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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Nanowaste - Nanomaterial-containing products at the end of their life cycle

landfillAt the end of their product life cycle, nanomaterials can enter waste treat ment plants and landfills via diverse waste streams. Little, however, is known about how nanomaterials behave in the disposal phase and whether potential environmental or health risks arise. The current assumption is that stable nanoparticles are neither chemically nor physically altered in waste incineration plants and that they accumulate especially...

Posted: Jan 27, 2015

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Fully transparent, rollable electronics built with a graphene/carbon nanotube backbone

transparent_electronicsResearchers have successfully built rollable and transparent electronic devices that are not only lightweight, but also don't break easily. They managed to overcome two major challenges associated with the manufacture of flexible electronics: The temperature restriction of plastic substrates and the difficulty of handling flexible electronics during the fabrication process. The team rolled their transistor devices 100 times...

Posted: Jan 23, 2015

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Multiplexing biosensors on a chip for human metabolite detection

hydrogelSo far, there have been very few research reports on single electrode materials that enable the simultaneous detection of different metabolites - such as glucose, urea, cholesterol, and triglycerides - in whole blood. Moreover, it is a considerable challenge to integrate all required materials and devices on a single chip to ultimately produce a multiplexing biosensor array. In new work, researchers demonstrate that biosensors...

Posted: Jan 22, 2015

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Elemental 2D analogues of graphene: silicene, germanene, stanene, phosphorene

2D_materialA comprehensive analysis of the fundamental properties, synthesis approaches and the future prospects of silicene, germanene, stanene, and phosphorene. It covers the literature on the fundamental properties of graphene analogous elemental sheets, inclusive of both theoretical and experimental knowledge. Various bottom-up synthesis techniques and top-down exfoliation approaches for the fabrication of two-dimensional elemental...

Posted: Jan 21, 2015

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Biodegradable graphene can radio-thermally ablate radiation and chemo resistant cancer cells

Transferrin-conjugated_grapheneResearchers have developed a simple method to thermally ablate highly resistant cancer cells using targeted biodegradable graphene nanoparticles. They found that graphene can convert non-ionizing radio waves - the same that are used in FM radios - into heat energy at microscopic levels. This heat is sufficient to completely destroy proteins and DNA inside individual cancer cells, irrespective of any kinds of resistant mechanisms...

Posted: Jan 16, 2015

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First demonstration of micromotor operation and payload release in living organism (w/video)

micromotorNew findings address the challenges of operating synthetic motors in living organisms through the use of biocompatible motors that are powered by body fluid (acidic stomach environment). As the zinc body of the motor is dissolved by the acid fuel, the motors are self-destroyed, leaving no harmful chemicals behind. The study reports on the distribution, retention, cargo delivery and toxicity profile of zinc/polymer-based microrockets...

Posted: Jan 15, 2015

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Novel mono-elemental semiconductors: arsenene and antimonene join 2D family

arseneneResearchers have identified novel 2D wide-band-gap semiconductors with high stabilities, namely monolayer arsenene and antimonene. These materials are indirect wide-band-gap semiconductors, and under strain, they become direct band-gap semiconductors. For arsenene and antimonene, such dramatic transitions of electronic properties could open a new door for nanoscale transistors with high on/off ratio, blue/UV optoelectronic...

Posted: Jan 14, 2015

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Liquid crystalline polymer dispersed liquid crystals

LCPDLC_filmPolymer Dispersed Liquid Crystals (PDLCs) are micrometer-sized birefringent Liquid Crystal domains dispersed in an optically transparent continuous polymer matrix. The peculiarity of a PDLC system is that of scattering different amounts of an impinging light beam intensity, depending on the strength of an external electric field that is, eventually, applied to the system. A new generation of polymer-dispersed liquid crystals...

Posted: Jan 13, 2015

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