Category Archives: Nanotstructures

Scientists train nano-‘building blocks’ to take on new shapes

Researchers from the University of Delaware and Washington University in St. Louis have figured out how to train synthetic polymer molecules to behave–to literally “self-assemble” –and form into long, multicompartment cylinders 1,000 times thinner than a human hair, with potential uses in radiology, signal communication and the delivery of therapeutic drugs in the human body. The discovery, a fundamental new tool for nanotechnology, is reported in the Aug. 3 issue of the prestigious journal ‘Science.’

 

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Self-assembled nanostructures function better than bone as porosity increases

Naturally occurring structures like birds’ bones or tree trunks are thought to have evolved over eons to reach the best possible balance between stiffness and density. But in a June paper in Nature Materials, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico (UNM), in conjunction with researchers at Case Western Reserve and Princeton Universities, show that nanoscale materials self-assembled in artificially determined patterns can improve upon nature’s designs. 

 On the left is a TEM micrograph of a porous cube-like nanostructure. On the right is a blow-up of the silica framework (the dark 2-nm thick regions on the left side figure) based on modeling. The highlighted structures represent the small rings refer ...

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