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Posted: April 14, 2010

Smart textiles for enhanced personal protection and nanomedicine: The key to future healthcare

(Nanowerk News) In a special bumper issue of NANO Magazine we focus on two topics - textiles and nanomedicine. We feature articles about textiles from Nicholas Kotov and Kay Obendorf, and Nanomedicine from the London Centre for Nanotechnology and Hans Hofstraat of Philips Healthcare and an interview with Peter Singer, NANO Magazine Issue 17 is essential reading, www.nanomagazine.co.uk.
Nano for better Kevlar and protection
First off, we zoom in on the ways nanotechnology is being applied to textiles. Nicholas Kotov, from the university of Michigan, leads us through his work with engineering new conductive materials with blood and biosensing capabilities. Added to that through embedding nanoclays into Kevlar the researchers at Michigan are producing stronger materials with enhanced ballistic resistance.
Meanwhile, closer to the everyday consumer, Professor Kay Obendorf from the College of Human Ecology, discusses how nanotechnology is providing chemically and biologically protective materials which ally comfort and performance. These new materials are also being adapted to be used to improve air quality in buildings, to the benefit of hospital patients.
Beating the Superbugs
The hospital is our next point of call as we look at the continuing advancement of nanomedicine.
With the alarming rise in drug-resistant ‘super-bugs’ on our hospital wards, nanotechnology could hold the answer to combating these deadly illnesses. Researchers from the London Centre for Nanotechnology are using tiny arrays of nanomechanical sensors, cantilevers, to investigate antibiotics that can be used to combat resistant infections, and pave the way for improved drug development.
NANO Magazine Issue 17 also includes a focus on microdroplets as self-contained mini laboratories to achieve rapid analysis of small sample volumes in genomics, drug discover, high-throughput screening and analysis.
Hans Hofstraat of Philips Healthcare discusses what nanomedicine might offer in addressing the meltdown in global healthcare systems.
Peter Singer also features in an interview about his work in the developing world - discussing the top 10 nanotechnologies that offer real benefits to the developing world and the importance of research into the ethical and social implications of nanotechnology, and the thought that must be given to how we can help the disadvantaged through its application.
The featured country in this issue is Canada, notable for its well funded facilities and research that is aggressively focused on industrial applications. Although having no unifying national nanotechnology initiative, there are many extremely well-funded organisations with world class facilities that are undertaking important nano-related research.
Source: Nano Magazine (press release)
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