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Posted: December 14, 2007
Practical nanotechnology - from growing bladders to the iPhone
(Nanowerk News) An article today on forbes.com titled "From Children's Bladders To The iPhone" is showing some of the most stunning examples of how nanotechnology is profoundly reshaping scores of areas of science. It features some of the presentation from the Forbes/Wolfe Nanotechnology Forum that was held this week in Albuquerque, N.M.
"The promise of nanotechnology is not just emotional but practical. Apple uses nanomaterials to "paint" conductive materials such as indium tin oxide onto the surface of its iPhone. Thatís what makes its touch-screen work. Parked outside of the hotel was a sporty looking pickup truck powered entirely by the NanoSafe 35-kilowatt hour battery from Altair Nanotechnologies. Altair offered rides during lunch."
Another example given is a medical application developed by Dr. Anthony Atala:
"Wake Forest's Atala has been working on his organ regrowth techniques for a decade. His technique: Harvest progenitor cells from a bladder or kidney, grow them outside the body and then coat them inside 3-D structures that are "baked" in an oven-like incubator. Within six weeks you have a partial organ ready for implanting back into the patient. Atala has reproduced in his lab a human kidney that produces real urine. One of the startups commercializing this work is Tengion in East Norriton, Penn. It now has 20 patients enrolled in mid-stage trials with its Neo-Bladder."
The article also addresses the issue of investing in nanotechnology - "More direct investments in nano have had decidedly mixed results".