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Nanotechnology Spotlights

Piezoelectric nanogenerators made from spider silk

spider_silkSpider silk fibers show nature's most outstanding mechanical properties, for example, excellent tensile strength and elasticity, and remarkable protein sequence structure. So far, it has remained completely unidentified how the mechanical properties of spider silk fibers effectively contribute to the performance of a piezoelectric nanogenerator. Now, researchers have successfully demonstrated by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy...

Posted: Jun 14, 2018

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Flexible, implantable nutrient sensors based on metal-organic frameworks

MOFResearchers have demonstrated materials and techniques to achieve highly sensitive flexible biosensors integrated with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) - essentially inorganic?organic hybrids that contain repeated metal ions connected with organic ligands. These high-throughput flexible devices can achieve highly specific and sensitive electrochemical detection and can be used to monitor neurotransmitters and nutrients in vivo....

Posted: Jun 13, 2018

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Eggshell membranes from bio waste could be harvesters for green energy

eggshellIn new work, researchers explore inexpensive, biodegradable and daily-waste eggshell membrane as a novel bio-piezoelectric material for harvesting green energy. The uniqueness of our work lies in the novelty of directly utilizing natural eggshell membranes as efficient piezoelectric material. This simple, innovative approach could provide huge benefits for research in future energy science, especially with regard to in vivo...

Posted: Jun 12, 2018

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Potential nanotechnology applications in combating opioid drug abuse

pillsDrug abuse and dependence/addiction are complex disorders that are regulated by a wide range of interacting networks of genes and pathways that control a variety of phenotypes. Therefore, both identification of the at-risk population and treatment of the addiction disorders are strongly reliant on the development of new and innovative approaches for understanding the mechanisms underlying drug dependency and addiction. There...

Posted: Jun 01, 2018

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Microfluidics meets silver nanowires: transparent and flexible circuits with ultra precise pattern control

nanowiresResearchers have developed a new process for completely transparent and flexible circuits of any patterns as one wishes. The circuit patterns are created via the well-developed microfluidic technology on transparent and flexible substrates. The conductors are generated by spin coating of silver nanowires along the patterns. The advance stimulates more implications in future electronics. The researchers have demonstrated a...

Posted: May 31, 2018

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Turning hair into a biomedical nanomaterial

hairScientists have discovered that the hierarchical micro- and nanostructures of human hair can be turned into hierarchical micro- and nanoparticles with a simple top-down procedure and be used as a novel type of biomaterial for medical applications. This strategy of preparing biomaterials from abundant human hair might provide a potent tool for producing autogenous materials from patients themselves to overcome the drawbacks...

Posted: May 30, 2018

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Transparent graphene implant for deep brain imaging and optogenetics

brain_implantAlthough advances in optical technologies such as multi-photon microscopy and optogenetics have revolutionized researchers' ability to record and manipulate neuronal activity, integration of optical modalities with electrical recordings is challenging due to generation of light-induced artifacts. In new work, scientists report a transparent graphene microelectrode neural implant that eliminates light-induced artifacts to enable...

Posted: May 24, 2018

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Moisture-powered electronics

graphVery different from piezoelectric and other energy harvesting technologies, new research shows that water vapor or moisture expand the range of natural phenomena that can be used to generate electric power. Researchers demonstrate that moisture, a vast kind of resource existing ubiquitously on earth and in biological organisms, can be exploited as a novel harvestable energy to generate electricity. Although some device configurations...

Posted: May 23, 2018

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Nature-inspired nanotechnology: skin-mimicking sensors

skin-inspired_sensorMimicking the exciting skin structure and function, researchers have designed hierarchical nanoporous and interlocked micro ridge structured polymers with gradient stiffness. The gradient elastic modulus of interlocked and micro ridge structured polymers effectively transfers the external stress and induces the large frictional contact between two polymeric layers, which facilitates their use in self-powered triboelectric...

Posted: May 22, 2018

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