Nanotechnology may one day help physicians detect the very earliest stages of serious diseases like cancer, a new study suggests. It would do so by improving the quality of images produced by one of the most common medical diagnostic tools, the ultrasound machine.
Biodegradable polymer nanoparticles, linked to a protein-binding nucleic acid known as an aptamer and loaded with the anticancer agent docetaxel, can target and kill prostate tumors growing in mice. Using this targeted nanoparticle to deliver docetaxel appears to reduce the toxic side effects associated with this drug.
Using a combination of experimental data and simulations, researchers have identified key parameters that predict the outcome of nanoimprint lithography, a fabrication technique that offers an alternative to traditional lithography in patterning integrated circuits and other small-scale structures into polymers.
Scientists have created a molecular switch that could play a key role in thousands of nanotech applications. The Mol-Switch project successfully developed a demonstrator to prove the principle, despite deep scepticism from specialist colleagues in biotechnology and biophysics.
Nanotechnology news generally is made by scientists and engineers tinkering with miniscule bits of matter in novel ways. But a new issue of a niche anthropology journal urges social scientists and society to jump into the nano-fray.
Arrays of proteins attached to solid surfaces have become important tools in drug discovery and cancer diagnostics, but in general, the immobilized proteins themselves are inactivated by the processes used to create these arrays. Now, however, researchers at Northwestern University have used dip-pen nanolithography to create arrays of antibodies that retain their ability to bind to their biological substrates.
The porous, sieve-like minerals known as zeolites have been used for decades in purifiers, filters and other devices. Yet creating and refining a new type of zeolite is still a matter of sophisticated trial and error: no one has been able to figure out exactly how the crystals form, even in the laboratory.