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Archive for the ‘nanotechnology’ category

Aug 3, 2020

Researchers advance fuel cell technology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, chemistry, energy, nanotechnology, sustainability, transportation

Washington State University researchers have made a key advance in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) that could make the highly energy-efficient and low-polluting technology a more viable alternative to gasoline combustion engines for powering cars.

Led by Ph.D. graduate Qusay Bkour and Professor Su Ha in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, the researchers have developed a unique and inexpensive nanoparticle catalyst that allows the to convert logistic liquid fuels such as gasoline to electricity without stalling out during the electrochemical process. The research, featured in the journal, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, could result in highly efficient gasoline-powered cars that produce low carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.

“People are very concerned about energy, the environment, and global warming,” said Bkour. “I’m very excited because we can have a solution to the energy problem that also reduces the emissions that cause global warming.”

Aug 3, 2020

Researchers develop technique for processing surfaces on an atomic scale

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics

Nobody can shoot a bullet through a banana in such a way that the skin is perforated but the banana remains intact. However, on the level of individual atomic layers, researchers at TU Wien (Vienna) have now achieved such a feat—they developed a nano-structuring method with which certain layers of material can be perforated extremely precisely and others left completely untouched, even though the projectile penetrates all layers. This is made possible with the help of highly charged ions. They can be used to selectively process the surfaces of novel 2-D material systems, for example, to anchor certain metals on them, which can then serve as catalysts. The new method has now been published in the journal ACS Nano.

New materials from ultra-thin layers

Materials that are composed of several ultra-thin layers are regarded as an exciting new field of materials research. The high-performance material graphene, which consists of only a single of carbon atoms, has been used in many new thin-film materials with promising new properties.

Jul 30, 2020

Challenging a central tenet of chemistry

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

Steve Granick, Director of the IBS Center for Soft and Living Matter and Dr. Huan Wang, Senior Research Fellow, report together with 5 interdisciplinary colleagues in the July 31 issue of the journal Science that common chemical reactions accelerate Brownian diffusion by sending long-range ripples into the surrounding solvent.

The findings violate a central dogma of chemistry, that and chemical reaction are unrelated. To observe that molecules are energized by chemical reaction is “new and unknown,” said Granick. “When one substance transforms to another by breaking and forming bonds, this actually makes the molecules move more rapidly. It’s as if the chemical reactions stir themselves naturally.”

“Currently, nature does an excellent job of producing molecular machines but in the natural world scientists have not understood well enough how to design this property,” said Wang. “Beyond curiosity to understand the world, we hope that practically this can become useful in guiding thinking about transducing chemical energy for molecular motion in liquids, for nanorobotics, precision medicine and greener material synthesis.”

Jul 26, 2020

New Photonic Crystal Light Converter: Powerful Tool for Observation in Physics and Life Sciences

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology

Spectroscopy is the use of light to analyze physical objects and biological samples. Different kinds of light can provide different kinds of information. Vacuum ultraviolet light is useful as it can aid people in a broad range of research fields, but generation of that light has been difficult and expensive. Researchers created a new device to efficiently generate this special kind of light using an ultrathin film with nanoscale perforations.

The wavelengths of light you see with your eyes constitute a mere fraction of the possible wavelengths of light that exist. There’s infrared light which you can feel in the form of heat, or see if you happen to be a snake, that has a longer wavelength than visible light. At the opposite end is ultraviolet (UV) light which you can use to produce vitamin D in your skin, or see if you happen to be a bee. These and other forms of light have many uses in science.

Continue reading “New Photonic Crystal Light Converter: Powerful Tool for Observation in Physics and Life Sciences” »

Jul 26, 2020

Novel Drug Delivery Particles Use Neurotransmitters as a ‘Passport’ Into the Brain

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, nanotechnology, neuroscience

Summary: Tufts researchers have developed neurotransmitter-lipid hybrids that help transport therapeutic drugs and gene editing proteins across the blood-brain barrier in mice.

Source: Tufts University

Biomedical engineers at the Tufts University School of Engineering have developed tiny lipid-based nanoparticles that incorporate neurotranmitters to help carry drugs, large molecules, and even gene editing proteins across the blood-brain barrier and into the brain in mice. The innovation, published today in Science Advances, could overcome many of the current limitations encountered in delivering therapeutics into the central nervous system, and opens up the possibility of using a wide range of therapeutics that would otherwise not have access to the brain.

Jul 25, 2020

Neurotransmitter-derived lipidoids (NT-lipidoids) for enhanced brain delivery through intravenous injection

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, neuroscience

Utilizing neurotransmitters as a passport into the brain:


Safe and efficient delivery of blood-brain barrier (BBB)–impermeable cargos into the brain through intravenous injection remains a challenge. Here, we developed a previously unknown class of neurotransmitter–derived lipidoids (NT-lipidoids) as simple and effective carriers for enhanced brain delivery of several BBB-impermeable cargos. Doping the NT-lipidoids into BBB-impermeable lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) gave the LNPs the ability to cross the BBB. Using this brain delivery platform, we successfully delivered amphotericin B (AmB), antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) against tau, and genome-editing fusion protein (−27)GFP-Cre recombinase into the mouse brain via systemic intravenous administration. We demonstrated that the NT-lipidoid formulation not only facilitates cargo crossing of the BBB, but also delivery of the cargo into neuronal cells for functional gene silencing or gene recombination. This class of brain delivery lipid formulations holds great potential in the treatment of central nervous system diseases or as a tool to study the brain function.

Jul 22, 2020

US scientists create ‘friction-free’ material

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have found a way to use diamonds and graphene to create a new material combination that demonstrates so-called superlubricity.

Led by nanoscientist Ani Sumant of Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) and Argonne Distinguished Fellow Ali Erdemir of Argonne’s Energy Systems Division, the Argonne team combined diamond nanoparticles, small patches of graphene, and a diamond-like carbon material to create superlubricity, a highly-desirable property in which friction drops to near zero.

According to Erdemir, as the graphene patches and diamond particles rub up against a large diamond-like carbon surface, the graphene rolls itself around the diamond particle, creating something that looks like a ball bearing on the nanoscopic level.

Jul 22, 2020

Invention offers new option for monitoring heart health

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, nanotechnology, wearables

An invention may turn one of the most widely used materials for biomedical applications into wearable devices to help monitor heart health.

A team from Purdue University developed self-powered wearable triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-based contact layers for monitoring cardiovascular health. TENGs help conserve and turn it into power.

The Purdue team’s work is published in the journal Advanced Materials.

Jul 21, 2020

IBM Seriously Just Turned an Atom Into The World’s Smallest Hard Drive

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, particle physics

Circa 2017


Data storage technology continues to shrink in size and grow in capacity, but scientists have just taken things to the next level — they’ve built a nanoscale hard drive using a single atom.

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Jul 20, 2020

Improved Advanced Energy Storage Using New Nano-Engineering Strategy

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering, nanotechnology, sustainability

New types of cathodes, suitable for advanced energy storage, can be developed using beyond-lithium ion batteries.

The rapid development of renewable energy resources has triggered tremendous demands in large-scale, cost-efficient and high-energy-density stationary energy storage systems.

Lithium ion batteries (LIBs) have many advantages but there are much more abundant metallic elements available such as sodium, potassium, zinc and aluminum.

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