Open menu

Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
Our Nanowerk-exclusive feature articles

Showing Spotlights 17 - 24 of 313 in category Bionanotechnology, Nanomedicine (newest first):

 

Auto-switchable graphene bio-interface with a 'zipper' nanoarchitecture

graphene_interfaceMaterial science is having a renewed influence on bioelectronics design beyond the incorporation of new functional nanomaterials. This newly established cooperation opens new windows for bioelectronics research, especially for fabricating flexible and smart devices. Recent advances in graphene research provide various possibilities to enhance performance characteristics and current approaches to design new bio-devices. Especially, smart and flexible bioelectronics on graphene has emerged as a new frontier in this area.

Posted: Oct 31st, 2013

Nanotechnology solutions to combat superbugs

microbesAs the use of antibiotics increases for medical, veterinary and agricultural purposes, the increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria is an unwelcome consequence. The incidence of the multidrug resistance (MDR) of bacteria which cause infections in hospitals/intensive care units is increasing, and finding microorganisms insensitive to more than 10 different antibiotics is not unusual. The emergence of superbugs has made it imperative to search for novel methods, which can combat the microbial resistance. Thus, application of nanotechnology in pharmaceuticals and microbiology is gaining importance to prevent the catastrophic consequences of antibiotic resistance.

Posted: Sep 10th, 2013

Detecting neurotransmitters in live brain tissue with carbon nanotube electrodes

brainConventional carbon-fiber electrodes have been the material of choice for identifying the chemical nature of neurotransmitters in the brain. Unfortunately, they have some limitations that leave some of the molecules that researchers are interested in just out of our reach. Further miniaturization of biologically compatible, carbon based electrode materials to the nanoscale promises to enhance the very characteristics that made microelectrodes so transformative in the first place, enabling high speed measurements in discrete spatial locations.

Posted: Sep 3rd, 2013

Highly effective tumor targeting platform with nanoghosts

nanoghostsResearchers report on a novel targeted drug-delivery vehicle for cancer therapy, which can selectively target the tumor niche while delivering an array of therapeutic agents. This targeting platform is based on unique vesicles ('nanoghosts') that are produced, for the first time, from intact cell membranes of stem cells with inherent homing abilities, and which may be loaded with different therapeutics. The team showed that such vesicles, encompassing the cell surface molecules and preserving the targeting mechanism of the cells from which they were made, can outperform conventional delivery systems based on liposomes or nanoparticles.

Posted: Jul 26th, 2013

Optical detection of epigenetic marks

DNAUnderstanding the purpose of the molecular modifiers that annotate DNA strands - called epigenetic markers - and how they change over time will be crucial in understanding biological processes ranging from embryo development to aging and disease. But just how the markers work, and what different markers mean, is painstaking work that still has left a long way to go. Advancing this research field, scientists have now reported the first direct visualization of individual epigenetic modifications in the genome. This is a technical and conceptual breakthrough as it allows not only to quantify the amount of modified bases but also to pin point and map their position in the genome.

Posted: Jul 24th, 2013

Biological responses to nanoparticles are temperature-dependant

nanoparticleWhen nanoparticles enter the human body, for instance as part of a nanomedicine application, they come into immediate contact with a collection of biomolecules, such as proteins, that are characteristic of that environment, e.g. blood. A protein may become associated with the nanomaterial surface during a protein-nanomaterial interaction, in a process called adsorption. The layers of proteins adsorbed to the surface of a nanomaterial at any given time is known as the protein corona. The type and amount of proteins in the corona composition is strongly dependent on several factors, including physicochemical properties of nanoparticles; protein source; and protein concentration - and temperature.

Posted: Jul 23rd, 2013

Silicon chips inserted into living cells can feel the pressure (w/video)

cell_with_chip_insideThe study of individual cells is of great importance in biomedicine. Many biological processes incur inside cells and these processes can differ from cell to cell. The development of micro- and nanoscale tools smaller than cells will help in understanding the cellular machinery at the single cell level. All kinds of mechanical, biochemical, electrochemical and thermal processes could be studied using these devices. Researchers have now demonstrated a nanomechanical chip that can be internalized to detect intracellular pressure changes within living cells, enabling an interrogation method based on confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Posted: Jul 18th, 2013

Innovative nanoparticle therapy to treat infected burn wounds

burn_woundDespite significant advances in the medical/surgical management of severe thermal injury, wound infection and subsequent sepsis persist as frequent causes of morbidity and mortality for burn victims not only due to the extensive compromise of the protective barrier against microbial invasion, but also as a result of growing pathogen resistance to our therapeutic options. Researchers have now demonstrated that encapsulating Amphotericin B, a intravenously administered potent fungicidal polyene macrolide, in nanoparticles increased its killing impact against numerous candida species, was more effective at preventing candidal biofilm formation, and cleared a mouse burn model infected with candida more effectively than solubilized amphotericin.

Posted: Jun 21st, 2013