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Nanoparticles


— Medical

Nanoparticles help wounds to heal 50 percent faster

An experimental nanoparticle therapy cuts in half the time wounds take to heal compared to natural healing. The therapy has already been tested successfully in mice and will soon be tried on pigs, whose skin is similar to that of humans. If it reaches clinical use in humans, this sort of nanoparticle therapy could be used to speed healing of surgical incisions, chronic skin ulcers, and everyday cuts and burns and other wounds. Read More
— Environment

Food additive could find use in more efficient non-toxic antifreeze

Because of its sweet flavor and aroma, thousands of wild animals, pets and children are poisoned by drinking automotive antifreeze/coolant every year. Its particularly nasty ingredient is ethylene glycol, which affects the central nervous system, heart and kidneys to the point that it can ultimately prove lethal. Now, however, scientists from Colorado-based ACTA Technology, Inc. have replaced the ethylene glycol with another compound that's not only safe, but that also improves the performance of the antifreeze. Read More
— Medical

Magnetic nanoparticles open blood-brain barrier for delivery of therapeutic molecules

The blood-brain barrier is a highly selective semipermeable barrier running inside almost all vessels in the brain that lets through water, some gases and a few other select molecules, while preventing potentially toxic elements in the blood from entering the brain. Researchers from the University of Montreal, Polytechnique Montréal, and CHU Sainte-Justine say that currently 98 percent of therapeutic molecules are also blocked by the barrier, but they have developed a technique using magnetic nanoparticles that opens the door for such molecules, thereby also opening the door to new treatments for brain diseases. Read More
— Environment

Gold and other valuable metals may be harvested from sewage

Mining operations tend not be very good for the environment, nor does the disposal of treated solid waste that still contains potentially-toxic metals. Now, however, scientists are looking into taking that waste and harvesting its trace amounts of metals such as gold, silver and platinum. Doing so could ultimately reduce the need for mining and decrease the amount of metals entering the environment, while also turning sewage into a source of revenue. Read More
— Environment

Packing peanuts could be reused in better batteries

When a new lab was recently being set up at Purdue University in Indiana, a lot of the equipment arrived in boxes full of protective packing "peanuts." Unfortunately, few facilities exist for recycling the little pieces of foam, so they typically end up sitting in (or getting blown around) landfills for several decades. A team of Purdue researchers, however, discovered that they could find use in better-performing lithium-ion batteries. Read More
— Medical

MIT designs 10-minute ebola test

Researchers from MIT claim to have developed an easy-to-use blood test that can be applied in the field, allowing for the screening of multiple diseases at once. The test is said to provide results in around 10 minutes, and could be instrumental in stopping the epidemic spread of fatal diseases such as Ebola. Read More
— Medical

Magnetic nanoparticles quickly bust blood clots to promise improved stroke prevention

Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a drug commonly used by surgeons to bust open blood clots in a patient's bloodstream, but it does have its limitations. Once injected, there's no guarantee it will reach the site of the blood clot, and even then, having it arrive in the correct dosage can be tricky, with the risk of hemorrhage a very real possibility. Researchers have now found that using a new type of magnetic nanoparticle to deliver the drug offers a much more efficient journey to the site, promising to destroy blood clots 100 to 1,000 times faster and aid significantly in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes. Read More
— Science

More human-friendly antibacterial coating made from gold

We've been hearing a lot about the antibacterial qualities of silver, with silver nanoparticles finding use in everything from water filters to food packaging. Unfortunately, there are also concerns about the toxicity of those particles, particularly when they enter our bodies. Now, however, Polish scientists have developed what they claim is a safer alternative – an antibacterial coating that kills microbes using gold. Read More
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