Nanotechnology Spotlights

Nanotechnology-based mRNA vaccines: From the fight against COVID-19 to cancer immunotherapy and HIV vaccines

mrnaThe success of mRNA technology in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine has become a groundbreaking development in the fight against cancer, as well as in the development of new vaccines against many other infectious diseases, including HIV. Future nanotechnology-based mRNA vaccines could allow the delivery of multiple antigen-targeted vaccines in one vaccine lipid nanoparticle to protect against multiple diseases,...

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Universal light-driven rotation platform for nanoparticles and live cells

rotationThe controlled rotation of micro- and nanoscale objects plays a crucial role in sensing, imaging, biomedicine, and manufacturing. What makes light-driven micro- and nanorotors so promising for many applications is their non-contact, fuel-free operation. It has remained challenging for simple and low-power optics to achieve light-driven rotation of a wide range of objects, including optically symmetric synthetic particles...

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Synthesis of 'naked' tellurium dioxide nanoparticles for antimicrobial and anti-cancer applications

microbesBy irradiating a pure tellurium target in deionized water, researchers formed 'naked' tellurium dioxide nanoparticles with a spherical morphology and a size of around 70 nm. The surface of those nanoparticles is totally clean (hence 'naked'), meaning that it does not contain any residues from chemical reactions. This surface cleanliness makes them ideal to interact with biological pathogens and it takes less than...

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Novel materials and technologies for urban farming

urban-farmingWith a growing sustainability movement around the globe, the concept of urban farming has gained huge popularity for the development of sustainable communities. Urban farming practices don't necessarily use the same practices as conventional farming; this is especially true for the more high-tech approaches taken in vertical farming and warehouse farming. There is an opportunity and a requirement for smart technologies...

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Spray-n-Sense: Spray-painting sensors on any surface

spray-canResearchers have developed a sprayable on-site sensing tool. The main application area for this sensor spray is the detection of specific analytes in an environment where sample collection is a difficult task either due to the target chemicals themselves or the area where the samples are located. A nebulization method allows for nanofibers to be sprayed onto any surface, while the accompanying phone-based application...

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Biodegradable electronic ink for recyclable printed electronics

e-inkThe goal of the electronics industry has always been to build durable devices with stable performance that last a very long time. Self-destructing, transient electronics however, are designed with the exact opposite goal: to dissolve harmlessly into their surroundings after functioning for a predetermined amount of time. Researchers now demonstrate novel biodegradable, recyclable, conductive, flexible, and printable...

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Learning to understand how nanomaterials enter cells and how cells react

cell-imagingEvery cell relies on the uptake (endocytosis) of materials like proteins, cytokines and even synthetic carbon nanomaterials, to perform its required cellular fate functions. Studying this process in detail is an extremely challenging and thus extremely interesting goal in biophysics. Therefore, endocytosis is of interest for bringing therapeutic targets into cells. Studying the pathways of how materials get into...

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Achieving sub-MHz optical features resonator-free in solid-state

resonanceUltra-narrow optical features with a spectral bandwidth below 1 megahertz are highly sought-after for applications in ultrahigh-precision sensing, narrow-band filtering, and information storage for optical computing - but unfortunately they are extremely challenging to generate. But now there is a novel way to achieve ultra-narrow optical features. And unlike conventional approaches, it is cost-effective, has a simple...

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Novel cellulose aerogel radiative coolers for building applications

aerogelThe development of efficient cooling technology based on environmentally friendly and biobased materials is crucial to many day-to-day activities. A novel, highly efficient cellulose nanocrystal aerogel radiative cooler acts as a dual-function thermal insulator and daytime passive radiant cooler. These aerogel coolers can save on average more than 35% in cooling energy consumption and they are capable of achieving...

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Researchers develop 'attacking' droplets as a step towards biomimetic nanosystems (w/video)

kissing-dropletsOne of the key goals of nanochemistry is to develop artificial systems that imitate biological processes, particularly aiming at replicating the basic behavior of life forms. In this field, the interaction between droplets is gaining increasing attention as model systems to approach the dynamic behaviors of living cells, which have evolved to harvest energy from their environments to drive the chemical processes...

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