Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky needs a room that doesn’t move. At all.
Inside the room, she moves particles that are 1000th the diameter of a hair. Just like the children’s toy Wooly Willy in which a magnet clusters small magnetic pieces over a paper man’s face, the nanoparticles she manipulates could one day be steered through the human body to target drug delivery. With this kind of delivery, patients could see fewer side effects and more healing.
The West Virginia University physicist has new digs in a solid, stone building now that the nearly $35 million White Hall renovation is finished. Her lab, complete with a 12-by-6 foot vacuum chamber to hold the nanoparticles, has centrally chilled water, minimal vibrations, vacuum pump exhaust lines and electrical outlets in all the right places.