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Nanotechnology Spotlights

A novel approach to Density Functional Theory

hydrogen_moleculeIn the past decades, the Density Functional Theory (DFT) has been very successful in helping chemists and physicists understand the properties of matter at extremely small scales. Although some problems still remain in the standard implementation of DFT, it represents an important theoretical tool which is used on a daily basis. Scientists now propose a variant of the standard DFT which could pave the way towards the simulation...

Posted: Apr 22, 2014

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Magnetic nanovoyagers in human blood

nanopropellerWhile nanotechnology researchers have made great progress over the past few years in developing self-propelled nano objects, these tiny devices still fall far short of what their natural counterparts' performance. Today, artificial nanomotors lack the sophisticated functionality of biomotors and are limited to a very narrow range of environments and fuels. In another step towards realizing the vision of tiny vessels roaming...

Posted: Apr 17, 2014

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Topological insulator - a novel optical and microwave-absorbing material

topological_insulatorRecently, a new Dirac material - a lattice system where the excitations are described by relativistic Dirac or Weyl equations - namely a topological insulator (TI), entered researchers' sight. TIs possess a small band gap in their bulk state and a gapless metallic state at their edge/surface. A research group working on two-dimensional materials photonicshas now experimentally demonstrated for the first time that TI may be...

Posted: Apr 15, 2014

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Researchers achieve complete control over on/off switching of the movement of a nanomachine

nanomotor Over the past few years, researchers have demonstrated that microtubules driven by kinesin make flexible, responsive and effective molecular shuttles for nanotransport applications. In order to fully control microtubules driven by kinesin it has to be possible to switch them on, switch them off, and regulate the speed and direction of their movements - achievements that until now researchers have't fully attained yet. Now,...

Posted: Apr 14, 2014

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Surface-modified nanocellulose hydrogels for wound dressing

nanocellulose_hydrogelNanocellulose from wood is a promising nanomaterial with potential applications as a substrate for printing electronics, filtration, or biomedicine. Researchers have now reported on a method to control the surface chemistry of nanocellulose. They fabricated nanocellulose gels that have a significantly higher swelling degree in neutral and alkaline conditions, compared to an acid environment. This material could be of great...

Posted: Apr 10, 2014

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A novel approach to designing drug-loaded nanoconstructs

nanoconstructNanomaterials for nanomedicine and biological applications are often two-component structures - referred to as 'nanoconstructs' -consisting of a 'hard' nanoparticle core and a 'soft' shell of biomolecular ligands. Researchers have now demonstrated a nanoconstruct with enhanced in vitro efficacy. This highly loaded nanoconstruct was taken up by pancreatic cancer cells and fibrosarcoma cells at fast rates. The team found that...

Posted: Apr 09, 2014

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New synthesis method for graphene using agricultural waste

grapheneResearchers have proposed an alternative way of making graphene from rice husk. This research, using an ordinary synthetic apparatus and abundant agricultural waste, suggest that low cost graphene materials could now be easily and cheaply synthesized on an industrial scale. Due to its abundance, risk husk has already received much attention as a starting material in generating high-value-added materials such as silica and...

Posted: Apr 07, 2014

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Brain-on-a-chip

artificial_brainScientists have great expectations that nanotechnologies will bring them closer to the goal of creating computer systems that can simulate and emulate the brain's abilities for sensation, perception, action, interaction and cognition while rivaling its low power consumption and compact size - basically a brain-on-a-chip. Already, scientists are working hard on laying the foundations for what is called neuromorphic engineering...

Posted: Apr 04, 2014

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