Tag Archives: nanotechnology

New materials cut the risk of blood clots in stroke surgery

World’s first nano-scale design to mimic natural blood vessels

New materials developed by University of Melbourne researchers stop potentially deadly blood clots forming in the treatment of many cardiovascular diseases.

Fatemeh Karimi, a postdoctoral researcher, and her team have developed a new material that can be used to create artificial veins and arteries with nano-scale design used as replacements in heart and stroke surgery.

Continue reading New materials cut the risk of blood clots in stroke surgery

The future of electronics is chemical

We can’t cram any more processing power into silicon-based computer chips.

But a paper published in Nature overnight reveals how we can make electronic devices 10 times smaller, and use molecules to build electronic circuits instead.

We’re reaching the limits of what we can do with conventional silicon semiconductors. In order for electronic components to continue getting smaller we need a new approach.

Molecular electronics, which aims to use molecules to build electronic devices, could be the answer. Continue reading The future of electronics is chemical

After 160 years, it’s time to throw away the needle and syringe

Professor Mark Kendall is planning to dispatch the 160-year-old needle and syringe to history. He’s invented a new vaccine technology that’s painless, uses a fraction of the dose, puts the vaccine just under the skin, and doesn’t require a fridge.

The Nanopatch is a 1 cm square piece of silicon with 20,000 microscopic needles engineered on one side. Coat the needles with dry vaccine, push it gently but firmly against the skin, and the vaccine is delivered just under the outer layer of skin.

It’s a technology he invented in response to a call from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seeking ideas for delivery of vaccines in developing countries—where it’s a challenge to keep conventional wet vaccines cold to the point of delivery.

Continue reading After 160 years, it’s time to throw away the needle and syringe

When boron nitride outshines gold and silver

Ultra-thin boron nitride outshines gold and silver when used to detect contaminants in smart sensing technology. 

It is 100 times more effective at detecting dangerous materials in our food and environment than noble metals.

Traditionally, detection surfaces of these devices have been made using gold and silver. But covering these metals with a microscopically thin layer of boron nitride greatly enhances their performance.

The findings are by a team from Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials, Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science and China’s Wenzhou University. Continue reading When boron nitride outshines gold and silver

Testing water safety with tiny nanodot sensors

A fingernail-sized sensor with nanodots that can detect the presence of heavy metals has been developed by Victorian scientists.

It offers a cheap and simple method of testing whether water is drinkable.

Continue reading Testing water safety with tiny nanodot sensors

Insect wings beat superbugs

Nanoscale spikes on dragonfly wings are inspiring materials that kill bacteria, including deadly antibiotic-resistant golden staph (Staphylococcus aureus).

Wandering percher dragonfly, Diplacodes bipunctata. Credit: Jean, via Encyclopedia of Life (CC BY-NC)

Elena Ivanova and her fellow researchers at Swinburne University of Technology were studying self-cleaning surfaces in nature when they discovered bacteria being killed on the wings of the clanger cicada, Psaltoda claripennis, a species mostly found in Queensland.

The secret seemed to lie in millions of tiny rounded spikes, or nanopillars, each a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair.

Continue reading Insect wings beat superbugs

From sea snails to electronic free circuits

Sea snails and sponges are shedding light on how to create electronic-free circuitry and environmentally friendly optical fibre, say Geelong scientists.

The structure of a sea snail’s mother-of-pearl layer suggests how to channel light.

Inspired by the materials these sea creatures make, an Australian-US team is trying to create 3D gold nanoparticle arrays that channel light.

“Effectively we are creating circuitry without electronics,” says Tiffany Walsh, Veski Innovation Fellow and one of the researchers from Deakin University.

Continue reading From sea snails to electronic free circuits

Shine on you tiny diamond

Tiny diamonds have been used to track single atoms and molecules inside living cells.

Photo: Lloyd Hollenberg’s team are using a nanodiamond sensor to explore inside a living human cell. Credit: David Haworth, University of Melbourne

A University of Melbourne team has developed a device that uses nanoscale diamonds to measure the magnetic fields from a living cell’s atoms and molecules, with resolution a million times greater than current magnetic resonance imaging.

Continue reading Shine on you tiny diamond

Academy recognition

Photo: Wouter Schellart’s geodynamics research into the activity of the Earth’s mantle, including the Mt Etna volcano, earned him the AAS Anton Hales medal for Earth Sciences. Credit: NASA

The Australian Academy of Science recognised five individuals for their career achievements in 2013.