Posts Tagged ‘Nanotechnology’

Posted: July 17, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Living organisms have developed sophisticated ways to maintain stability in a changing environment, withstanding fluctuations in temperature, pH, pressure, and the presence or absence of crucial molecules. The integration of similar features in artificial materials, however, has remained a challenge—until now. In the July 12 issue of Nature, a Harvard-led team of engineers presented a strategy for building self-thermoregulating nanomaterials that can, in principle, be tailored to maintain a set pH, pressure, or just about any other desired parameter by meeting the environmental changes with a compensatory chemical feedback response. Called SMARTS (Self-regulated Mechano-chemical Adaptively Reconfigurable Tunable System), this newly developed materials platform offers a customizable way to autonomously turn chemical reactions on and off and reproduce the type of dynamic self-powered feedback loops found in biological systems. (via Smart materials get SMARTer — Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)

Posted: July 10, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Carbon nanotubes, which are 100 times stronger than steel, can be snapped like a twig by tiny air bubbles, new research shows.

Carbon nanotubes—hollow tubes of pure carbon about as wide as a strand of DNA—are one of the most-studied materials in nanotechnology. For well over a decade, scientists have used ultrasonic vibrations to separate and prepare nanotubes in the lab.

We find that the old saying ‘I will break but not bend’ does not hold at the micro- and nanoscale,” says Rice University engineering researcher Matteo Pasquali, the lead scientist on the study, which appears this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

(via Futurity.org – Bubbles snap nanotubes like twigs)

Posted: July 6, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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The new shear-activated nanotherapeutic has the potential to overcome these efficacy limitations. By targeting and concentrating drug at the precise site of the blood vessel obstruction, the Wyss team has been able to achieve improved survival in mice with occluded lung vessels with less than 1/50th of the normal therapeutic dose, which should translate into fewer side effects and greater safety. This raises the possibility that, in the future, an emergency technician might be able immediately administer this nanotherapeutic to anyone suspected of having a life-threatening blood clot in a vital organ before the patient even reached the hospital. (via Novel nanotherapeutic delivers clot-busting drugs directly to obstructed blood vessels | Science Codex)

Posted: June 13, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Scientists have developed a porous material with unique carbon dioxide adsorption properties.The findings, published in Nature Materials, form part of ongoing efforts to develop new materials for gas storage applications and could have an impact in the advancement of new carbon capture products for reducing emissions from fossil fuel processes.

Posted: June 11, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Cycling in the rain wearing jeans used to be unthinkable, but not any more thanks to innovations in fabric technology. The new Commuter range from Levi’s, designed specifically for the urban cyclist, is water resistant and dirt repellent, while offering just the right amount of stretch for mobility. Coming in a work shirt, trousers, jeans and trucker jacket, they are an example of the growing trend for performance apparel – a blend of function and fashion, where outdoor functionality meets urban style. One of the key components of the Commuter range is NanoSphere Technology, invented by Swiss textile company Schoeller, which allows water to simply run off the surface of the denim. This also works for ketchup, honey, coffee or red wine. If they don’t run off, they can easily be rinsed off. NanoSphere textiles require less frequent washing and can be washed at lower temperatures. As fashion brands like Levi’s make their garments more functional, the trend is reciprocated with streetwear style influencing outdoor and ski products. (via Nanotechnology and style unite | Stuff.co.nz)

Posted: June 4, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Anyone who knows a thing or two about biology knows that stem cells have tremendous potential in medicine: anything from repairing and replenishing heart cells after an attack to replacing nerve cells that are progressively lost in the brain of a person with Parkinson’s. One of the big challenges of using stem cells as a therapy is coaxing them to grow into the specific type of tissue that is required. In the body this happens thanks to precise chemical and physical signals, not all of which are yet understood or characterised. Using chemicals to direct the fate of stem cells has worked in laboratories, but the outcomes are not always safe or predictable. Now, a team from Northwestern University in the US thinks it has a solution. They say that they can direct the developmental fate of stem cells using only physical cues, by adapting a well-known technique that traces three-dimensional microscopic shapes and reconstructs them on flat surfaces. The process is called scanning probe lithography. (via How nanotechnology is shaping stem cell research | Nanotechnology world | guardian.co.uk)

Posted: May 28, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Nanotechnology leads to novel materials, new exposures and potentially unique health and environmental risks – or so the argument goes. But an increasing body of research is showing that relatively uniformly sized nanometer scale particles are part and parcel of the environment we live in. For instance a number of simple organisms such as bacteria and diatoms have the capacity to produce nanoparticles, either as part of their natural behavior or under specific conditions. Nanoscale minerals, it seems, play an important role in shaping the world we live in. Metals like silver wantonly shed silver nanoparticles into our food and water according to research published last year. And now a group of researchers have shown that food containing caramelized sugar contains uniformly sized amorphous carbon particles.

Carbon Nanoparticles could be Ubiquitous to Many Foods