines to answers ranging from theoretical physics to medicine. They follow that with an interview about the limiting of using brain scan to 'brainwash' or influence humans with Dr Scott Lilienfeld, co-author of Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience.

The Nano Institute of Utah hosted "A Day in the Life of a Nano-Scientist" for sixteen Jackson Elementary students
Sixth graders from Jackson Elementary, a west-side school in the Salt lake City School District, participated in “A Day in the Life of a Nano-scientist” hosted by the Nano Institute of Utah. The sixteen students are part of Adelante, a college awareness and preparatory partnership between the University of Utah’s College of Education and Jackson Elementary. Jennifer Indo, University of Utah, Diverse Student Early Outreach Coordinator, made arrangements for the field trip. Hamid, Ghandehari, Co-Director of the Institute introduced the students to “what it is like to be a nano-scientist” and graduate students, Nick Owen, Ryan Robinson, Nick Frazier and Matt Smith provided tours of the laboratories, demonstrations and hands-on activities.
High-tech creations from Utah busines on display at Capitol for Innovations Fair
Utah businesses, including spin-off companies from the University of Utah, displayed high-tech creations at the Capitol building during the 2013 Innovation Fair.Among the spin-off businesses were two founded by professors from the Nano Institute of Utah. TheraTarget, co-founded by Hamid Ghandehari and Jindrich Kopecek, presented graphic data on a new drug being developed for treatment of ovarian cancer. Vaporsens, founded by Ling Zang, displayed its “electronic dog nose”, an early prototype device for military police and boarder security to use to sniff out explosives and narcotics.The Innovation Fair was hosted by members of the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) and the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED)
Academic Exchange Agreement, January 22, 2013                 
An Academic Exchange Agreement,  between the Nano Institute of Utah, University of Utah and the Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Japan, was signed on behalf of the University of Utah by Dr. Thomas Parks,  Vice President for Research, on behalf of the Nano Institute of Utah, University of Utah by Dr. Marc Porter, Director and on behalf of the Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido university by Dr. Katsuaki Shimazu, Dean.   
Nano Days is a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impact on the future. Nano Days is all about connecting the general public to the scientific community. Guests have an opportunity to meet “nano scientists” and learn about their research through hands-on activities and presentations.
Nate and Yan (Zoe) to attend the 2012 GPEN Conference
Nate Larson and Yan (Zoe) Zhou have been selected to attend the 2012 GPEN Conference in Melbourne, Australia November 28-December 1, 2012
Quantum dots can emit a wider range of light with less energy than existing materials, so many believe they will be used in future generations of solar panels, televisions, cellphones and related products
In partnership with the Nano Institute and USTAR, NanoDays at the Natural History Museum of Utah featured five nano scientists who were on hand  to help visitors explore research within the miniscule world of atoms, molecules and nanoscale forces.
James L. Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building DedicatedThe April 19, 2012, dedication of the "James L. Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building-A USTAR Innovation Center" marks the beginning of a new era of interdisciplinary translational research at the University of Utah.
The Nano Institute of Utah has moved to the new James L. Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building (SMBB) during the latter part of February and the early part of March, 2012. 

Spring 2012 Seminars
The Nano Institute is pleased to partner with the Department of chemistry and Department of Bioengineering to present three seminars for the spring 2012 semester.

NSF IGERT/NTP Training Program Joint Annual Retreat
The Joint Annual Retreat for the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program on Nanobiosensors, Nanomaterials and Microfuidics and the Nanotechnology Training Program of the University of Utah recently concluded.

Hamid Ghandehari, Ph.D. Elected to Fellowship Status in AAPS
On October 23, 2011 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists  formally recognized  new Fellows at the 2011 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, DC.

U Student Wins Top Award at Notre Dame
Ryan Robinson, Bioengineering Undergraduate Student and Senior working in Dr. Hamid Ghandehari’s lab, has recently won the first place award at the University of Notre Dame’s national nanotechnology competition.

Fall 2011 Seminars
The Nano Institute was proud to partner with the Departments of Bioengineering and Pharmaceutical Chemistry to host seminar speakers for the Fall 2011 Semester.

Nano Institute & nanoUtah on TV
In conjunction with a story about nanoUtah 2010, reporters from KSL Channel 5 interviewed Graduate Student Adam Gormley and USTAR Professor Hamid Ghandehari regarding research with gold nanorods and collaboration with Huntsman Cancer Institute.

NanoDays 2011
NanoDays 2011 was held Saturday, June 18th, from 12-4 PM at the Main Salt Lake City Library. Demonstrations were for kids and adults alike and included memory wire, sand that can't get wet, and lasers that control nanoparticles.

Dr. Mihail Roco, NSF, Speaks at nanoUtah 09
Participants at nanoUtah 2009 were very fortunate to be addressed by keynote speaker, Dr. Mihail C. Roco. Dr. Roco is the Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a key architect of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. More...

How Size Matters in Catalysts
Studies in chemistry at the University of Utah have demonstrated how smaller particle sizes of catalysts can make them more efficient and less costly.

NanoDays 2011
NanoDays is presented by the Nano Institute of Utah, the Utah Natural History Museum and the Leonardo, in partnership with the Salt lake City Main Library.

NanoSight Seminar, December 8, 2009
NanoSight: Single Nanoparticle Visualization and Sizing Technique for Multi-Parameter Analysis.

Nanoparticle Synthesis
2009-04-29 The novel properties, minute size, large surface area-to-volume ratio, and ability to be uptaken by bioentities all make nanoparticles of immense interest in our group.

Nanosilver Mutates Fish Embryos
Darin Furgeson studies the environmental impact of nanotechnological byproducts.

Water Quality in Orbit: U Tests H20 Disinfection on Space Station
Space is not a fun place to get a stomach bug. To ensure drinking water is adequately disinfected, University of Utah chemists developed a two-minute water quality monitoring method that just started six months of tests aboard the International Space Station.

Last Updated: 8/18/21