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Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 241 - 248 of 2140 in category (newest first):


A fully stretchable energy harvester for thermal waste

thermoelectric_generatorResearchers have demonstrated a fully stretchable energy harvester for thermal waste, which is very simple to fabricate and uses inexpensive substrate materials such polymers or paper. Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) promise a cheap and pragmatic way to obtain energy out of waste heat. The novelty of this work is to effectively integrate the high-performance of inorganic thermoelectric materials with the mechanical advantages of affordable organic materials (polymers, paper) and the use of innovative geometries that can be inherently stretched (spirals, helixes).

Posted: Nov 14th, 2016

Preventing bacterial biofilm formation on catheters with nanoparticles

biofilmResearchers have demonstrated that nitric-oxide releasing nanoparticles interfere with Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) adhesion and prevent biofilm formation on a rat central venous catheters model of infection. Specifically, they demonstrated that a well studied nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticle platform (NO-np) has the potential to reduce the incidence and/or treat central venous catheter infections. The investigators examined the formation of staphylococcal biofilms by confocal and scanning electron microscopy and found that treatment of staphylococcal biofilms with NO-np significantly reduced biofilm thickness and bacterial number compared to control biofilms.

Posted: Nov 11th, 2016

Magnetic nanoparticles produced by bacteria could help kill cancer cells

nanoparticlesResearchers have, for the first time, used naturally occurring bacterial magnetic nanoparticles (BMPs) - magnetosome extracted from magnetotactic bacteria - to substitute man-made nanoparticles for photothermal cancer therapy. Compared with engineered magnetic nanoparticles, BMPs have specific features such as large-scale production, monodispersity, good biocompatibility, high crystallinity, and close-to-bulk magnetization besides being covered with a lipid bilayer. This layer of biomembrane is particularly useful as it removes the need for a postsynthetic surface modification step for escaping destruction by the body's immune system.

Posted: Nov 10th, 2016

Full-color 3D meta-holography with a single nanostructured layer

hologramResearchers have demonstrated that full-color 3D meta-holography imaging with extended viewing angles can be realized by a single layer of nanostructured metallic surface. In order to overcome the cross-talk among different colors that normally exists in current metasurface holography, the researchers introduced an off-axis illumination method to shift the holographic image in different colors and successfully reconstructed all visible colors in the imaging area. Taking advantages of the achromatic feature of the structure, the team also demonstrated full-color holography based on seven primary colors and 3D holographic imaging.

Posted: Nov 9th, 2016

Driving a single microtubule with light (w/video)

microtubulesOne way to construct useful molecular machines is to combine natural molecules - such as proteins or DNAs in our body - with synthetic molecules in order to control the functions of the natural molecules. Building on previous work that allowed to achieve complete control over on/off switching of the movement of a nanomachine, researchers in Japan have, for the first time, developed a molecular system which allows free control of the motion of single microtubules. The microtubules, tube-like structure with measuring 25 nm in diameter, could potentially serve as carriers of various molecular cargoes in future nano-transportation systems.

Posted: Nov 8th, 2016

Connecting two electrodes by liquid crystal-guided carbon nanotube wires

CNT_wiresCarbon nanotubes (CNTs) being highly electrically conductive along the tube axis, have gained great research interests in recent years for connecting two conducting electrodes at the nanoscale - where the CNTs can be integrated into a micro- or nanoelectronic system. Therefore, the orientational control of CNTs has drawn a great deal of research interest in nanotechnology. Researchers now have developed a technique to bridge two electrical conductors by assembling CNTs guided by liquid crystals.

Posted: Nov 1st, 2016

mRNA selective drug release from nanoparticles

smart_nanoparticleScientists have designed an advanced type of nanoparticle, which is able to carry drugs directly into cells and release them only in the presence of an appropriate mRNA signature; in other words, the nanoparticle carriers release their payload only in specific - metastatic cancer - cells and remain inactive in healthy cells. The researchers designed nanoparticles that can selectively distinguish healthy cells from model metastatic cells and release their payload - an anticancer drug - only to the model metastatic cells.

Posted: Oct 31st, 2016

Ultra-thin achromatic lenses optimized by an evolutionary algorithm

gold_latticePlanar optical components are crucial to realize miniaturized optical systems and integrated optoelectronic devices. In particular, metasurfaces are of great interest for applications ranging from high resolution imaging to three-dimensional holography. Achromatic metasurfaces, which can maintain the same focal distance over a range of wavelengths, have been realized by engineering each subwavelength unit to induce an identical phase change at all wavelengths. However, the design method requires intensive computation. Researchers now have developed a highly efficient, universal algorithmic method based on evolutionary principles for the design of ultra-thin achromatic lenses.

Posted: Oct 28th, 2016