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Nanotechnology Spotlights

One-dimensional quantum materials can deliver record-high current densities

nanoribbon_deviceThe advent of graphene resulted in a massive, world-wide, effort directed at investigation of other two-dimensional (2D) layered materials. One-dimensional (1D) bundled materials have received considerably less attention. Similar to the 2D layered materials with covalently bonded layers separated by the van der Waals gaps, the 1D materials consist of covalently bonded one-dimensional wires with van der Waals gaps between the...

Posted: Apr 19, 2018

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Nanotechnology takes steps towards artificial retinas

electronic _skinSensory substitution with flexible electronics is one of the intriguing fields of research that takes place in nanotechnology labs around the world. In line with this focus on human senses, in the future artificial retinas integrated with the human body may not only repair damaged vision but also expand it to see a wider range wavelengths (e.g. ultraviolet light). Researchers now have demonstrated a new self-powered brain-linked...

Posted: Apr 18, 2018

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Graphene-oxide-based membranes for large-scale energy storage systems

graphene_oxide_membraneAs a promising large-scale energy storage technology, redox flow batteries (RFBs) are attracting increasingly more research attention. For RFB separators, the essential requirement is achieving high ionic conductivity with minimal cross-over at low cost. Researchers now have demonstrated a proof-of-concept graphene oxide (GO) membrane as separator for large-scale energy RFBs. Their work shows that the two-dimensional nanochannel...

Posted: Apr 17, 2018

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Driving nanomotors through road blocks inside living cells

cell_insideResearchers demonstrate that helical shaped magnetic nanomotors can be maneuvered inside a living cell. This new and versatile technique has the potential ability to position any payload at any desired location inside a living cell itself, which is of great importance in the field of biology and biophysics. The helical shaped nanomotors are made of mainly silica and a thin layer of magnetic material, while their size is at...

Posted: Apr 16, 2018

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Nanosilicates grow bone and cartilage tissue from stem cells in the absence of growth factors

stem_cellsResearchers have demonstrated that a specific type of two-dimensional (2D) nanoparticles, nanosilicates, can grow bone and cartilage tissue from stem cells in the absence of growth factors. These nanoparticles are similar in shape to a coin, but 10 billion times smaller in size. Nanosilicates consist of minerals such as sodium, silicate, magnesium and lithium, which are already present in the body. This avoids the use of growth...

Posted: Apr 13, 2018

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Point-of-care biosensor for rapid and accurate sepsis diagnosis

diagnostic_systemSepsis is the body's extreme response to an infection. It is life-threatening condition in which bacteria or fungi multiply in a patient's blood - often too fast for antibiotics to help. Without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly cause tissue damage, organ failure, and death. A critical unmet need in combating sepsis is the lack of accurate early biomarkers that can alert clinicians to a potential life-threatening situation...

Posted: Apr 12, 2018

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Design of nanochannel interfaces is a key point in energy utilization

membraneThe ability of nanochannels to regulate transported substances in confined spaces is of great research interest in innovative applications, such as high-resolution sensing, filtering, and high-efficiency energy utilization. In the last area, research on nanochannels in energy-related areas continues to face challenges such as low efficiencies, complex preparation processes, and high fabrication costs. Overcoming these challenges...

Posted: Apr 10, 2018

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Flexible data storage based on organic nanomaterials

flexible_memoryNext-generation electronic devices will be highly portable, wearable - even transplantable - lightweight, and most likely self-powered. Among the various functional block required for these systems (such as displays, sensors, actuators, etc), some of the most important components are novel flexible data storage systems that possess nonvolatile ability, high-density storage, high-switching speed, and reliable endurance properties....

Posted: Apr 09, 2018

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Batch-assembly of reconfigurable, multimodal 3D electronics (w/video)

e-whiskersWhiskers on animals allow them to build a rich understanding of their environment by feeling objects or even the flow of fluids. Many animals can also actively sweep, or 'whisk', their whiskers, enabling them to gather complex information about the architecture of their environment. Researchers have replicated this whisking action by exploiting the shape memory effect of a polymer substrate, which can be dynamically repositioned...

Posted: Apr 03, 2018

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