What a day for nanocrystals. Earlier today, I penned an article outlining how Nanosys' new nanocrystal metal technology could benefit Harris & Harris (NASDAQ:TINY). No sooner had I finished than I learned that late yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration had granted clearance for Nucryst's (NASDAQ:NCST) prescription topical cream, which contains the company's patent-protected nanocrystalline silver. That has sent shares of this small company up over 150% today.

The cream that was approved utilizes NPI 32101, which is the same technology that failed phase 2 FDA clinical trials back in the fall of 2006, when the regulatory agency determined that it wasn't effective as an anti-inflammatory for dermatitis.

The difference this time is that the cream's antimicrobial properties have been proven effective in creating an anti-microbial barrier against organisms that often cause serious infections in wound and burn victims, as well as those suffering from urinary tract infections.

It's important to understand that the market for antimicrobial applications is not nearly as large as that for dermatitis -- an ailment that afflicts an estimated 15 million Americans. Investors will want to temper their expectations accordingly. It's also important for investors to understand that while the cream has been approved, Nucryst officials have not yet unveiled any details on the product's release. In other words, it could be some time before the cream begins generating revenue for the company.

All things being equal, though, this is a very positive development because it will add a new product line to complement the company's Acticoat wound dressing lineup, which is marketed by Smith & Nephew (NYSE:SNN). But for investors who missed today's pop, I would advise holding off jumping on the bandwagon until the company releases more details about its plans to commercialize on this opportunity.

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Harris & Harris is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation.

Fool contributor Jack Uldrich owns stock in Harris & Harris. The Fool has a strict disclosure policy.