Nanoparticles and Brain Tumors


Activity Home Teacher's Guide Glossary Credit & Thanks

Glossary

Aggregates - separate units brought together into a whole. 

Aqueous - containing water; of or like water.

Argon atmosphere - where normal air is removed from a container and argon is pumped in.  Argon is an inert gas, so is used in certain chemical syntheses where oxygen or other gases found in normal air might react with the chemicals being used and cause undesired results.

Blood brain barrier - a network of blood vessels, primarily capillaries, and cells that acts to filter what gets to the brain, blocking certain chemicals and particles.

Cancer - abnormal cells that grow uncontrollably in the body.

Capillaries - the smallest of all blood vessels and the connection between arteries and veins.  Capillaries are extremely small, only one epithelial cell thick. 

Carbon dots - elemental carbon with carboxylic groups on the surface.  Also known as carbon nanotubes or quantum dots.

Centrifuge - a piece of equipment that spins objects around a fixed central point.  It is used for separating substances of different densities.

Chromatography - a way of separating two or more chemical compounds in a mixture using gas, paper, gel, pressure or other methods that keep part of the mixture stationary and allow part of the mixture to move (up the paper, through the gel, etc.). 

Degas - remove the gas from a compound or mixture.

Dialyze - separating substances by using unequal diffusion rates across semipermeable membranes, or separating a solution against another liquid, like pure water.

Electron microscope - A microscope with extremely high magnification that uses electron beams and electron lenses.

Emulsion - a mixture of two liquids that don't really mix well, like oil and vinegar.

Encapsulated - coated or surrounded by. 

Heating mantle -  laboratory equipment used to apply heat to a container.

Impurities - contamination or pollution of a substance.  Unwanted particles or chemicals in a solution.

Lyophilize - freeze drying, usually with liquid nitrogen.

MRI or magnetic resonance imaging -  a technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the human body.

Nanoengineer - an engineer that works with nanoparticles (did you think it was a really tiny engineer?)

 Nanolab - a lab in which the engineering of nanoparticles takes place.  This is often, but not always a clean room.

Nanometer - one billionth of a meter.   A human hair is about one hundred thousand nanometers in diameter. 

Nanoparticle - a particle on the nanoscale, or a particle that is roughly one hundred thousandth the width of a human hair.

Nanoscale - the scale of a nanometer or nanoparticle.

Nanotechnology -  technology that deals with things less than 100 nanometers in size.

pH - a figure expressing the acidity or alkalinity of a substance on a scale where 7 is neutral, lower values are more acid, and higher values more alkaline or basic.

Preciptate - a substance that is deposited in solid form from a solution.

Precursor - a substance from which another is formed.

Solution - a liquid mixture with a major component (solvent) and a minor component (solute).

Sonicate, sonication - to subject to ultrasonic vibrations to fragment cells or molecules.

Synthesize, synthesizing - to make something chemically

Tumor – an abnormal growth of tissue in the body

Vacuum – a space or container from which the air has been partially or totally removed.