Schematic drawing of a side view (A) of the device at the molecular level, showing the nanoparticle monolayers of gold (Au) and cadmium sulfide (CaS) and the dielectric barriers separating them. A third gold layer at the top of the device (coated with fle
June 12, 2006 One of the trickiest decisions facing a cancer surgeon today is where to stop cutting. The surgeon doesn't want to stop too soon and leave cancer cells in the patient's body, but he or she also doesn't want to take too many cells and do unnecessary damage to organs. That decision could soon be made much easier, though, thanks to a high-resolution touch sensor developed by chemical engineers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that may allow surgeons to tell at the level of a single layer of cells whether or not they have excised a tumor in its entirety. Ravi F. Saraf, and his doctoral student, Vivek Maheshwari, report in the June 9 issue of Science, the international weekly journal of science, that they have developed a self-assembling nanoparticle device that has touch sensitivity comparable to that of the human finger, a capability far beyond any mechanical devices now available.
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