Neural interfaces establish direct communication between the central nervous system (CNS) and a sovereign, man-made digital system. This technology is perhaps the most important advance in the study and treatment of the brain is the development of the neural interface. Nanotechnology fabrication methods can overcome the limitations of existing interface devices by producing electrodes with an extremely high surface to volume ratio, i.e., more probe units within the same volume, resulting in unprecedented specificity.
Chiral metamaterials with strong chiroptical properties are an interesting new platform for optical signal modulation. Although plasmonic super chiral fields have been successfully applied to detect the chiral structures of proteins, it has remained challenging to detect the structural handedness of drug molecules due to their small size and thinner film adsorbed on the surface of metamaterials. Researchers now have reported a new type of plasmonic chiral metamaterial by stacking two layers of identical achiral gold nanohole arrays into moire patterns.
Given the growing impact of nanotechnology on health care, pharmacy, and medicine, there is an increasing and urgent need for the development of reliable methods applicable to detect the biological contamination of nanoparticles. A new method offers a solution to the problems of the nanoparticle interference and correct quantification of bio-contaminants such as endotoxins. This proposed method is based on optical absorbance measurements.
Graphene currently is the most studied material on the planet - this is especially true for charge storage and the results from many laboratories confirm its potential to change today's energy-storage landscape. Specifically, graphene could present several new features for energy-storage devices, such as smaller capacitors, completely flexible and even rollable energy-storage devices, transparent batteries, and high-capacity and fast-charging devices.
Developing highly active electrocatalysts for photoelectrochemical water splitting is critical to bringing solar/electrical-to-hydrogen energy conversion processes into reality. Researchers have developed a novel 3D hierarchical hybrid electrocatalyst grown on electrochemically exfoliated graphene. The researchers then further integrated the hybrid nanosheets with a macroporous silicon photocathode, and the results show that it can enable highly active solar-driven photoelectrochemical water splitting in both basic media and real river water.
Cutaneous fungal infections involving the skin, hair, or nails affect an estimated 25% of the world's population, and accounts for millions of outpatient visits. Currently, deep fungal infection require systemic therapy, which can pose a range of side effects or drug interactions depending on the clinical scenario. Investigators now have demonstrated the antifungal activity of nitric oxide generating nanoparticles against dermatophytes well known to cause invasive cutaneous infections.
Turning atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) into valuable products seems like a great idea to help remove this greenhouse gas to mitigate climate change. Using a process of molten carbonate electrolytic transformation of CO2 to carbon nanotubes, researchers have now demonstrated 'carbon nanotube wool'. These are the first carbon nanotubes that can be directly woven into a cloth as they are of macroscopic length (over 1mm) and are cheap to produce. The sole reactant to produce the carbon nanotube wools is carbon dioxide. This transforms CO2 from a pollutant into a useful, valuable resource.
In addition to economic, social and political measures, new technologies can provide tools for poverty reduction. Many people in developing countries don't just lack money. Especially in remote regions, many also lack access to electricity, clean drinking water and basic sanitation, cooking facilities, healthcare, adequate housing, etc. The innovative solutions for developing countries supported by the use of nanotechnologies mainly target five areas: water; medicine; agriculture; food; and energy.