Microtubules, essential structural elements in living cells, grow stiffer as they grow longer, an unexpected property that could lead to advances in nano-materials development, an international team of biophysicists has found.
Using a synthetic peptide modeled after the protein that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) uses to enter cells, a multi-institutional research team has created quantum dots that can penetrate the cell membrane and image internal structures in a cell.
Various types of carbon-based nanomaterials, such as buckyballs and nanotubes, have shown promise as drug delivery tools and imaging agents, but reports of toxicity associated with some of these materials have raised questions about their ultimate utility in clinical oncology. Three recent reports in the literature provide new insights into why certain carbon-based nanomaterials are toxic to cells and others are not.
A research team at Carnegie Mellon University has discovered a nanocrystalline material that is cheaper, more stable and produces a higher quality energy storage capacity for use in a variety of industrial and portable consumer electronic products.