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Nanoparticles

Researchers at the University of York in the U.K. have transformed the polyvinyl-alcohol (...

Who would have thought television could be good for you? Researchers at the University of York in the U.K. have transformed a chemical compound found in LCD television sets into an anti-microbial substance that destroys infections such as Escherichia coli and some strains of Staphylococcus aureus. The treated polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA) could potentially also be used in tissue scaffolds to help parts of the body regenerate, pills and dressings that deliver drugs, and hospital cleaning products to prevent infection.  Read More

Plastic antibodies, such as this cluster of particles, may fight a wide range of human dis...

From bricks to jackets, it seems just about anything can be made using plastic nowadays. The latest items to get a plastic fantastic makeover are antibodies – proteins produced by the body’s immune system to recognize and fight infections from foreign substances. Scientists are reporting the first evidence that a plastic antibody works in the bloodstream of a living animal, opening up the possibility of plastic antibodies being custom tailored to fight everything from viruses and bacteria to the proteins that cause allergic reactions.  Read More

Glucose molecules such as this can cause serious problems for diabetes sufferers

Diabetes is an enormous global problem... and it is on the rise. Despite decades of research and advances in technology, the methods of accurately measuring glucose in the body are still quite primitive. A new type of blood glucose monitor being developed at MIT could not only eliminate the need for finger pricks, but could also offer more accurate readings by way of a “tattoo” of nanoparticles injected below the skin.  Read More

The multi-metallic nanoparticle created for fuel-cell reactions uses a palladium core and ...

The most obvious obstacles for the widespread adoption of fuel cell technology are cost and performance. Although they promise benefits over internal combustion engines and batteries in terms of environmental impact, they are still fairly limited in use for these reasons. One of the most expensive elements used in most fuel cells is platinum, but now researchers have created a unique core and shell nanoparticle that uses far less platinum, yet performs more efficiently and lasts longer than commercially available pure-platinum catalysts at the cathode end of fuel cell reactions.  Read More

Nanoparticles suspended in a microemulsion can be easily separated when heated

Nanoparticles may be small, but they sure ain’t cheap - ounce for ounce some of them are more precious than gold. Which is why scientists are seeking better ways to recover, recycle, and reuse the tiny particles that are barely 1/50,000th the width of a human hair. A new method to recover these valuable specks using a special type of microemulsion may make such recovery efforts easier and speed the application of nanotechnology in a variety of fields.  Read More

A schematic of a silicon-carbon nanocomposite granule that could help boost the performanc...

The current crop of battery technology seems unable to keep up with the increasing demands we are placing on our ever-growing collection of mobile devices. Which is why research into next generation battery technology is such a focus around the world. A new high-performance anode structure based on silicon-carbon composite materials could significantly improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries used in our portable electronics and gaining widespread use in electric and hybrid vehicles.  Read More

Rizwan Bashirullah holds a pill capsule designed to signal when a patient has swallowed it...

Patients forgetting, bungling or just plain refusing to take their medication is a big problem for health care professionals and patients alike. It can exacerbate medical problems, spurring hospitalizations or expensive medical procedures and undercut clinical trials of new drugs. In seeking a way to confirm that patients have taken their medication a team of researchers have added a tiny microchip and digestible antenna to a standard pill capsule that automatically alerts doctors when the pill has actually been ingested.  Read More

Igniting fullerene nanostructures via low-power lasers could find applications in the medi...

Researchers at the University of Florida have found they can use low-power lasers as a cheap and efficient way to light and ignite nanoparticles. The discovery could lead to important advancements in the medical, computing and automotive fields.  Read More

In nanocage-injected mice (left), the surface of the tumor quickly became hot enough to ki...

Cancer is a disease whose treatments are notoriously indiscriminate and nonspecific. Researchers have been searching for a highly targeted medical treatment that attacks cancer cells but leaves healthy tissue alone. A team of scientists at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) is working on gold nanocages that, when injected, selectively accumulate in tumors. When the tumors are later bathed in laser light, the surrounding tissue is barely warmed, but the nanocages convert light to heat, killing the malignant cells.  Read More

Controlled release and intracellular delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agent into the...

One of the most promising applications in the emerging field of nanomedicine is cancer treatment. The ability to target individual cells provides safer and more effective treatment than current approaches like chemotherapy in which healthy cells become collateral damage in the effort to knock out cancerous tumors. This potential has again been demonstrated by scientists at Rice University who have developed a way to "blow up" individual diseased cells using lasers and gold nanoparticles.  Read More

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