Given their enormous potential in future treatments against disease, the study and growth of stem cells in the laboratory is widespread and critical. But growing the cells in culture offers numerous challenges. However, a group of researchers has now developed a nanoparticle-based system to deliver growth factors to stem cells in culture.
Rice University researchers have recently settled a long-standing controversy over the mechanism by which silver nanoparticles, the most widely used nanomaterial in the world, kill bacteria. Scientists have long suspected silver nanoparticles themselves may be toxic to bacteria, but not so. Ionization is the key.
As scientists learn to manipulate little-understood nanoscale materials, they are laying the foundation for a future of more compact and efficient devices. In new research, scientists at Brookhaven and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories and other collaborating institutions describe one such advance—a technique, called electron holography, revealing unprecedented details about the atomic structure and behavior of exotic ferroelectric materials. The research could guide the scaling up of these materials.
Lithium-ion batteries drive devices from electric cars to smartphones. And society is demanding more batteries with more capacity from each battery. To help meet this demand, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory users and researchers put their energy behind a clever new idea that, literally, gives batteries a bit of room to grow.
If you break a bone, you know you'll end up in a cast for weeks. But what if the time it took to heal a break could be cut in half, or even just a tenth of the time? Researchers report they have coated surfaces with bionanoparticles sourced from a modified virus. These particles accelerated early phase bone growth, reducing the conversion of stem cells to bone nodules from two weeks to two days.
University of Illinois-Chicago chemist Luke Hanley is a big believer in harnessing solar energy to produce electricity. Doing it more efficiently is his goal. He recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to test methods of coating solar panel films using nanoparticles from a chemical group called metal chalcogenides.
North Carolina State University researchers have shown that the "bulkiness" of molecules commonly used in the creation of gold nanoparticles actually dictates the size of the nanoparticles—with larger so-called ligands resulting in smaller nanoparticles. The research team also found that each type of ligand produces nanoparticles in a particular array of discrete sizes.
Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have engineered nanoparticles that show great promise for the treatment of multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.
Even at the nanoscale, hybrids show promise—as evidenced by new efforts to pair inorganic nanoparticles with conductive polymers to convert sunlight into electricity or build better biosensors. To make the most of these molecular matchups, however, scientists need to understand the small-scale details of charge transfer—and how to control it.
Scientists had long observed the unusual properties of lunar topsoil but had not taken much notice of the microparticles and nanoparticles found in the soil and their source was unknown. When these tiny glass bubbles were examined, they differed greatly from what is usually found in similar structures on Earth.
A team of researchers has developed a new, highly efficacious, potentially safer, and more cost-effective nanoparticle-based magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent for improved disease diagnosis and detection.
As the field of nanomedicine matures, an emerging point of contention has been what shape nanoparticles should be to deliver their drug or DNA payloads most effectively. A pair of new papers by scientists at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute (TMHRI) and six other institutions suggests these microscopic workhorses ought to be disc-shaped, not spherical or rod-shaped, when targeting cancers at or near blood vessels.
Many organic contaminants in the air and in drinking water need to be detected at very low-level concentrations. Research published by the Kamat laboratory at the University of Notre Dame could be beneficial in detecting those contaminants. The Kamat laboratory uses surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to make use of silver nanoparticles to increase the sensitivity limit of chemical detection.
Iron nanoparticles encapsulated in a rust-preventing polymer coating could hold potential for cleaning up groundwater contaminated with toxic chemicals, a leading water expert from the University of New South Wales says.
Using a technique known as "nucleic acid origami," chemical engineers have built tiny particles made out of DNA and RNA that can deliver snippets of RNA directly to tumors, turning off genes expressed in cancer cells.
The contention of a major but controversial new theory to explain nanocrystal growth is that nanoparticles can act as “artificial atoms,” forming molecular-type building blocks that can assemble into complex structures. The conclusion is based on recent observations of growing nanorods made by Lawrence Berkeley National Laoratory researchers using transmission electron microscopy and advanced liquid cell handling techniques.
The scientific and technological literature is abuzz with nanotechnology and its manufacturing and medical applications. But it is in an area with a less glitzy aura—plant sciences—where nanotechnology advancements are contributing dramatically to agriculture. Researchers at Iowa State University have now demonstrated the ability to deliver proteins and DNA into plant cells, simultaneously.
A year-long evaluation of the effect of quantum dots in primates has found the nanoparticles to be safe, encouraging doctors and scientists who are hoping to use them to battle diseases like cancer. Cadmium selenide quantum dots were the variety used in the study.
White-light quantum dots made from cadmium selenide can convert blue light produced by a light-emitting diode into a warm white light similar to that generated by an incandescent bulb. But their performance has been poor until recent development breakthroughs have improved efficiency from just 3% originally to as high as 45%.
A team of scientists has been working to develop nanocrystallography techniques that can be used in ordinary science settings. They have shown how a powerful method called atomic pair distribution function (PDF) analysis can be carried out using a transmission electron microscope.
Using a refined technique for trapping and manipulating nanoparticles, researchers at NIST have extended the trapped particles' useful life more than tenfold. This new approach, which one researcher likens to "attracting moths," promises to give experimenters the trapping time they need to build nanoscale structures and may open the way to working with nanoparticles inside biological cells without damaging the cells with intense laser light.
Engineers at Stanford University have found a novel method for “decorating” nanowires with chains of tiny particles to increase their electrical and catalytic performance. The new technique is simpler, faster and provides greater control than earlier methods and could lead to better batteries, solar cells and catalysts.
The U.S. government has issued its initial draft guidelines on the use of nanotechnology, particularly nanoparticles, in food and cosmetic products. These recommendations, intended to help guarantee consumer safety within these two industries, do not extend to the other products that fall under Food and Drug Administration oversights, such as drugs and medical devices.
A team of researchers from Taiwan and the University of California, Berkeley, has harnessed nanodots, just 3 nm in diameter, to create a new electronic memory technology that can write and erase data 10 to 100 times faster than today's mainstream charge-storage memory products.
The light that a luminescent particle emits is usually less energetic than the light that it absorbs. Some applications require the emitted light to be more energetic, but this so-called upconversion process has been observed in only a small handful of materials. Researchers in Singapore have recently succeeded in expanding this list of upconversion materials by using different lanthanides at different stages of conversion.