Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 41 - 48 of 503 in category All (newest first):

 

The revolutionary power of bio platforms - or why it took just 48 hours to develop the Covid-19 vaccine

robot-arm-holding-vaccineRather than growing vaccines in bioreactors, a new generation of biotechnology companies designs instructions that the body then can use to produce its own therapy. These novel vaccines exploit the process by which cells build proteins from the information encoded in a single-stranded molecule called messenger RNA (mRNA). They are enabled by the revolutionary nature of new industrialized biotechnology platforms that exploit breakthroughs in biological engineering and artificial intelligence.

Jan 28th, 2021

Characterization of the biomolecular corona at the single nanoparticle level

biomolecular-coronaScientists developed a new method to better understand how nanomedicines interact with patients' biomolecules. When nanoparticles enter human blood, they come into immediate contact with various biomolecules. These biomolecules form a coating layer on the nanoparticle surface - the so-called biomolecular corona - thereby imparting a unique biological identity to the nanoparticle, which could be very different from the pristine nanoparticle surface.

Jan 25th, 2021

What's going on with nanomedicine?

nanomedicineBack in the spring of 2015, one of our Nanowerk Spotlights asked the question: 'Has nanomedicine lived up to its promise?' The answer then was that, judging by research activity and funding, the field of nanomedicine has been very fertile; however, by using the yardstick of clinical success and paradigm shifts in treatment, the results appear quite a bit more modest. So here we are, at the end of 2020, and the answer to that same question still is inconclusive. To address this problem, researchers now propose the creation of new nanomedicine design criteria.

Dec 14th, 2020

Surface chemistry of engineered nanoparticles allows to differentiate cancer stem cells

nanoparticleWith their ability to resist conventional chemotherapy drugs, cancer stem cells (CSC) are really difficult to kill, and they are considered to be key drivers in metastasis, the spread of cancer via the blood stream. If the frequency of CSCs could be diminished, tumors would be rendered less aggressive and more responsive to conventional therapy. This approach is known as differentiation therapy and has considerable therapeutic potential. Scientists now report an approach capable of efficient differentiation of CSCs into non-CSC phenotypes.

Nov 10th, 2020

Nanotechnology's role in the race to find a Covid-19 vaccine

mRNA-vaccineWith over 200 COVID-19 vaccine trials currently underway globally, nanotechnology is being pivoted for COVID-19 applications. Nanoparticles and viruses operate on the same scale, and thus there are various nanotechnological aides which are being used in the development of potential vaccines. Nanoparticles are capable of entering the cell through biological channels, and can deliver antigens there. Besides delivering antigens themselves, nanoparticles can also be enlisted to provide adjuvants to cells.

Nov 9th, 2020

Designing nucleic acid nanotechnology for targeted immunostimulation in human cells

nucleic-acid-nanoparticlesNucleic acids offer an ideal building material for the development of therapeutic nucleic acids because they are biocompatible and can be programmed as or functionalized with antisense oligonucleotides, small interfering RNA (siRNAs), microRNAs (miRNAs), aptamers, and decoy sequence. New research shows that nucleic acid composition can be designed for enhanced stability, targeted cellular delivery, and optimal activation or abrogation of immune responses.

Oct 28th, 2020

Stealth microrobots fly under the radar of the immune system (w/video)

microrobotThe 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

Graphene-based nanomaterials for the next generation cancer theranostics

cancer-nanotechnologyThe 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