Issue 2nd October 2021: Research, Innovation, Technology

Groundbreaking beads for medicine and technology.

John Ugelstad (1921-1997) was a professor of chemistry at the then Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH, now NTNU) and his scientific work gained him fame in scientific circles around the world. He was the first person to succeed in making spherical microscopic beads of exactly the same size.

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These tiny beads have come to play a vital role in different medical diagnostics and treatments. The beads are typically about 0.001-0.1 mm in diameter. They can be modified and made superparamagnetic. They are used in various forms of cancer treatment and are important in the work with AIDS, bacteriology and DNA technology. The beads were put into use in the treatment of bone marrow cancer as early as 1983. The method involves removing some of the patient’s bone marrow and infusing it with the magnetic beads, which attract and bind the cancer cells. The cancer cells are magnetically pulled out and the clean bone marrow is then returned to the patient. 

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The beads, or Ugelstad particles, have become the gold standard in biomagnetic separation, called Dynabeads, and they are produced in Lillestrøm. A research laboratory named after Professor Ugelstad was founded at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim in 2002. 

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  • Number:  NK 2057-2059
  • Motif: RIMFAX ground-penetrating radar, HUGIN autonomous underwater vehicle, John Ugelstad
  • Design:  Enzo Finger
  • Denomination: NOK 18 x 2 (domestic 20 grams), NOK 45
  • Issued in:  Booklet with10 stamps, miniature sheet
  • Print run:  305,000 of each stamp, 65,000 Miniature sheets
  • Print: Offset/recess from Joh. Enschedé Security Print, The Netherlands