Showing Spotlights 81 - 88 of 537 in category All (newest first):
The immune system's activation of macrophages, a type of immune cells that are on the lookout for pathogens, is a major obstacle for developing functional medical microrobots that can operate in vivo for a prolonged period of time. Researchers are trying to overcome this challenge by 'camouflaging' therapeutic nanoparticles with special coatings so that they avoid detection by macrophages. In new work, researchers report the development of stealth microrobots that can fly under the radar of the immune system, and hence prolong their window of operation since they do not get eliminated.
Oct 26th, 2020
The use of graphene-based materials in pharmaceutical nanotechnology has recently received more attention due to their unique chemical structure and physicochemical properties - including an ultra-high surface area, optical, thermal and electrical conductivities, and a good biocompatibility. They can also load large amounts of drug molecules on both sides of the single atom layer sheet. The next generation of cancer nanotheranostics employing graphene-based nanomaterials could address the many challenges associated with traditional chemotherapeutic agents, such as the issues surrounding poor solubility, harmful side effects, non-specific drug distribution, and multi-drug resistance.
Oct 9th, 2020
Researchers have developed a hybrid sperm micromotor, which can carry a payload and efficiently and controllably swim against flowing blood. Sperm-based micromotors hold several advantages, in particular their powerful propulsion generated by the beating of the sperm flagella. Sperm are also able to swim for several days with a drag force up to 100 pN. The most important feature of sperm micromotors to operate in the bloodstream is their ability to swim against flow as well as close to boundaries, where the blood velocity is lower than the average velocity, due to shear stress.
Oct 8th, 2020
Researchers 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
Imagine catching a comet. Now imagine the comet is as small as a few billionths of meters and it is made of elements from the periodic table that do not like each other; whose fate is that of separate in space and dissolve in biological environments or just in air. Before this happens, the elements are trapped in what is called a non-equilibrium alloy nanoparticle. Since this nanoalloy changes over time, it is not enough to provide its composition and size at a given time, but one should know also how it will change in the near future, or how it changed in the near past.
Sep 21st, 2020
Researchers have successfully produced durable antiviral surfaces that inactivate SARS-CoV-2 within 6 hours. In contrast, on various non-nanostructured surfaces or smooth surfaces, the SARS-COV-2 virus remained viable for up to 48 hours. These results provide evidence that surfaces that are structured with specific nanoscale surface features are effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 and the subsequent environmental spread. Such nanostructured surfaces can be used in hospital environments and can be extended to other industrial sectors and public infrastructure such as transportation, where fomites or contaminated surfaces are carriers for viral infections.
Sep 18th, 2020
Biofilm formation is an important adaptation and survival strategy commonly employed by bacteria but, unfortunately, a major cause for infections in humans. Researchers have now demonstrated the safe removal of in vivo bacterial biofilms through artificial nanomotors driven by near-infrared laser light. This is the first demonstration of a self-propelled antibiofilm platform capable of conducting photothermal and antibiotic therapy in the deep layers of biofilm, achieving high therapeutic efficiency in vivo without damaging healthy tissues.
Sep 8th, 2020
The physicochemical properties of nanoparticles alone cannot predict the fate of nanoparticles in biological systems. Current evidence suggests that the formation of a corona on the nanoparticle surface is the most important parameter that controls nanoparticle toxicity. Scientists now showed that protein corona modulates internalisation and cytotoxicity of nanodiamonds in non-phagocytic and phagocytic cells. Specifically, they found that corona made of bovine serum albumin (BSA), which represents the most abundant protein in blood plasma, reduced nanodiamond agglomeration.
Sep 4th, 2020