The trend toward energy self-sufficient probes and ever smaller mobile electronics systems continues unabated. They are used, for example, to monitor the status of the engines on airplanes, or for medical implants. They gather the energy they need for this from their immediate environment - from vibrations, for instance. Researchers have developed a process for the economical production of piezoelectric materials.
In less than a minute, a miniature device can measure a patient's blood for methotrexate, a commonly used but potentially toxic cancer drug. Just as accurate and ten times less expensive than equipment currently used in hospitals.
Researchers report reproducible and quantitative measurements of electricity flow through long molecules made of four DNA strands, signaling a significant breakthrough towards the development of DNA-based electrical circuits.
Scientists will receive about $1.25 million from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space to develop an implantable device that delivers therapeutic drugs at a rate guided by remote control. The device's effectiveness will be tested aboard the International Space Station and on Earth's surface.
Researchers have broken new ground in the development of proteins that form specialized fibers used in medicine and nanotechnology. For as long as scientists have been able to create new proteins that are capable of self-assembling into fibers, their work has taken place on the nanoscale. For the first time, this achievement has been realized on the microscale - a leap of magnitude in size that presents significant new opportunities for using engineered protein fibers.
Scientists have developed new organic compounds characterized by a higher modularity, stability and efficiency, which could be applicable in the semiconductors industry for using them in electronics or lighting.
Successful techniques for cryopreserving bulk biomaterials and organ systems would transform current approaches to transplantation and regenerative medicine. However, while vitrified cryopreservation holds great promise, practical application has been limited to smaller systems (cells and thin tissues) due to diffusive heat and mass transfer limitations, which are typically manifested as devitrification and cracking failures during thaw. Now researchers leverage a clinically proven technology platform, in magnetically heated nanoparticles, to overcome this major hurdle limiting further advancement in the field of cryopreservation.
An emerging super-black nanotechnology that is to be tested for the first time this fall on the International Space Station will be applied to a complex, 3-D component critical for suppressing stray light in a new, smaller, less-expensive solar coronagraph designed to ultimately fly on the orbiting outpost or as a hosted payload on a commercial satellite.