You might think that a pair of parallel plates hanging motionless in a vacuum just a fraction of a micrometer away from each other would be like strangers passing in the night - so close but destined never to meet. Thanks to quantum mechanics, you would be wrong.
A living cell is built with barriers to keep things out - and researchers are constantly trying to find ways to smuggle molecules in. Professor Giovanni Maglia and his team have engineered a biological nanopore that acts as a selective revolving door through a cell's lipid membrane. The nanopore could potentially be used in gene therapy and targeted drug delivery.
Solar cells that produce electricity 24/7. Cell phones with built-in power cells that recharge in seconds and work for weeks between charges: These are just two of the possibilities raised by a novel supercapacitor design.
Researchers have developed a computer model that allows engineers to predict the best way of cutting different materials using vibration-assisted machining. This technique periodically interrupts the cutting process via the application of small-amplitude and high-frequency displacement to the cutting tool.
Researchers in electrical and computer engineering at University of California, Santa Barbara have introduced and modeled an integrated circuit design scheme in which transistors and interconnects are monolithically patterned seamlessly on a sheet of graphene, a 2-dimensional plane of carbon atoms. The demonstration offers possibilities for ultra energy-efficient, flexible, and transparent electronics.
As researchers develop novel therapies based on inducing specific cells to do specific things, getting the right message to the right group of cells at the right time remains a major challenge. Now researchers at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a way to deliver a light signal to specific cells deep within the body.