Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 67 in category Molecular Devices & Computing, Nanomotors (newest first):


Turning tiny algae into living micromotors controlled by light (w/video)

bacterial-nanomotorResearchers have demonstrated the creation of a living micromotor with multifunctional capability. The distinctive feature of this device is that it doesn't require synthetic materials and therefore avoid the problems of energy consumption and waste production generated during material synthesis. Using microalgal Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells as the sole material, the scientists made living and multifunctional micromotors controlled by optical force. This system might be particularly useful for indirect manipulation and controllable disruption of biological targets.

Sep 23rd, 2020

Active optical navigation of individual microswimmers

microswimmerResearchers have exploited the opto-thermoelectric effect to develop a new type of all-optical microswimmers with active navigation functionality. These microswimmers consist of individual Janus particles - polystyrene beads half coated with gold nanoparticles - that can be directionally delivered over 22 times of their own diameters in 39 seconds. The opto-thermoelectric field triggers two working states - swimming and rotating - under different laser inputs. Combined with a feedback control algorithm to coordinate swimming and rotating states of the swimmers based on real-time imaging, precise all-optical navigation and target delivery becomes possible.

Aug 18th, 2020

Smart soft robotic grippers enabled by self-powered tribo-skins

gripperGrippers or end effectors are an essential tool integrated with robotic arms for implementing grasping and manipulating functions in a variety of tasks, ranging from picking up and holding objects, to digging and sorting, to locomotion and scratching. Engineers have developed a new kind of smart soft actuator, based on the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), to fabricate intelligent grippers for robotics, aiming at potential applications in the areas of agriculture, engineering and healthcare and beyond.

Jan 21st, 2020

Matryoshka-inspired hierarchically structured triboelectric nanogenerators for wave energy harvesting

wave-nanogeneratorOcean wave energy is an abundant resource of clean energy. However, having been explored for decades, there is still lacking efficient and economical technologies to convert water wave energy into electricity for large-scale applications Researchers have developed a new type of wave energy harvester, hierarchically structured triboelectric nanogenerator (HS-TENG), based on the triboelectric effect, targeting to harvest the huge blue energy for large-scale deployments.

Oct 7th, 2019

Smart droplets clean and repair surfaces

nanoparticles_on_surfaceResearchers report a fluid-driven nanoparticle transportation clean-and-repair approach that reveals a novel self-healing system that conserves matter, behaves autonomously, and is implemented easily. Debris resting on a substrate is relocated, in one step, from undamaged to damaged regions of the substrate, using functional droplets that recognize and transport the nanoparticles. This simultaneous clean-and-repair approach reveals a novel self-healing system that conserves matter, behaves autonomously, and is implemented easily.

Feb 19th, 2019

Nanotechnology machines' interaction with living systems

nanomachineResearch on micro- and nanomachines has advanced from the observation and understanding of basic motion behavior to the constantly improving capabilities of performing complex tasks. This ranges from interaction with bacteria to propulsion based on cells and in vivo medical applications. A review looks at the applications of micro- and nanomachines in living biosystems from two aspects: the interaction of micro/nanomachines with other microscopic organisms or biological units, and the efforts toward application of micro/nanomachines in human body.

Jul 5th, 2018

Nanomachines in living systems - on route to microcyborgs

nanobiotechnologyFrom interaction with bacteria, propulsion based on cells, in vivo medical applications to even intracellular applications, the rapidly expanding development of micro- and nanomachines with sizes comparable to or even smaller than mammalian cells, has led this field to advance from understanding of basic motion mechanisms to applications in living biosystems. A recent review highlights the recent efforts for and toward application of micro/nanomachines in living biosystems, including microorganisms, biological cells, and human body. Applications of micro- and nanomachines in living biosystems are reviewed from two aspects: their interaction with other microscopic organisms or biological units, and the efforts toward their application in the human body.

Jan 30th, 2018

Helical nanopropellers to measure local viscosity in a fluid

nanomotorResearchers find magnetic helical nanomachines that mimic the swimming characteristics of E. coli bacteria to be particularly promising because of their extremely small size and their capability of navigating in various biological fluids like human blood. New work extends the possibility of using helical nanomachines as a tool to measure the localized mechanical properties of a heterogeneous environment that is ubiquitous in biological systems. This technique can be useful to gain valuable insights into the physiological changes of a cell in response to a disease or a drug, leading to better therapeutics.

Jan 26th, 2018