Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Nanobiomimetic strategies for medicine

tumor-cellThe defenses of the body's immune system tend to destroy synthetic nanoparticles and frequently they are captured and removed from the body within few minutes. This, of course, is a major barrier to the use of nanotechnology in medicine. In order to evade the host immune response, researchers are demonstrating that the combination of nanomaterials and biomimetic strategies can change diverse nanomaterials from 'distinguishable state' to 'camouflage state' and thereby improving technologies for nanomedicine applications.

Aug 9th, 2022

Novel platform allows five types of programmable optothermal manipulation of micro- and nanoparticles

round-particleResearchers have developed an optothermal platform with five manipulation modes - printing, tweezing, rotating, rolling, and shooting - using a single Gaussian laser beam. Switching between the different modes is achieved by simply tuning the optical power or the distance between laser and object, and can be automated through software programming. This novel multimodal manipulation technique relies on the coordination of multiple thermal forces instead of light-matter interactions, i.e., the mechanism of traditional optical tweezers.

Jul 25th, 2022

Engineering living hydrogels

hydrogelInspired by living biological systems, which can sense, process information, and actuate in response to changing environmental conditions, researchers are exploring engineered living hydrogels. The convergence of engineering, biology, and materials science over the past 20 years is providing unprecedented opportunities to integrate living cells into these hydrogels. This integration yields engineered living hydrogels with the capabilities of self-replication, self-regulation, and environmental responsiveness.

Jul 11th, 2022

Investigating water/oil interfaces with opto-thermophoretic tweezers

oil-bubblesSpontaneous charging of interfaces between water and hydrophobic media is a mysterious feature whose nature and origin - despite many efforts to explain them - are still not fully understood. Many spectroscopic results and interpretations along with computational work are not consistent with one another and a consensus on the nature and origin of interfacial charging has not been reached. A clear understanding of this puzzling phenomenon needs a variety of approaches from diverse perspectives, which, hopefully will all add up and be pieced together towards a complete description of the full picture.

Jul 7th, 2022

Nanotechnology-based mRNA vaccines: From the fight against COVID-19 to cancer immunotherapy and HIV vaccines

mrnaThe success of mRNA technology in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine has become a groundbreaking development in the fight against cancer, as well as in the development of new vaccines against many other infectious diseases, including HIV. Future nanotechnology-based mRNA vaccines could allow the delivery of multiple antigen-targeted vaccines in one vaccine lipid nanoparticle to protect against multiple diseases, thereby reducing the number of vaccines needed to prevent common vaccine-preventable diseases.

Jul 5th, 2022

Universal light-driven rotation platform for nanoparticles and live cells

rotationThe controlled rotation of micro- and nanoscale objects plays a crucial role in sensing, imaging, biomedicine, and manufacturing. What makes light-driven micro- and nanorotors so promising for many applications is their non-contact, fuel-free operation. It has remained challenging for simple and low-power optics to achieve light-driven rotation of a wide range of objects, including optically symmetric synthetic particles and biological cells. A novel platform elegantly addresses this issue by achieving the rotation of various particles and live cells using an arbitrary low-power laser beam.

Jul 4th, 2022

Synthesis of 'naked' tellurium dioxide nanoparticles for antimicrobial and anti-cancer applications

microbesBy irradiating a pure tellurium target in deionized water, researchers formed 'naked' tellurium dioxide nanoparticles with a spherical morphology and a size of around 70 nm. The surface of those nanoparticles is totally clean (hence 'naked'), meaning that it does not contain any residues from chemical reactions. This surface cleanliness makes them ideal to interact with biological pathogens and it takes less than 10 ppm to eradicate deadly pathogens like multi-drug resistant E. coli and Methicillin-resistant S. aureus.

Jul 1st, 2022

Learning to understand how nanomaterials enter cells and how cells react

cell-imagingEvery cell relies on the uptake (endocytosis) of materials like proteins, cytokines and even synthetic carbon nanomaterials, to perform its required cellular fate functions. Studying this process in detail is an extremely challenging and thus extremely interesting goal in biophysics. Therefore, endocytosis is of interest for bringing therapeutic targets into cells. Studying the pathways of how materials get into the cell can aid in untangling trafficking to design higher efficiency targeted drug and gene delivery therapies.

Jun 20th, 2022