You might think that with all the buzz that nanotechnology creates among insiders (mostly scientists) there would be a rising awareness and interest among the general public. Apparently not so. If internet search engines are an indication for the general interest then nanotechnology is not a big issue yet.
Multidrug resistance, the principal mechanism by which many cancers develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs, is a major factor in the failure of many forms of chemotherapy. New research by Chinese scientists suggests that nanoparticle surface chemistry and size as well as the unique properties of the magnetic nanoparticles themselves may contribute to a synergistic enhanced effect of drug uptake of targeted cancer cells. These findings could result in promising biomedical applications for cancer therapy.
The mass production of nanoelectronic devices has been hampered by difficulties in aligning and integrating the millions of nanotubes required for the job. Now, researchers in South Korea have developed a method to precisely assemble and align single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) onto solid substrates without relying on external forces such as electric or magnetic fields. This result could be an important guideline for the large-scale directed-assembly of integrated devices based on SWCNTs.
New research shows that ZnO nanostructures are suitable for electrochemical biosensors. The enzyme used for glucose detection, glucose oxidase, was attached to ZnO nanocombs which resulted in a biosensor that exhibits a high affinity, high sensitivity, and fast response for glucose detection. This simple method of fabricating ZnO based biosensor can be extended to immobilize other enzymes and other bioactive molecules on various 1D metal oxide nanostructures, and form versatile electrodes for biosensor studies.
The controlled release of biomolecules or nanoparticles is a problem of general interest for a wide range of applications. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have demonstrated the programmed release, by applying a small voltage pulse, of biomolecules and nanoparticles chemically tethered to patterned electrode arrays.
Applying atomic layer deposition (ALD) to biological macromolecules opens a route to fabricate metal oxide nanotubes and thin films with embedded biomolecules. The combination of biomaterials and ALD does not yet allow for a construction of a device. However, there are some indications that the synthesis of thin films with embedded functional biomolecules, such as ferritin, might be suitable for e.g. flexible electronics.
Carbon nanotubes have been used as nanoreactors in a simple thermal reaction process for the fabrication of high-quality, large-yield single-crystalline magnesium nitride nanowires. These nanowires are homogeneously sheathed over the entire lengths with very thin graphitic carbon tubular layers, which effectively prevent the decomposition in the presence of water in the atmosphere.
Researchers in Belarus developed a new technology that significantly improves the safety of using laser nano-thermolysis to destroy cancerous cells. The method, dubbed LANTCET (laser activated nano thermolysis as cell elimination technology), uses clusters of gold nanoparticles to create vapor microbubbles that can kill targeted cells.