Setting a milestone towards fast DNA sequencing by a nanopore device, researchers developed a solid state nanopore device that can detect the difference between single molecules of double and single stranded DNA at high speed, with high accuracy, and at extreme pH. This research is a key step to develop a nanopore sequencing machine. More immediate application may be the sensing of long chain polymers for medical diagnostics.
Cantilever based back-illuminated full body glass tips with thin metal layers can be used as apertureless optical near-field probes with single molecule sensitivity and optical resolutions down to 15 nm exceeding by far the classical diffraction limit of Abbe.
The scientific interest in magnetic nanostructures, both from a fundamental viewpoint and also due to their potential in a wide range of applications, over the past few years has led researchers to develop various nanofabrication methods for synthesizing nanomagnets. Applications for nanomagnetic materials include non-volatile magnetic random access memory (MRAM), highly sensitive magnetic field sensor, field programmable spin logic, and patterned media for ultra high density data storage.
An electrochromic display is one of the most attractive candidates for paper-like displays, so called electronic paper, which will be the next generation display, owing to attributes such as thin and flexible materials, low-power consumption, and fast switching times.
Single molecule Raman spectroscopy of molecules on metal surfaces was achieved by means of optical field-enhancement from a scanning probe tip. This was made possible by the optical antenna configuration formed by optical coupling between metallic tip and the substrate.
Scientists at the University of Washington are developing natural polymer based nanofibers using electrospinning to mimic the native extracellular matrix of cartilage in terms of microstructure, mechanical properties, and chemical composition. This reesearch holds great implication for the generation of functional cartilage tissues to help the millions of people who suffer from degeneration of articular cartilage due to primary osteoarthritis or trauma.
Researchers in Germany report a novel approach for the design of environmental sensors based on fluorescence interference contrast (FLIC) of semiconductor nanocrystals near a reflecting silicon surface. Their method is based on nanocrystals incorporated into polymer layers grafted onto reflecting surfaces.
Researchers took inspiration from the packaging and transduction processes of the cochlea and cilia in the inner ear to design acoustic sensors made from nanowires. Specifically, they used nanowires of magnetostrictive materials as artificial cilia to sense acoustic signals. Any acoustic sensor application may benefit from this work.