Nanotechnology Spotlights

Identifying favorable immunological profiles suitable for personalized treatments with RNA nanoparticles

nucleic-acid-nanoparticleTherapeutic nucleic acids (TNAs) and nucleic acid nanoparticles (NANPs) are designed to enact specific intracellular responses beneficial for various biomedical applications. TNAs become especially attractive to researchers and clinicians since their functional versatility, programmability and modularity show great promise for treating disorders such as viral infections, cancers, and genetic disorders. Scientists...

Read more

Nanobiomimetic strategies for medicine

tumor-cellThe defenses of the body's immune system tend to destroy synthetic nanoparticles and frequently they are captured and removed from the body within few minutes. This, of course, is a major barrier to the use of nanotechnology in medicine. In order to evade the host immune response, researchers are demonstrating that the combination of nanomaterials and biomimetic strategies can change diverse nanomaterials from 'distinguishable...

Read more

Plasmonic nano-dynamite as power source for nanomachines

nanodynamiteOne convenient way to manipulate nanoscale objects with remote controllability is actuation and propulsion by light, which is largely based on optical and photothermal-induced forces. Unfortunately, the output of optical and photothermal-induced forces is small and speed is slow. This changes with a novel and intriguing nanoactuation system: plasmonic nanodynamite. This system can be optically triggered to eject...

Read more

Microbatteries much smaller than a grain of rice for a smart dust future

micro-batteryOne of the challenges of realizing smart dust concepts, as well as nano- and microrobotics in general, is a lack of equally small on-chip power sources for ubiquitous anytime anywhere operation. Now, researchers have created an on-chip micro-Swiss-roll battery by using a self-assembly process known as micro-origami. The batteries are 3 mm in length and about 178 micros in diameter and the self-assembly mechanism...

Read more

A nanofluidic osmotic energy generator

COF-nanoporesEnormous free-energy dissipation takes place when fresh river water mixes with salty sea water. This so-called osmotic energy, which normally goes to waste, can be harvested with nanostructured membranes that are put between the two types of water. Porous materials with intrinsic nano or sub-nanochannels, such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are considered good candidates...

Read more

Reducing food waste with novel biomaterials technologies

rotten-strawberryFood waste reduction offers multi-faceted wins for people and planet, improving food security, addressing climate change, saving money and reducing pressures on land, water, biodiversity and waste management systems. Numerous approaches are being taken to tackle the food waste problem. Some of them are technology-based with the goal of sustainably producing more food with less inputs and to minimize food waste from...

Read more

Novel platform allows five types of programmable optothermal manipulation of micro- and nanoparticles

round-particleResearchers have developed an optothermal platform with five manipulation modes - printing, tweezing, rotating, rolling, and shooting - using a single Gaussian laser beam. Switching between the different modes is achieved by simply tuning the optical power or the distance between laser and object, and can be automated through software programming. This novel multimodal manipulation technique relies on the coordination...

Read more

Solar power for space applications

solar-energy-in-spaceThe systems that generate power for spacecrafts either in Earth orbit or for other solar system and deep space destinations belong to the critical components of every mission. The huge improvements in photovoltaics over the past decades has paved the way for the exploitation of solar cells also for satellites traveling into deep space beyond Mars. 2D materials show a high potential for both PV and radiation-resistant...

Read more

Engineering living hydrogels

hydrogelInspired by living biological systems, which can sense, process information, and actuate in response to changing environmental conditions, researchers are exploring engineered living hydrogels. The convergence of engineering, biology, and materials science over the past 20 years is providing unprecedented opportunities to integrate living cells into these hydrogels. This integration yields engineered living hydrogels...

Read more

Investigating water/oil interfaces with opto-thermophoretic tweezers

oil-bubblesSpontaneous charging of interfaces between water and hydrophobic media is a mysterious feature whose nature and origin - despite many efforts to explain them - are still not fully understood. Many spectroscopic results and interpretations along with computational work are not consistent with one another and a consensus on the nature and origin of interfacial charging has not been reached. A clear understanding of...

Read more
Read more nanotechnology spotlights