Carbon nanotube enabled nanocomposites have received much attention as a highly attractive alternative to conventional composite materials due to their mechanical, electrical, thermal, barrier and chemical properties such as electrical conductivity, increased tensile strength, improved heat deflection temperature, or flame retardancy. In new work, researchers report the fabrication of highly conductive carbon nanotube/polylactic acid nanocomposites used as 3D printable conductive inks for fabrication of conductive scaffold structures applicable as liquid sensors.
Researchers demonstrate a completely new micro-array design that is looking at capture and detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from an entirely new perspective. As an alternative to invasive biopsies, capturing CTCs is of great interest for evaluating cancer dissemination, predicting patient prognosis, and also for the evaluation of therapeutic treatments, representing a reliable potential alternative to invasive biopsies and subsequent proteomic and functional genetic analysis. The new approach is based on a static isolation in the form of micro-arrays of single-walled carbon nanotubes.
The intravenous iron-replacement product ferumoxytol and other iron oxide nanoparticles are being used for treating iron deficiency, as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging, and as drug carriers. In a new study, researchers have shown an intrinsic therapeutic effect of ferumoxytol on the growth of early mammary cancers and lung cancer metastases in liver and lungs. They showed that ferumoxytol can activate the immune system to attack cancer cells. This is the first description of an intrinsic therapeutic effect of iron oxide nanoparticles against cancer.
Researchers have developed an enteric micromotor consisting of a magnesium-based motor body with an enteric polymer coating. These motors, aimed controlling and enhancing site-specific delivery in the gastrointestinal tract, consist of water-powered magnesium-based tubular micromotors coated with an enteric polymer layer. The microscale robot can deliver payload to particular location via dissolution of their enteric polymeric coating to activate their propulsion at the target site towards localized tissue penetration and retention.
The optical manipulation of plasmonic nanoparticles has advantages for applications such as nanofabrication, drug delivery and biosensing. To that end, researchers have been developing techniques for the reversible assembly of plasmonic nanoparticles that can be used to modulate their structural, electrical and optical properties. The latest such technique is a low-power assembly that is enabled by thermophoretic migration of nanoparticles due to the plasmon-enhanced photothermal effect and the associated enhanced local electric field over a plasmonic substrate.
Currently available toxicity screening methods are not fully compatible with nanotoxicity studies. Due to the unique physicochemical characteristics of nanomaterials, conventional cytotoxicity assays have been shown to create complications in nanotoxicity evaluation. In a new study, researchers used surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) to evaluate the cytotoxicity of nanomaterials. They show that SERS can be used as an alternative nanotoxicity evaluation method especially for the nanomaterials that have been shown to create complications in conventional cytotoxicity assays.
Jellyfish can change from a transparent state to an opaque state when disturbed. Tactile stimulation can instantaneously evoke the contraction of radial muscles in the margin of a nectosac, resulting in a crumpled morphology with inward folds. Due to the wrinkles/folding that form, light will be scattered instead of travelling directly through the skin, resulting in a more opaque appearance. Inspired by marine life, a variety of these mechanochromic devices are created by researchers. These devices are able to undergo change from transparency to opaqueness, as well as a changes in color and pattern upon simply stretching and releasing the substrate.
Very recently, the use of zwitterionic coatings has emerged as an alternative strategy to provide corona free nanoparticles. The layers of proteins adsorbed to the surface of a nanomaterial at any given time is known as the protein corona. This protein layer can hinder interactions between the targeting ligands at the surface of nanoparticles and their binding partners on the cells' surface. Researchers found that by using both zwitterionic- and targeting-ligands at the surface of nanoparticles, the shielding effects of protein corona can be reduced.