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  • Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies Opens
May 2003
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 22 -- The Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN), a research collaboration between the US Army and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), opened its doors today with a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony at its 28,000-square-foot facility at 500 Technology Square in Cambridge. More than 300 members of the MIT community, the Army and ISN industrial partners attended.

Founded in March 2002 by a $50 million grant from the Army, the ISN combines basic and applied research to create an innovations in nanoscience and nanotechnology "that will dramatically improve the survivability of soldiers," MIT said. "Our charge is to pursue a long-range vision for how technology can make soldiers less vulnerable to enemy and environmental threats. The ultimate goal is to create a 21st century battlesuit that combines high-tech capabilities with light weight and comfort."

The ISN also announced the addition of several new industrial partners to its list of research specialists, including Dow Corning, Triton Systems, Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc., Nomadics Inc., Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc. and W.L. Gore and Associates. The companies join founding partners DuPont, Raytheon and Partners Healthcares.

Research on display at the opening ceremony included a new technique for combining nanoscale coatings to provide both water resistance and microbe-killing power for fabrics or other items soldiers might carry; the investigation of fluids that stiffen when exposed to a magnet, for use as a dynamic armor system; and the synthesis and processing of polymers that open and shut like accordions when exposed to an electric field, for use as artificial muscles or automatic tourniquets.

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