Mar 29, 2015

This week in Nano (Week 13: 23rd-29th March)

Since leaving the world of academia I am a fan of anything open access (OA) and paywalls have become really annoying. I like to follow the world of open access (OA) and recently found a great blog article on the Green Tea and Velociraptors blog called 'Welcome to Open Access’. The blog is about an awesome resource created to familiarise people with the lingo of open access- the resource is called the Open Glossary and you can find it here.

It got me thinking about a similar resource for Nano. I would love to put one together some day. In the meantime here are some good links for those starting out in the world of Nano:

1: Glossary from the National Nanotechnology Imitative (NNI). The NNI is a U.S. Government research and development (R&D) initiative involving the nanotechnology-related activities of 20 departments and independent agencies:

2: Glossary from Nanotechnology Now (NN). NN is an online resource covering future sciences:

3: WIKI Books has both a glossary of terms and a glossary of acronyms- very useful.

4: The BAM (German Institute for Materials Research and Testing has put together a glossary of nanotechnology definitions and terminology taken from recently published ISO documents:

Mar 22, 2015

This week in Nano: Week 12 (March 16th-22rd)

Nano Silver in Implants- A press release from the NC State Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) describes how researchers there are engineering ways to apply a low-intensity electrical charge to a silver-titanium implant, releasing low-toxicity silver ions that kill or neutralize bacteria. The electrical charge is driven by a small power source and can be integrated into an implant - these orthopedic implants could help reduce infections after surgery and boost recovery times. The study showed a 99% decrease in bacterial growth around implants after 24 hours. Currently looking for paper to link.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration responsible for regulating medicine and medical devices in the USA) have adopted 3 Nano standards. They relate to:

1. Particle size distribution: Standard Guide For Measurement Of Particle Size Distribution Of Nanomaterials In Suspension By Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (PCS)

2. Characterisation of Gold Nanoparticles. Surface Characterization Of Gold Nanoparticles For NanomaterialSpecific Toxicity Screening: FT-IR Method

3. Handling unbound Nanoparticles: Standard Guide For Handling Unbound Engineered Nanoscale Particles In Occupational Settings

Mar 15, 2015

This week in Nano: Week 11 (March 9th-15th)

The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) have published the proceedings of a technical interchange meeting held last September entitled “Realizing the Promise of Carbon Nanotubes: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Pathway to Commercialization". The report can be found on their website here. The blog from Frogheart gives it a good overview of the report and is well worth the read.

A research team at Houston Methodist Research Institute successfully used magnetic nanoparticles to destroy blood clots. The study entitled “TPA Immobilization on Iron Oxide Nanocubes and Localized Magnetic Hyperthermia Accelerate Blood Clot Lysis” was published online in Advanced Functional Materials and it reports the 'loading' of magnetic nanoparticles (20 nm clustered iron oxide nanocubes) with drugs (tissue plasminogen activator tPA). The resultant nanomaterial were found capable of dissolving clots 100 to 1,000 times faster (tested in virto) than a commonly used techniques (i.e thrombolytic's). tPA on its own is usually short lived in a patients blood stream and can cause adverse reactions however this study overcomes this by loading the tPA into nanomaterials that are first albumin coated

A trending headline in Nano circles this week is the news that 'Sweet Nanoparticels Target Stroke'. It is referring to a paper published in Experimental Neurology this week called 'Fullerenols and glucosamine fullerenes reduce infarct volume and cerebral inflammation after ischemic stroke in normotensive and hypertensive rats.' (Paywalled). Basically describes how materials resulting from chemical bonding of a sugar with a kind of nanoparticle may help reduce cell damage and inflammation occurring after stroke potentially leading to new drugs for cerebrovascular injury.

Mar 8, 2015

This week in Nano: Week 10 (March 2nd-March 8th)

Have an awesome Nano Project that needs cash? Look no further than here for a Beginner’s Guide to EU Funding

Mar 1, 2015

This week in Nano: Week 9 (Feb 23-March 1st)

Recently researchers from Surrey in the UK have reported a method of developing a Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanowire detector that is 10,000times more sensitive to UV radiation than traditional ZnO detectors. Besides being awesome what does this mean for you? Well the researchers predict applications for this new nanowire ZnO detector in gas and fire and pollution detection (think ultra sensitive smoke alarms) to integration in personal devices. The paper On-chipFabrication of High Performance Nanostructured ZnO UV Detectors is open access from Scientific Reports

An interesting study was recently reported in Biosensors andBioelectronics in which yeast cells (S. cerevisiae) were engineered to contain quantum dots (QDs). These cells where then monitored over generations to see the fate of the QDs after. The fate was tracked using confocal microscopy and fluorescence emission profiles. The researchers found the progeny cells lost their cell-bound QDs during the third generation time (~360min). They also determined (via imaging and cytotoxic tests that the cells were unaffected by the QDs and retained their 'normal cellular growth, cell architecture and metabolic activities'. The paper can be found here.

And in other news this week is the exciting work from Linköping University and Technische Universität München (TUM) has managed to follow and model the motion of a single molecule, trapped in a nanoscale pore. In their paper published in Nature this week they report a method to explore equilibrium thermodynamics of single molecules by confining single molecules to a 2D nanopores using temperature-controlled scanning tunnelling microscopy and carrying out extensive computational modelling.