Researchers from Johns Hopkins and Northwestern universities have discovered how to control the shape of nanoparticles that move DNA through the body and have shown that the shapes of these carriers may make a big difference in how well they work in treating cancer and other diseases. The use of computer models allowed Luijten’s team to mimic traditional lab experiments at a far faster pace. These molecular dynamic simulations were performed on Quest, Northwestern’s high-performance computing system. The computations were so complex that some of them required 96 computer processors working simultaneously for one month. “Our computer simulations and theoretical model have provided a mechanistic understanding, identifying what is responsible for this shape change,” Associate Professor Eric Luijten said. “We now can predict precisely how to choose the nanoparticle components if one wants to obtain a certain shape.”. Click on the image or the title to learn more.