Biomineralization is the formation of inorganic materials in a biological environment, as it is found in bones, teeth and shells. Certain biominerals are also often associated with pathogeneses of tissues. The correlation of the composition of biominerals with pathogeneses of tissues has not been investigated systematically. In new work, researchers examine how the composition of biominerals correlates with the production of inflammatory cytokines associated with the stimulation of intracellular DNA sensors and by biominerals themselves.
Plasmon lasers are promising nanoscale coherent sources of optical fields because they support ultra-small sizes and show ultra-fast dynamics. They can make possible single-molecule biodetectors, photonic circuits and high-speed optical communication systems. In new work, researchers have found a way to integrate liquid gain materials with gold nanoparticle arrays to achieve nanoscale plasmon lasing that can be tuned dynamical, reversibly, and in real time.
Research related to molecular logic gates is a fast growing and very active area and molecular devices have become the new frontier in computing. Researchers now have designed and synthesized self-assembled DNA complexes that sense two environmental signals and produce a fluorescent outputs corresponding to the operation of all six Boolean logic gates AND, NAND, OR, NOR, XOR, and XNOR. This study could help improvements in the fields of molecular computation and intelligent drug delivery.
While the actual toxicity of Bisphenol A (BPA) is still debated, the direct measurement of BPA is difficult because of the weak response given by conventional electrochemical sensors, and current optical analysis methods are susceptible to the influence of interfering substances. A novel aptamer/graphene oxide FRET biosensor now provides a method for the rapid detection and risk assessment of BPA with high sensitivity and selectivity.
The commonly used separators in battery systems are porous polymer membranes, which separate the two electrodes while having little impact on the transportation of ions through the membrane. Polysulfides generated in a lithium-sulfur system can also diffuse freely through the membranes and react with a metal lithium anode, which results in the degradation of the battery's performance. If a novel, ion-selective but highly permeable separator can be developed, the shuttling of polysulfides and self-discharge would be effectively prevented, and both the energy density and power density of lithium-sulfur batteries could be significantly improved.
Novel materials designed and fabricated with the help of nanotechnologies offer the promise of radical technological development. Many of these will improve our quality of life, and develop our economies, but all will be measured against the overarching principle that we do not make some error, and harm ourselves and our environment by exposure to new forms of hazard. A publication explores recent developments in nanomaterials research, and possibilities for safe, practical and resource-efficient applications.
Supramolecular chemistry deals with molecular building-blocks that interact with each other in a dynamic manner, similar to what is seen in nature. Taking advantage of this, several 'smart' materials have been developed for biomedical applications by careful design of these building-blocks. These materials have especially interesting properties like self-healing and responsiveness to light and electricity. Researchers have now explored the possibility of developing a bacterial strain with the ability to interact dynamically with a popular supramolecular building-block.
A novel nanoparticle blood test detects an overall increase of human immunoglobulin G (IgG), including the tumor-specific autoantibodies, adsorbed to a gold nanoparticle surface. While this test may not be able to identify the specific type of cancer, it may potentially be able to detect early stage tumor-induced immune responses associated with a broad spectrum of cancer types, making this test potentially a universal screening test for cancer risk assessment.