Keyword: nanotechnology

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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. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for…

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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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Seeing red

Will nanotechnology give us infrared vision?

Mice with vision enhanced by nanotechnology were able to see infrared light as well as visible light, reports a study published in the journal Cell. A single injection of nanoparticles in the mice’s eyes bestowed infrared vision for up to 10 weeks with minimal side effects, allowing them to see infrared light even during the day and with enough specificity to distinguish between different…

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Tiny threat

Nanoparticles may promote cancer metastasis

Nanoparticles can be found in processed food (e.g. food additives), consumer products (e.g. sunscreen) and even in medicine. While these tiny particles could have large untapped potential and novel new applications, they may have unintended and harmful side effects, according to a recent study by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS). Specifically, NUS researchers found that…

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Contraception

Male birth control: as easy as a layered cocktail?

For decades, women have shouldered most of the burden of contraception. However, long-term use of female birth control pills could increase the risk for side effects such as blood clots or breast cancer. Now, inspired by colorful layered cocktails, researchers have developed a medium-term, reversible male contraceptive. They report their results in the journal ACS Nano. Common forms of male…

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Advanced materials

Nanocarriers open up to cancer

Nanosystems that deliver anticancer drugs or imaging materials to tumours are showing significant progress, particularly those that respond to tumour-related stimuli, according to a review published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. However, further research is still required to make sure these delivery systems are stable, non-toxic and biodegradable. Nanocarriers…

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Nanoparticle therapy

Putting a target on breast cancer

The complex structure of breast tumours makes treatment a medical challenge. A promising, novel selenium-based breast cancer nanoparticle therapy by the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) together with other partners in the EU-project Neosetac could change that: It has proved to boost the active agent delivery and assure it's active only in the target tissue while also bringing…

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Innovative material

'Smart' surfaces might pave the way for safer implants and better diagnostics

Researchers at McMaster University have solved a vexing problem by engineering surface coatings that can repel everything, such as bacteria, viruses and living cells, but can be modified to permit beneficial exceptions. The discovery holds significant promise for medical and other applications, making it possible for implants such as vascular grafts, replacement heart valves and artificial joints…

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Cardiovascular care

Manipulating atoms and molecules with nanomedicine

Nanomedicine is set to play an increasingly important role in the future diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Understanding the importance of nanomedicine was enhanced by four experts who spoke at the British Cardiovascular Society conference held in June. The technology – dealing with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometres and especially the manipulation of…

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Heard at the British Cardiovascular Society conference

The role of nanomedicine in CV diagnosis

Nanomedicine will play an increasingly important role in future diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, a subject explored in detail by four expert speakers at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester in June. The conference heard that the technology – dealing with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometres, especially the manipulation of individual…

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Joint disease

Nanotechnology detects molecular biomarker for osteoarthritis

For the first time, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have been able to measure a specific molecule indicative of osteoarthritis and a number of other inflammatory diseases using a newly developed technology. This preclinical study used a solid-state nanopore sensor as a tool for the analysis of hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a naturally occurring molecule that is involved in tissue…

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Nanoscale visualization

Laser light shows X-ray holographic images of viruses

Holography, like photography, is a way to record the world around us. Both use light to make recordings, but instead of two-dimensional photos, holograms reproduce three-dimensional shapes. The shape is inferred from the patterns that form after light ricochets off an object and interferes with another light wave that serves as a reference. When created with X-ray light, holography can be an…

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Histology in 3D

New staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples

To date, examining patient tissue samples has meant cutting them into thin slices for histological analysis. This might now be set to change – thanks to a new staining method devised by an interdisciplinary team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). This allows specialists to investigate three-dimensional tissue samples using the Nano-CT system also recently developed at TUM. Tissue…

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Nano-scale diagnostics

Researchers are developing a ‘Lab-on-skin’ to monitor biomarkers

Move over, lab-on-a-chip and lab-on-paper. There’s a new diagnostic technology in research labs that is gaining credibility. It is called lab-on-skin technology and some scientists are quite excited about how it might be used for a variety of clinical purposes. A recent story published in ACS Nano titled, “Lab-on-Skin: A Review of Flexible and Stretchable Electronics for Wearable Health…

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Infection research

Designer nanoparticles destroy a broad array of viruses

Viral infections kill millions of people worldwide every year, but currently available antiviral drugs are limited in that they mostly act against one or a small handful of related viruses. A few broad-spectrum drugs that prevent viral entry into healthy cells exist, but they usually need to be taken continuously to prevent infection, and resistance through viral mutation is a serious risk. Now,…

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Nanovaccine

The flu shot of the future might look like this

For many of us, a flu shot is a fall routine. Roll up a sleeve, take a needle to the upper arm and hope this year’s vaccine matches whichever viruses circulate through the winter. The most common method to make that vaccine is now more than 70 years old. It requires growing viruses in special, pathogen-free chicken eggs. It’s not a quick and easy manufacturing process. And, at best, it…

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