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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Towards green, lightweight and highly efficient silk nanofiber-based air filters

silkworm_cocoonThe serious threat of particulate matter (PM) air pollution to human health spurs development of advanced filter technologies. Particular efforts have been made in designing air filters with both high filtration efficiency and low airflow resistance by utilizing carbon nanotubes and electrospun polymer and inorganic nanofibers. In new work, scientists explored the performance of electrospun silk nanofiber membranes as air...

Posted: Jul 13, 2016

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Plasmonic photothermic solar-powered seawater catalysis and desalination

solar_energyNewly developed nanocomposites possess efficient photothermic properties for highly targeted interfacial phase transition reactions that are synergistically favorable for seawater catalysis and desalination. The nanocomposites are seawater and photostable for practical solar conversion of seawater to simultaneously produce clean energy and water. This work defines the forefront of plasmonic photothermic technology, which is...

Posted: Jul 12, 2016

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Longitudinal acoustic vibrational modes favour new applications of metallic nano-objects

shapesA theory analysis of energy / momentum conservation laws in a spatially confined coupled system of nearly free electrons and phonons hints that the absorption of electromagnetic waves by a metallic nano-object hosting longitudinal vibration modes may allow channeling the absorbed energy either into heat or into terahertz radiation, depending on the nano-objects? shape and size. This offers an explanation for the size selectivity...

Posted: Jul 11, 2016

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Room temperature cyclable healing of inorganic perovskite films

nanoparticlesAlthough developed only recently, inorganic halide perovskite quantum dot systems have exhibited comparable and even better performances than traditional quantum dots in many fields. They are expected to be applied in display and lighting technologies. Researchers now have reported an interesting cyclable surface dissolution and recrystallization phenomenon of inorganic perovskite crystals. This allows them to freely change...

Posted: Jul 07, 2016

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Nanotechnology-based approach to repair the cancer cell suicide mechanism

nanoparticles_in_mitochondriaStudies show hat mitochondrial metabolism theoretically is a plausible target for cancer therapy. Mitochondria are the primary controllers of cellular suicide; however, cancer cells trick this normal cellular mechanism and evade this process leading to uncontrolled cellular growth. To trigger the suicide switch back on, new work uses a highly selective nanotechnology-based approach to deliver a widely available small molecule...

Posted: Jul 06, 2016

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A guide to the nanotechnology used in the average home

houseThere is an often-asked question: 'When are we finally going to start seeing nanotechnology products on the market?' As a matter of fact, the average home is already filled with products enhanced or reliant upon nanotechnology. In fact, there are several online repositories listing the more than 2,000 commercially available products that incorporate nanotechnology. The application of nanotechnology in some areas, such as batteries,...

Posted: Jul 05, 2016

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Graphene coated microbubbles as superior photoacoustic imaging contrast agent

graphene_microbubbleResearchers have demonstrated that the coupling of pristine graphene sheets on practically any polymer surface can be accomplished in mild reaction conditions and in aqueous medium. The method leaves intact the 2D planar structure of graphene preserving its original features. This novel hybrid construct enables in vivo photoacoustic signal enhancement and is a very promising step forward for an implementation of photoacoustic...

Posted: Jun 30, 2016

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Overcoming adaptive resistance in cancer with a 2-in-1 nanoparticle approach

nanodrugCurrently in the clinic and in clinical development, there is heavy emphasis placed on understanding how drugs can be 'complementary'. That is to say, what combination of drugs will be most effective in killing tumor cells and overcome potential resistance mechanisms. In fact, adding synergistic combinations of drugs is reshaping how cancer is treated, even in the context of immunotherapy. A new study provides critical evidence...

Posted: Jun 28, 2016

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