New findings address the challenges of operating synthetic motors in living organisms through the use of biocompatible motors that are powered by body fluid (acidic stomach environment). As the zinc body of the motor is dissolved by the acid fuel, the motors are self-destroyed, leaving no harmful chemicals behind. The study reports on the distribution, retention, cargo delivery and toxicity profile of zinc/polymer-based microrockets in a mouse stomach.
Since diseased cells, such as cancer cells, frequently carry information that distinguishes them from normal cells, accurate probing of these cells is critical for early detection of a disease. Adding to these highly accurate methods for monitoring such alterations in single cells, researchers have now demonstrated a nanoelectromechanical procedure to relate the correlation between the mechanical stimulation of a cell's actin filaments and the electrical activities of ion channels to the cancerous state of the cell.
Advanced health monitoring systems and healthcare devices will become an integral part of the Internet of Things. As a harbinger of things to come, nanotechnology researchers have now demonstrated a smart thermal patch which can be used for thermotherapy for pain management in a user interactive way. To fabricate the device, the researchers used CMOS technology to devise a silicon based smart thermal patch which is flexible and stretchable.
Studying the complex wiring of neural circuits and identifying the details of how individual neural circuits operate in epilepsy and other neurological disorders requires real-time observation of their locations, firing patterns, and other factors. These observations depend on high-resolution optical imaging and electrophysiological recording. Researchers have now developed a completely transparent graphene microelectrode that allows for simultaneous optical imaging and electrophysiological recordings of neural circuits.
The majority of men who undergo radical prostatectomy for the treatment of prostate cancer will suffer from erectile dysfunction due to disruption of the cavernous nerve. This nerve has been identified as responsible for penile erection. The oral erectogenic PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra rely on the functioning of this nerve to provide the initial burst of nitric oxide necessary to initiate an erection. In this condition nanotechnology - in the form of a nanoparticle delivery system - may come to the rescue by targetting useful therapeutics for penile rehabilitation following radical prostatectomy.
Among the various robotic actuation mechanisms driven by different stimuli, light-driven systems have garnered more and more attention due to their advantages in wireless/remote control, localized rather than whole-field driven capabilities, and electrical/mechanical decoupling. Inspired by the photothermal effect of graphene in biomedical applications, researchers have now demonstrated an easily fabricated and remote/wireless control light-driven approach to actuation mechanism based on graphene nanocomposites.
There is a significant need for new therapeutic approaches to combat diseases such as cancer and viral infections. Using RNA as a therapeutic modality brings to bear an entirely new approach, which not only allows for the construction of uniform scaffolds for attachment of functional entities, but also permits the use of all the different types of functionalities that are inherent in natural RNAs. New research demonstrates that multifunctional RNA nanoparticles with a nanoring design allow the use of different types of functionalities inherent in natural RNAs.
Researchers have explored the use of curcumin nanoparticles for the treatment of infected burn wounds, an application that resulted in reduced bacterial load and enhancing wound healing. Adding to the excitement regarding curcumin in multiple fields of medicine, most prominently in oncology, these new findings demonstrat that curcumin nanoparticles were more effective at both accelerating thermal burn wound closure and clearing infection with Methicillin Resistant S. aureus (MRSA) as compared to curcumin in its bulk size.