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Nanotechnology Spotlights

E-skin with multiple sensors bring us closer to human-friendly soft robots

robotic-gripperElectronic skin (e-skin) technology will give prosthetics and soft robotics a finer sense of touch, of what's hard and soft, hot and cold, smooth and rough. Researchers have now demonstrated a soft robotic hand integrated with four tactile force sensors and one temperature sensor to give it similar sensitivity to a human hand. By integrating an e-skin, the tactile pressure to grab an object and the friction movement of an...

Jun 20, 2019

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Learning in artificial synapses tuned by light

synapseThere is a huge effort underway to use memristor devices in neuromorphic computing applications and it is now reasonable to imagine the development of a new generation of artificial intelligent devices with very low power consumption (non-volatile), ultra-fast performance and high-density integration. In new work,r esearchers were not only able to achieve to small switching effects in memristors using light, they take advantage...

Jun 19, 2019

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Detecting intersubband polaritons in a single nanoantenna

nanoantennaElectronic transitions between confined states within a quantum well are widely used in optoelectronics. Familiar examples include quantum cascade lasers and quantum well infrared photodetectors, which can operate in a wide range of wavelengths, from the far- to near-infrared. There is growing interest in studying this phenomenon because it may enable novel devices such as polariton lasers and because the physics of ISB polaritons...

Jun 18, 2019

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Early cancer detection with sensory protein corona 'fingerprints'

haet-mapWhen nanoparticles enter the blood stream or other biological fluids, they are quickly surrounded by a layer of proteins. This so-called protein corona on the nanoparticles hinders interactions between the targeting ligands on the nanoparticles and their binding partners on the cells' surface. Different individuals may have a personalized protein corona owing to their distinct type, severity and period of disease, heterogeneity,...

Jun 17, 2019

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Laser-induced graphene composites are eminently wearable

flexible-electronicsTo realize the commercial potential of graphene, for instance for wearable electronics, it is necessary to develop reliable, cost-effective and facile processes for the industry-scale fabrication of graphene-based devices. A novel solution involves the synthesis of high-performance stretchable graphene ink using a facile, scalable, and low-cost laser induction method for the synthesis of the graphene component. This also is...

Jun 14, 2019

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MOF-encapsulated DNA for gene therapy

gene-deliveryA critical challenge in gene therapy is the safe and effective delivery of genetic materials across cell membranes into target cells. Although viral systems have been the most effective method for delivering genetic matter into cells, they pose significant safety problems. Demonstrating a novel alternative delivery vector, researchers have developed a facile one-pot strategy to encapsulate plasmid DNA into nanoscale metal-organic...

Jun 13, 2019

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How to characterize nanoparticles

nanoparticlesNanoparticle characterization is a broad and complex discipline. Even today, researchers are still challenged by the task of determining the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles and exploring their structure-function relationships. A recent review article provides a set of guidelines to investigate and characterize the key parameters defining a nanoparticle sample, namely size, shape, surface charge, and porosity. It...

Jun 05, 2019

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Turning agricultural biowaste into high-value 3D-printing materials

sensorBagasse is a waste plant matter obtained by food industry processes with major potential for several high-value products. An innovative idea of utilizing bagasse is for production of nanocellulose and testing this for wound dressing devices, manufactured by 3D printing. The next step in the development of wound dressings is the personalized aspect of the biomaterials, i.e. wound dressings that are structured and composed of...

Jun 03, 2019

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Let's do the twist - rotation-tunable 2D electronics

moire-patternResearchers commonly observe a relative rotation between individual layers of 2D materials. Importantly, these interlayer rotation angles, i.e. at what angle two individual layers are oriented towards each other, influence the electronic properties of the resulting material system. In new work, researchers reveal a general moire-driven mechanism that governs the interlayer rotation. At the core of these findings is the concept...

May 31, 2019

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