Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine News from around the World

The Drums Of BIO 2015: Dollars, Nano and Data

 By Louis Garguilo,

Three sounds among the drumbeat of discussions at BIO 2015 in Philadelphia reverberated most for me.  
The first came from the bass drum of money: Investment opportunities, private funding, IPOs, low interest rates ... but darkening macroeconomics. “Partnerships” sounded more like “payerships,” as financiers, biotechs, and specialty and big pharma, search for ways to fund novel ideas and bankroll products through development to commercial.
Next were the razor-sharp tones of the nanotechnology snare drum. With the arrival of nanobio, nanomedicine, and nano-a-lot-of-areas collectively, a third pillar of our part of the healthcare sector has emerged: now it’s Pharma, Bio, and Nano. This maturing technology may redefine what we think of as “medicine,” how we deliver drugs, and fight disease.
And hitting the cymbals with ringing exclamation was “the whole digital field interacting with pharma and bio,” as described by Monika Lessl, Ph.D., VP, Head of Innovation at Bayer AG.

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Scientists report a facile, highly efficient, and versatile strategy for preparation of free-standing single-monomer-thick 2D polymers in water without any aid.

Novel nanocellulose hydrogel suitable for 3D printing

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Topological insulator research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics

Researchers report they have created a TI film just 25 atoms thick that adheres to an insulating magnetic film, creating a heterostructure. This heterostructure makes TI surfaces magnetic at room temperatures and higher, to above 400 Kelvin or more than 720 degrees Fahrenheit.

New form of carbon discovered that is harder than diamond but flexible as rubber

Scientists have found a way to make carbon both very hard and very stretchy by heating it under high pressure. This 'compressed glassy carbon' is also lightweight and could potentially be made in very large quantities.

Nanostructured microfluidics platform detects infectious pathogens

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Bacterial organizational complexities revealed

For the first time, scientists have visualized the fine details of bacterial microcompartment shells - the organisms' submicroscopic nanoreactors, which are comprised completely of protein.

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

They look like security gates, but change shape in a cascade.

New design improves performance of flexible wearable electronics

In a proof-of-concept study, engineers have designed a flexible thermoelectric energy harvester that has the potential to rival the effectiveness of existing power wearable electronic devices using body heat as the only source of energy.

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

Versatile optomechanical beams have potential applications in biology, chemistry, electronics.

Exosomes - biological nanoparticles offer significant potential in detecting and treating disease

Exosomes - biological nanoparticles which transfer information between cells - offer significant potential in detecting and treating disease, the most comprehensive overview so far of research in the field has concluded.

Holey pattern boosts coherence of nanomechanical membrane vibrations

Researchers have introduced a new type of nanomechanical resonator, in which a pattern of holes localizes vibrations to a small region in a 30 nm thick membrane. The pattern dramatically suppresses coupling to random fluctuations in the environment, boosting the vibrations' coherence.

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

The generation mechanism of spin wave noise and the suppression method.

Highly sensitive nanofiber-embedded touchscreens

Researchers have demonstrated the fabrication of transparent and flexible cellulose nanofiber films with high k values by incorporating ultralong metal nanofibers.

Spin liquids - back to the roots

Scientists report on a neutron experiment exposing experimental signatures of a low-temperature state predicted 44 years ago.

Nanosheets may produce more durable and longer lasting lithium-ion batteries

The team invented a generalized method of producing anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. The anodes are made from ultrathin metal oxide nanosheets, which are ultrathin, two-dimensional materials with excellent electrochemical and mechanical properties.

Gold nanocone array for regulating neuronal behavior

Researchers report the enhanced neurite outgrowth of rat primary cortical neurons on the periodic gold nanocone arrays created on the soft and flexible Teflon films.

New femto-camera with quadrillion fractions of a second resolution

Researchers have built a setup for recording holograms of tiny objects like living cells with a femtosecond speed. The new method allows one to reconstruct phase topography of a studied sample according to deformations that emerge in a laser pulse when it passes through the specimen.

Extremely colorful, incredibly bright and highly multiplexed

Self-assembling reagents with tunable colors and brightness enable highly multiplexed tagging and microscopic imaging of complex samples.

Guiding brain tumor surgery with nanoprobes

Researchers have developed two pH-responsive nanoprobes to guide brain-tumor surgery via the magnetic resonance (MR) and surface-enhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy (SERRS) signals activated upon their self-assembly in acidic tumor extracellular fluid.

Common silver water treatments could damage DNA

Scientists are warning that a water treatment widely used in developing countries could be damaging the DNA of those drinking it.

Nano-drip by nano-drip

An experiment shows non-classical growth of crystals - the result will have implications for basic research as well as for practical applications.

Centimeter-sized objects 3D-printed with graphene foam

Nanotechnologists have used 3-D laser printing to fabricate centimeter-sized objects of atomically thin graphene.

How protons move through a fuel cell

Researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals - a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

Making functional nanoparticle assemblies through programmable stacking

Inspired by suprabiomolecular assembly governed by stacking interactions, researchers have developed a versatile strategy to assemble nanoparticles of diverse sizes and compositions into nanoparticle pillars with tailorable internal nanoparticle configurations.

Biomimetic graphene aerogel could lead to flexible electronics

Scientists report that mimicking the structure of the 'powdery alligator-flag' plant has enabled them to make a graphene-based aerogel that meets these needs.

New nanocatalyst paves way for carbon-neutral fuel

A new efficient catalyst that converts carbon dioxide from the air into synthetic natural gas in a 'clean' process using solar energy.

Gold nanoclusters possess surprisingly high wide-spectrum antimicrobial activity

Researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to confer antimicrobial activity to gold nanoparticles, which have long been considered as inert, by way of controlling their sizes to the nanocluster range.

An enhanced nanocomposite for the photocatalytic oxidation desulfurization

Researchers introduced an innovative strategy by compositing Cu2O nanoparticles with titanate nanotubes, which will result in the stronger visible spectral response and wider absorbance.

A new adjustable optical microprobe for the analysis and control of deep brain regions

Scientists have developed a new optical microprobe able to control brain electrical activity by projecting light on wide volumes or selected portions of the central nervous system in an very controlled fashion.

A nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer

Researchers have developed nano-contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well as optical imaging of cancer cells.

Lightweight steel production breakthrough: brittle phases controlled with nanosized morphology

High-strength, lightweight steels can finally be processed on an industrial scale, thanks to a breakthrough in controlling undesired brittle stages from production.

Using photoluminescent nanorods as ultimate probes of fluid flow

New research shows that instant detection of the collective orientation of the nanorods in a small focal volume enables the direct measurement and fast scanning of the local shear rate.

Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles (w/video)

Researchers have developed an innovative technique using light and tiny bubbles to propel microparticles at forces many times greater than previously achieved.

Freshwater from salt water using only solar energy and nanotechnology

Modular, off-grid desalination technology could supply families, towns.

Possible enhanced pesticide absorption from fresh food via nanoemulsions

New project to study the possibility that eating food nanoemulsions found in dressings, dips or sauces might increase the amount of pesticides absorbed from co-ingested fruits and vegetables, thus increasing risk of adverse health effects.

Sound waves direct particles to self-assemble, self-heal

New framework supports research into lifelike behavior of inanimate objects.

Sugar-coated nanomaterial excels at promoting bone growth

Method offers pathway for improving patient outcomes after spinal fusion surgery.

Alloying materials of different structures offers new tool for controlling properties

New research into the largely unstudied area of heterostructural alloys could lead to greater materials control and in turn better semiconductors, advances in nanotechnology for pharmaceuticals and improved metallic glasses for industrial applications.

To connect biology with electronics, be rigid, yet flexible

Researchers uncover design principles to make polymers that can transport both ions and electrons.