Luna Labs has extensive experience for the past ten plus years developing a variety of nanomaterials for use in the healthcare, defense and energy markets. The list of Luna Labs nanomaterials include carbon nanomaterials, plasmonic nanometals, magnetic nanoparticles, bioinspired polymer nanoparticles and biomimetic nanostructures. We have experience across the various stages of development, from conceptual design of novel nanomaterials with pre-selected properties, to materials testing and implementation in prototyping systems and the development of scaling up production capability.
Luna Labs has researched and developed carbon nanomaterials for more than one decade. Luna owns a 24,000 square feet nanomanufacturing facility in Danville, Virginia which is dedicated to scaling up and automating the production of nanostructured carbons as well as conducting R&D to develop technologies and products empowered by these nanomaterials. Luna Labs engineers designed, built and operate electrical arc reactors including three-phase AC arc reactors and PECVD reactors, and automated extractors and purification systems. Pursued applications include: 1) Fullerenes (aka buckyballs) including endohedral metallofullerenes are being researched as paramagnetic MRI imaging agents as an safer and better alternative to commercial gadolinium chelates based contrast agents such as Magnevist; 2) Carbon nanotubes were shown as promising nanovectors for drug delivery such as enhanced vaccine formulations; 3) Graphenes including vertically aligned carbon nanosheets are nanostructured electrode materials for the development of high power and high energy density enzyme biofuel cells, supercapacitors and the next generation lithium batteries including Li-S batteries.Â Â
Luna Labs customizes magnetic nanoparticles and microparticles with special surface coating for use in processing, enriching and preparing biological samples for in vitro diagnostic assays. Magnetic nanoparticles can be functionalized with surface affinity ligands including aptamers, antibodies and small molecules. We have successfully demonstrated using these nanoparticles to enrich bacteria-infected blood samples for rapid pathogen identification with advanced diagnostic platforms. This capability provides a culture-free sample preparation method to process clinical samples that enables rapid (within one work-shift) pathogen ID and also possibly microbial susceptibility testing. With tailored surface functionality, magnetic particles that minimize non-specific binding are also useful in preparing biomarker samples ready for multiplexed analysis using commercial assay platforms.
Luna Labs develops plasmonic nanoparticles with metals ranging from gold, silver to copper and also metal-like materials such as TiN titanium nitride. By controlling the particle size, hollow vs solid, thickness of shells, geometry (spheres, cube, rod, ring, pyramid etc) the plasmon resonance peaks and intensity are engineered for individual applications that include photothermal membranes for use in water distillation and desalination, and light absorbers for obscurant applications either for broad-spectrum light attenuation or narrow-window transparency filters at selected wavelengths. These nanometals are also being investigated as signal amplification nanoenhancers in fluorescent assays.