In January 2006, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars released a report by one of the foremost authorities on environmental research and policy, which examines the strengths and weaknesses of the current regulatory framework for nanotechnology and calls for a new approach to nanotechnology oversight.
Indocyanine green (ICG), an FDA-approved dye used in a variety of diagnostic applications, has shown promise as a light-activated anticancer agent, but the human body eliminates this molecule so rapidly that little of it accumulates in tumors. To solve this problem, a group of investigators at St. Johns University in New York have created a polymeric nanoparticle formulation of ICG that appears to increase dramatically the amount of dye that remains in the body long enough to accumulate in tissues.
Researchers at UC Berkeley, led by Prof. Alex Zettl, have developed a combination of novel room temperature methods for both aligning and selectively depositing nanotubes onto a topologically benign surface. Using these methods, which can easily be integrated into semiconductor manufacturing processes, they have fabricated arrays of aligned torsional NEMS devices based on MWCNTs.
Princeton researchers have untangled the mystery behind a puzzling phenomenon first observed more than a decade ago in the ultra-small world of nanotechnology. Why is it, researchers wondered, that tiny aggregates of soap molecules, known as surfactant micelles, congregate as long, low arches resembling Quonset huts once they are placed on a graphite surface?
An international team of scientists affiliated with the UW-Madison Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center has coaxed a self-assembling material into forming never-before-seen, three-dimensional nanoscale structures, with potential applications ranging from catalysis and chemical separation to semiconductor manufacturing.
A special report titled "Nanofactories: Glimpsing the future of process technology" is the cover article for the January 2006 issue of CleanRooms Magazine. The lengthy article, subtitled "Making sense of the molecular machine shop," concludes that, while the promise of medical nanorobotics and nanoscale factories and their products is still far off, the principle of molecular manufacturing already has been demonstrated in the laboratory and the next step, nanoscale systems that make other nanoscale systems, currently has a strong theoretical foundation.
Using state-of-the-art lab techniques and powerful computer simulations, Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered how atoms pack themselves in unusual materials known as metallic glasses. Their findings should help scientists better understand the atomic scale structure of this material, which is used to make sports equipment, cell phone cases, armor-piercing projectiles and other products.
Single walled carbon nanotubes wrapped with DNA can be placed inside living cells and detect trace amounts of harmful contaminants using near infrared light, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their discovery opens the door to new types of optical sensors and biomarkers that exploit the unique properties of nanoparticles in living systems.
Fingerprints are usually used to identify people but, this time, they gave Penn State chemical engineers the crucial clue needed to discover an easy, versatile new method for making nanofibers that have potential uses in advanced filtration as well as wound care, drug delivery, bioassays and other medical applications.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory are helping to open a new frontier in electronics, to be made up of very small and very fast devices. A new discovery by this group opens a path to new computer technologies and related devices, and could drive entire industries into the future, the researchers say.
A nanoscanning platform is being developed by Prof. Sang-Gook Kim at the Micro and Nano Systems Laboratory (MNSL) at MIT. The paper describes how the variable stiffness is accomplished by engaging or disengaging electrostatically actuated clutches, in addition to the discussions on many possible benefits of the in-plane scanning platform.
Scientists at Virginia Tech have developed a single-step process for creating nonwoven fibrous mats from a small organic molecule ? creating a new nanoscale material with potential applications where biocompatible materials are required, such as scaffolds for tissue growth and drug delivery.
Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report that they have created a way for viral and gold particles to "directly assemble" and potentially seek out and treat disease where it resides in the body.
A team of researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital has created a large library of nanoparticles, each with a different small molecule decorating its surface. They then screen this library to see if any of the nanoparticles will bind to any number of cancer cells while ignoring healthy cells.