Hollow nanotubes with walls just a few atoms thick are increasingly being used to monitor biological processes in individual cells. Such nanotubes can be loaded with fluorescent molecules that respond to certain biochemicals or a change in temperature or pH with a measurable change in fluorescence. Most of the biological probes developed so far rely on carbon nanotubes. Now, a research team from Japan has now produced a probe using nanotubes made of boron and nitrogen atoms.
Two Virginia Tech research groups have combined forces to devise a way to measure Nafion's internal structure and, in the process, have discovered how to manipulate this structure to enhance the material's applications.
Have you ever wondered what happens to sunscreen after it swirls down the drain with your soap? Probably not, but it is a question that makes Prof. Chin-Pao Huang curious. Sunscreen contains titanium dioxide, an engineered nanoparticle (ENP) that improves the product's performance, reducing your sunburn risk while outdoors.
Drexel University's Yury Gogotsi and colleagues recently needed an atom's-eye view of a promising supercapacitor material to sort out experimental results that were exciting but appeared illogical. The team discovered you can increase the energy stored in a carbon supercapacitor dramatically by shrinking pores in the material to a seemingly impossible size - seemingly impossible because the pores were smaller than the solvent-covered electric charge-carriers that were supposed to fit within them.
The world's first three-dimensional plasmon rulers, capable of measuring nanometer-scale spatial changes in macromolecular systems, could provide scientists with unprecedented details on such critical dynamic events in biology as the interaction of DNA with enzymes, the folding of proteins, the motion of peptides or the vibrations of cell membranes.
Uppsala researcher Zhigang Wu, working with collaborators, has devised a wireless sensor that can stand to be stretched. For example, the sensor can measure intensive body movements and wirelessly send information directly to a computer.