Nanoparticles designed to adhere to and light up cancer cells have reached a major milestone in their bench-to-bedside journey. A first clinical trial of these ultrasmall, multifunctional particles has deemed them safe for humans and cleared easily by the body.
Researchers have created a new kind of ion channel consisting of short carbon nanotubes, which can be inserted into synthetic bilayers and live cell membranes to form tiny pores that transport water, protons, small ions and DNA.
For detecting cancer, manual breast exams seem low-tech compared to other methods such as MRI. But scientists are now developing an 'electronic skin' that 'feels' and images small lumps that fingers can miss. Knowing the size and shape of a lump could allow for earlier identification of breast cancer, which could save lives.
With fears growing over chemical and biological weapons falling into the wrong hands, scientists are developing microrockets to fight back against these dangerous agents, should the need arise. In a new paper, they describe new spherical micromotors that rapidly neutralize chemical and biological agents and use water as fuel.
A multidisciplinary engineering team developed a new nanoparticle-based material for concentrating solar power plants designed to absorb and convert to heat more than 90 percent of the sunlight it captures. The new material can also withstand temperatures greater than 700 degrees Celsius and survive many years outdoors in spite of exposure to air and humidity.
Empa toxicologist Harald Krug has lambasted his colleagues in the journal Angewandte Chemie. He evaluated several thousand studies on the risks associated with nanoparticles and discovered no end of shortcomings: poorly prepared experiments and results that don't carry any clout. Instead of merely leveling criticism, however, Empa is also developing new standards for such experiments within an international network.
Researchers have shown that crystalline gold nanoparticles aligned and then fused into long chains can be used to confine light energy down to the nanometer scale while allowing its long-range propagation.
Researchers succeeded in direct observation and video imaging of electron flow at 80,000m per second in a semiconductor. They did so by combining a new laser pulse light source and a photoemission electron microscope (PEEM) to develop an ultra high-speed microscope that enabled visualization of electrons on a 20 nanometer and 200 femtosecond scale.
Electrons are elementary particles - indivisible, unbreakable. But new research suggests the electron's quantum state - the electron wave function - can be separated into many parts. That has some strange implications for the theory of quantum mechanics.