Researchers have designed and developed hybrid gold-silica nanoparticles, which are turning out to be genuine therapeutic 'Swiss Army knives'. Tested in mice and on cultured human cells, they make it possible to combine two forms of tumor treatment and three imaging techniques.
The efficiency of plastic solar cells can be doubled or tripled if an extra solvent is added during the production process, comparable with the role of baking powder in dough mixture. Exactly how this works has been unclear for the last ten years.
Exotic new materials called 'ferromagnetic topological insulators' were supposed to be the next big thing, offering potential breakthroughs in electronics and new insights into the physics of solids - but it hasn't happened. Researchers have found out that tinkering with the materials to make the insulators work has actually introduced a disorder that spoils the desired effects.
A novel approach to growing nanowires promises a new means of control over their light-emitting and electronic properties. Scientists demonstrated a new growth technique that uses specially engineered catalysts.
Hydrogels are materials that are commonly used in everyday objects such as contact lenses or diapers, in order to control humidity. However, chemical engineers developed a new technology based on thermosensitive nanoparticles (nano-hydrogels) to use these materials in the field of biomedicine, as an alternative to achieve controlled release of anticancer drugs.
In the world of single atoms and molecules governed by chaotic fluctuations, is the spontaneous formation of Turing patterns possible - the same ones that are responsible for the irregular yet periodic shapes of the stripes on zebras' bodies? A team of physicists has for the first time demonstrated that such a process can not only occur, but can also be used for potentially very interesting applications.