Nanotechnology

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Targeted drug delivery

'Soft X‑ray' method opens up ways for smart nano-medicine

Before the huge potential of tiny nanocarriers for highly targeted drug delivery and environmental clean-up can be realized, scientists first need to be able to see them. Currently researchers have…

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Chemotherapeutic delivery

Bowel cancer: Nanotechnology offers new hope

Bowel cancer survival rates could be improved if chemotherapy drugs were delivered via tiny nanoparticles to the diseased organs rather than oral treatment. That’s the finding from Indian and…

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Nanotechnology

New low-cost solution for virus-scale microscopy

Using an ordinary light microscope, engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have devised a technique for imaging biological samples with accuracy at the scale of 10 nanometers…

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Nano science

Conductive hydrogel could replace brain tissue

Due to their tissue-like mechanical properties, hydrogels are being increasingly used for biomedical applications; a well-known example are soft contact lenses. These gel-like polymers consist of 90…

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Nanoparticle-based contrast agent SAIO

New MRI contrast agent to improve upon gadolinium-based products

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is widely used to identify the narrowing or blockage of blood vessels. Contrast agents improve the visibility of the structures and offer more accurate information of…

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Self-powered electronics

Nano-sized generator protects the heart

A new type of ultra-efficient, nano-thin material could advance self-powered electronics, wearable technologies and even deliver pacemakers powered by heart beats.

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Osteoarthritis research

New treatment target could halt knee cartilage degeneration

There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, but a group of scientists believe they’ve discovered a method through which a simple knee injection could potentially stop the disease’s effects. These researchers showed that they could target a specific protein pathway in mice, put it into overdrive and halt cartilage degeneration over time. Building on that finding, they were able to show that…

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'Nanobodies'

Small antibodies show promise against Covid-19

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed, in collaboration with researchers in Germany and the U.S., new small antibodies, also known as nanobodies, which prevent the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from entering human cells. The research study, published in Science, shows that a combined nanobody had a particularly good effect – even if the virus mutated. According to the researchers, the…

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Crossing the blood-brain barrier

Nanoparticle drug-delivery system to treat brain disorders

In the past few decades, researchers have identified biological pathways leading to neurodegenerative diseases and developed promising molecular agents to target them. However, the translation of these findings into clinically approved treatments has progressed at a much slower rate, in part because of the challenges scientists face in delivering therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier (BBB)…

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Altering the intestinal microbiome

How nanoplastics threaten human health

A recent review study concludes that nanoplastics change the composition and diversity of gut microbiome in vertebrates and invertebrates. The effects of a widespread and prolonged exposure to nanoplastics observed in animal models can be applied to humans. The study, which was led by the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), the spanish Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre…

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Gels for drug delivery systems

'Soft' 3D printing could jump-start creation of tiny medical devices

Researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new method of 3D-printing gels and other soft materials. Published in a new paper, it has the potential to create complex structures with nanometer-scale precision. Because many gels are compatible with living cells, the new method could jump-start the production of soft tiny medical devices such as…

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Theranostics

Magnetic gold nanohybrid particles will help fight cancer

A team of scientists at the Russian National University of Science and Technology MISiS, together with colleagues from Russia and Germany, have presented a detailed study of magnetite-gold nanohybrids. In the future, such nanoparticles can help in theranostics — the diagnostics and subsequent therapy of oncological diseases. The results of the work have been published in the Journal of…

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Reducing side effects

Nanohybrid vehicles to deliver drugs into the human body

Researchers in The University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a nanohybrid vehicle that can be used to optimally deliver drugs into the human body. The research was published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Leading the study are Mahesh Narayan, Ph.D., professor, and Sreeprasad Sreenivasan, Ph.D., assistant professor, both from the…

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New sensor tech

A more reliable way to early detect lung tumours

People who are at high risk of developing lung cancer, such as heavy smokers, are routinely screened with computed tomography (CT), which can detect tumors in the lungs. However, this test has an extremely high rate of false positives, as it also picks up benign nodules in the lungs. Researchers at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have now developed a new approach to early…

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Subdermal quantum tattoo

Nano-patch stores medical information under the skin

Every year, a lack of vaccination leads to about 1.5 million preventable deaths, primarily in developing nations. One factor that makes vaccination campaigns in those nations more difficult is that there is little infrastructure for storing medical records, so there’s often no easy way to determine who needs a particular vaccine. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)…

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Nanoswarm

Tiny transporters deliver treatment to stroke patients

Swarms of nanoparticles which are 15,000 times smaller than a pinhead may be able to deliver vital drugs to the brain, offering new hope to patients in the early stages of a stroke. The research, carried out at The University of Manchester, shows that tiny vesicles called liposomes, just 100 nanometres in diameter can translocate through the damaged blood brain barrier following stroke. And that…

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Natural nanocapsules

A new approach for tackling superbugs – without antibiotics

Scientists have uncovered a novel antibiotic-free approach that could help prevent and treat one of the most widespread bacterial pathogens, using nanocapsules made of natural ingredients. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial pathogen carried by 4.4 billion people worldwide, with the highest prevalence in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Although the majority of infections show no symptoms,…

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New transfection approach

Immunotherapy: The 'FedEx and UPS equivalent of DNA delivery'

Immunotherapy is a promising cancer treatment that uses genetically modified immune cells to fight cancer. It can be used as a primary treatment or in combination with other treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy to slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, for instance, is a…

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Tiny biomaterials

On the way to safer nanomedicine

Tiny particles that can fight cancer or that can easily pass through any interface within our body are a great promise for medicine. But there is little knowledge thus far about what exactly will happen to nanoparticles within our tissues and whether or not they can cause disease by themselves. Within an international research consortium, Empa scientists have now developed guidelines that should…

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Targeted treatment

New nanomedi­cine for efficient cancer chemo­ther­apy

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in collaboration with researchers from Åbo Akademi University (Finland) and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) have developed a new anti-cancer nanomedicine for targeted cancer chemotherapy. This new nano-tool provides a new approach to use cell-based nanomedicines for efficient cancer chemotherapy. Exosomes contain various molecular…

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Nanotechnology

Tiny diamonds in the brain

The recording of images of the human brain and its therapy in neurodegenerative diseases is still a major challenge in current medical research. The blood-brain barrier, a filter system of the body between the blood system and the central nervous system, constrains the supply of drugs or contrast media that would allow therapy and image acquisition.

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Nozzle-free electrospinning

Synthetic skin could aid wound healing

Engineers at the University of Edinburgh have devised a fabric dressing whose thickness and elasticity can be custom-matched to specific areas of the body. The material is able to be absorbed by the skin’s own tissue as it heals. Two synthetic materials are blended to produce nanometre-sized fibres – thousands of times thinner than a hair – which can be fabricated in minutes. Edinburgh…

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Common DNA structure

Nano-signature discovery could revolutionise cancer diagnosis

A quick and easy test to detect cancer from blood or biopsy tissue could eventually result in a new approach to patient diagnosis. The test has been developed by University of Queensland researchers Dr Abu Sina, Dr Laura Carrascosa and Professor Matt Trau, who have discovered a unique DNA nanostructure that appears to be common to all cancers. Cancer is an extremely complicated and variable…

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Nanotechnology

Targeting cancer cells with gold nanorods

Scientists at the University of Birmingham are working with a Canadian tech company to investigate whether gold nanorods can be used to target cancer cells in the human body. They have joined experts at Sona Nanotech Inc. to develop the next generation of nanorods for tissue imaging. The team will work with its Canadian partners - beginning by creating luminescent nanorods by transforming gold…

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Cancer research

Black nanoparticles slow tumor growth

Melanin protects our skin from the sun’s damaging rays by absorbing light energy and converting it to heat. This could make it a very effective tool in tumor diagnosis and treatment, as demonstrated by a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Helmholtz Zentrum München. The scientists managed to create melanin-loaded cell membrane derived nanoparticles, which improved tumor…

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