biomolecule—molecule produced by a living organism, such as a protein, nucleic acid, or other biochemical.

cantilever—an object projecting out into open space with support only on one side. A diving board is an example. In microtechnology or nanotechnology, thin cantilevers composed of various materials can be used for precise measurements, such as in atomic force microscopy and the small mass measuring device discussed in this workshop summary.

cellular pumps—membrane protein complexes that transport molecules such as lipids and other biomolecules, drugs, and other chemicals into or out of a cell. Cellular pumps are involved in removing foreign substances from cells, and so adaptations to a particular drug or class or drugs can lead to drug resistance.

chemiluminescence—occurs when the energy released from a chemical reaction is in the form of light rather than heat.

colorimetric assay—a test used to detect levels of a chemical or biomolecule or completion of a chemical or biological reaction using a change in color due to change in pH of an indicator chemical, chemical composition of the reaction solution, or aggregation of colloidal particles.

contrast material—substance used during biological imaging to enhance the viewer’s ability to distinguish between features. Contrast materials consist of fluorescent or radioactive molecules or atoms as well as metallic or fluorescent nanoparticles. Contrast materials preferentially travel to locations in biological samples based on their chemical and biological properties.

cytotoxic—the property of being harmful to the health of cells.


dendrimer—a branched polymer whose branching is symmetric. One or more polymers can be used to synthesize a dendrimer, and each component will affect the properties of the dendrimers. Dendrimers have discrete molecular weights and can have sizes in the nanometer range.

dose-related toxicities—harmful effects of substances related to the amount of the substance to which an organism is exposed.


ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay)—a test which detects proteins in solutions by first selectively capturing the proteins out of solution onto a surface and then attaching fluorescent probes to the proteins. ELISA assays often probe many proteins at once using different capture agents in different wells of a microtiter plate.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement