The extraordinary mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have generated strong research interest in their possible use in reinforced composite materials. So far, different studies using carbon-nanotube reinforcements in polymer composites have reported only small improvements in the bulk mechanical properties compared with traditional fiber-reinforced composites. Through a novel approach, researchers have created a CNT-based composite material that exhibits significant improvements in fracture performance and structural damping.
Optical labeling is an important tool in biological imaging because it offers superb discrimination between the sites of interest and the crowded background of a biological specimen. Diamonds nanocrystals have several advantages over other optical labels and open new opportunities in optical imaging, especially in applications where the size of optical labels represents an important parameter.
A recent study shows that just by changing the structure of a molecule, without altering its chemical composition, can lead to a variation in the spin-electron interaction strength, and consequently the associated Kondo temperatures.
Nanoparticles can be modified to create selective surfaces for targeted molecular interactions. As the biomarker populations present in blood are more fully characterized, nanoparticle harvesting platforms will have significant potential improve the detection of diseases at an early, more treatable stage.
Researchers in China are proposing a nanoelectronic switch based on telescoping double-walled carbon nanotubes (TDWCNT). By varying the overlapping length at the junction, one could control the conducting states and change it between on (high conductance state) and off (low conductance state).
Nanosprings, which are helical nanowires grown via a modified vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) mechanism, are of interest to researchers because of their potential applications in biological and chemical sensors, high porosity applications such as fuel cells, and biomedical drug delivery applications. Thanks to a novel fabrication method, nanosprings can now be synthesized with a yield higher than 90%, and with 100% repeatability.
The human heart does not have significant regeneration capabilities and cardiologists look to cell therapy as a promising new method for cardiac repair. Now there is a new delivery system that improves the results of cell therapy. The new system allows greater control of the intramyocardial environment (inside the heart muscle) by delivering growth factors to an injured heart muscle and using peptide nanofibers for prolonged delivery of the injected factor.
Superhydrophobic materials have surfaces that are extremely difficult to wet with water and therefore are of considerable interest for various industrial applications. Researchers have unlocked the mechanism that makes some leaves either superhydrophobic or hydrophilic, opening the way to creating self cleaning surfaces and interfaces that will not stick. Potential industrial applications are self cleaning windows and windshields, hard disks and magnetic tapes (for data storage) and MEMS and NEMS devices with no stiction issues.