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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Filling the knowledge gap about the thermal properties of bismuth antimonide at the nanoscale

nanostructuresBismuth antimonide (BiSb) is an important material in nanoelectronics as a topological insulator and as a thermoelectric material. However, some of its thermal properties are still mostly unknown at the nanoscale. This is an issue because in order for BiSb to exhibit its thermoelectric properties it has to be an alloy. But at the nanoscale, it is difficult to mix Bi and Sb. New findings provide the phase diagram of bismuth...

Jun 05, 2020

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Like Moses parting the sea: spontaneous segregation of a superconducting quantum fluid revealed

chiral-condensateMore than 25 years since the discovery of superconductivity in strontium ruthanate (SRO), understanding the properties of this material remains as challenging as ever. Researchers now demonstrated that a SRO sample can allow the two energetically degenerate condensates of Cooper-pairs with opposite momentum to segregate in domains, with a domain wall in between where chirality changes. To use the analogy to Moses parting the...

May 27, 2020

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Interfacing synthetic biology with microelectronics

bioelectronicsNew research demonstrates the integration of synthetic biology with electronic circuitry through engineered population dynamics that regulate the accumulation of charged metabolites. The resulting sensor devices can detect changes in bacterial population in response to the presence of chemicals, light or pH. Connecting bacterial gene expression to electrodes is an appealing approach to interface genetic circuits with microelectronics...

May 26, 2020

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Injecting biomedical electronics for monitoring and therapy of body organs

electronic-implantMiniaturized needle-like carriers in high aspect ratio structures are a novel class of implantable electronic devices. They are used to deliver tiny sensors and stimulation tools inside the body via minimally invasive injection or insertion into a specific area of an organ. A recent review summarizes the latest developments in materials, designs, and manufacturing techniques in the field of injectable biomedical devices, highlighting...

May 19, 2020

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Multifunctional polymeric nanoparticles with trimodal affinity for liver cancer therapy

nanoparticlesHepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is is the most common type of primary liver cancer and one of the most aggressive and hyper-vascularized forms of cancer. Many current chemotherapeutics fail to achieve the effective therapeutic index in the solid tumours due to poor drug penetration, poor bioavailability, non-specificity and drug resistance - a challenging aspect in this field. In search of new modalities, researchers have developed...

May 14, 2020

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Carbon nanotubes pave the way for human breath analysis of lung disease

exhaling-breathBreath is one of the main sources of human health parameters that can be used for predicting the state of internal organs. Exhaled breath composition is very complex and the existence of disease marker molecules can be as low as one part per million. That means that using breath for health monitoring purposes requires highly sensitive tools with a recognition ability down to single molecules. Researchers developed a method...

May 13, 2020

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Nanotechnology-based approaches to testing for COVID-19 infections in high-risk individuals

SARS-Cov-2In the absence of vaccines, many scientists argue that the best approach to control the spread of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) would be fast, cheap, reliable, and portable means of diagnosing COVID-19 infection. In particular, the identification of patients with the highest risk of COVID-19 mortality (i.e. those with co-morbidities such as cardiovascular disorders or massive alveolar damage and...

May 12, 2020

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Glioblastoma-coated nanotubes target and kill brain cancer cells

coated-cnanotubesResearchers exploited for the first time cellular self-recognition process for targeting glioblastoma cells with boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs), a biocompatible, yet inorganic, nanomaterial. The team loaded the BNNTs with doxorubicin, a powerful chemotherapy drug, and then functionalized them with glioblastoma cell membranes This targeting approach benefits from the ability of cancer cells to recognize each other due to similarities...

May 11, 2020

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Ultrathin superconductor ages like fine wine

aging-superconductorsSuperconducting materials, which entirely lose their electrical resistance at low temperatures, have become ever more widespread over recent years. Nevertheless, the fascinating phenomenon of superconductivity does not cease to surprise, as the kinds of materials able to superconduct, as well as the mechanisms through which superconductivity emerges, have become increasingly diverse. One of the prime examples is found in the...

May 08, 2020

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