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Nanoparticles

Microscopic image of the biodiesel emulsion fuel created by researchers

Nanoparticles have added yet another string to their microscopic bows with a new study showing that the addition of alumina nanoparticles can improve the performance and combustion of biodiesel, while producing fewer emissions. In the study, a team at India’s National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirappalli used nanoparticles with an average diameter of 51 billionths of a meter. The high surface-to-volume ratio of the nanoparticles means they have more reactive surfaces, which allows them to act as more efficient chemical catalysts and results in increased fuel combustion.  Read More

Scientists have created paper filters covered with silver nanoparticles, that could be use...

Silver is well-known for its antibacterial qualities, which has led to the use of silver nanoparticles in devices such as an experimental water filtration system developed by Stanford University. That system is intended as a relatively permanent setup, and it requires a small electrical current. Researchers from Montreal’s McGill University, however, have come up with a silver-based water treatment system that could conceivably be used instantly, in any place and at any time. While not intended as a routine method of killing water-borne bacteria, it could be very useful in emergency situations such as disaster relief.  Read More

Immune cells, tagged with green fluorescent protein, are surrounded by nanoparticles (red)...

Vaccines work by exposing the body to an infectious agent in order to prime the immune system to respond quickly when it encounters the pathogen again. Some vaccines, such as the diphtheria vaccine, consist of a synthetic version of a protein or other molecule normally made by the pathogen, while others, such as the polio and smallpox vaccines, use a dead or disabled form of the virus. However, such an approach cannot be used with HIV because it's difficult to render the virus harmless. MIT engineers have now developed a new type of nanoparticle that could safely and effectively deliver vaccines for infectious diseases such as HIV and malaria, and could even help scientists develop vaccines against cancer.  Read More

A nanoparticle-based process allows blood clots to show up on a new type of CT scan (Image...

Every year, millions of people come into emergency rooms complaining of chest pains, yet those pains are only sometimes due to heart attacks. Unfortunately in many of those cases, the only way to be sure of what’s going on is to admit the patient for an overnight stay, and administer time-consuming and costly tests. Now, however, a new procedure could reveal the presence and location of a blood clot within hours. It’s made possible by the injection of nanoparticles, each containing a million atoms of bismuth – a toxic heavy metal.  Read More

Project lead researcher Dr. Stefan Bon

One of the promising areas in the field of nanomedicine is the development of vesicles – microscopic polymer sacs, designed to deliver a payload of medication to specific sites in the body. Unfortunately, the body’s immune system often sees these vesicles as intruders, sending antibodies to thwart them in their mission. Now, drawing inspiration from plankton and bacteria, chemists from the University of Warwick are developing armor coatings that should help vesicles to withstand or avoid those attacks.  Read More

Copper-coated nanoparticles have been shown to be up to twice as effective as activated ca...

Nanotechnology has made huge advances possible in a variety of scientific fields, but the average non-scientist may particularly appreciate one of its latest applications – eliminating foul odors. In recent tests conducted by scientists from the University of Florida, copper-coated silica nanoparticles were shown to be up to twice as effective as activated carbon for neutralizing ethyl mercaptan, which is the stinky ingredient in natural gas.  Read More

Scientists have coated paper with silver nanoparticles, to create a 'killer paper' packagi...

Silver is a known killer of harmful bacteria, and has already been incorporated into things such as antibacterial keyboards, washing machines, water filters, and plastic coatings for medical devices. Now, scientists have added another potential product to the list: silver nanoparticle-impregnated “killer paper" packaging, that could help keep food from spoiling.  Read More

Nylstar has developed a new nanomaterial that is claimed to have moisturizing, protective ...

For as long as I can remember, keeping skin young and fresh has generally involved the liberal application of various moisturizing and nourishing creams with strange-sounding ingredients and an even greater number of anti-aging claims. Spain's Nylstar has managed to bind an important component of skin with 24K gold at a nanoscale level to create NYG nanoparticles. The new nanomaterial is then integrated with nylon fibers to make something called Nylgold dermawear, which is said to have a nourishing and protective effect on the skin of the wearer.  Read More

A pathology platform is about as big as a credit card, uses magnetic nanoparticles and tak...

A fast and easy test for sepsis, or blood poisoning as it is commonly known, has been developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Germany. The credit card-sized diagnostics platform called MinoLab uses magnetic nanoparticles to provide a diagnosis in a fraction of the time of current test and without samples having to be sent to a pathology lab. It might also prove useful for identifying genetic predispositions and diagnosing cancer.  Read More

In a new non-toxic process, cinnamon has been used to render nanoparticles from gold salts...

Gold nanoparticles, while showing great promise in fields such as electronics, medical imaging and cancer treatment, nonetheless involve a fairly environmentally-unfriendly production process. Typically, they are produced via liquid chemical methods that involve the use of various noxious substances, such as chlorauric acid. As the field of nanotechnology grows, so do concerns over the consequences for the Earth. University of Missouri scientist Kattesh Katti has found a new method for producing gold nanoparticles that does away with almost all of the toxic agents... and replaces them with cinnamon.  Read More

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