Monday, January 19, 2009

Picture of the day

VLS Silicon Nanowire

High-crystalline silicon and other semiconducting nanowires are key building blocks for electronic devices, light emitting devices, field emission sources and sensors. Pictured is a crystalline silicon nanowire grown by the vapour-liquid-solid mechanism (VLS). VLS growth is so named because the constituents in gas form precipitate through a liquid catalyst onto a solid crystallin surface. Thermal-vapour-growth from solid precursors, usually in a high temperature furnace, is the most common way to obtain a bulk production of nanowires.

Source: K.B.K. Teo

Original post by Ryan Munden at

Nanomedicine Today

To get excited about the potential of nanomedicine (AKA: nanobiotechnology) all one need do is read the headlines at sites like Nanotechnology Now.

Here are a few since January 1st:

  • Nano "Tractor Beam" Traps DNA
  • Revolutionize the utility of adult stem cells through nanotechnology
  • Tiny capsules deliver
  • Wireless microgrippers grab living cells
  • Tool Gives a Glimpse of Biomolecules in Motion
  • New guidelines open up the potential of molecular diagnostics
  • Lab-in-a-Cartridge for Fast and Accurate Detection of Cancer and Infectious Diseases
  • Nanotubes Sniff Out Cancer Agents in Living Cells
  • Artificial Antibody Delivers Nanoparticles to Tumors
  • Toxin-Nanoparticle Combo Inhibits Brain Cancer Invasion While Imaging Tumors
  • Microfluidic Devices Capture and Analyze Single Cancer Cells
  • Biodegradable Nanoprobe Images New Blood Vessel Growth
  • Polymer Nanoparticle for Oral Anticancer Drug Delivery
  • A fantastic voyage brought to life
  • Synthetic HDL: A New Weapon to Fight Cholesterol Problems (as illustrated, next)

“The researchers successfully designed synthetic HDL and show that their nanoparticle version is capable of irreversibly binding cholesterol. The synthetic HDL, based on gold nanoparticles, is similar in size to HDL and mimics HDL's general surface composition.”

Now, more than ever, nanobiotechnologies are looking increasingly promising for applications in screening, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of today’s more pernicious diseases. While I was cautiously optimistic back in the 1990’s and into the ‘00’s, I am now certain that nanobio will enable many lifesaving technologies in the next decade. Some of which may do more than just detect and cure; they may even help extend our productive life spans, giving each of us several more decades (or more) of good health and vitality.

There is also good news on the “safety” front:

  • Nanotech Safety High on Congress' Priority List
My advice? If you have time only for visits to just two sites per day, consider time spent at Nanotechnology Now and Responsible Nanotechnology a must.

Want to learn more about nanotechnology in general? Here are a few sites that offer information essential to understanding nanoscale technologies:

What is Nanotechnology? --
Howard Lovy’s Nanobot --
Wikipedia --
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies --

And by all means read the books you see listed on the right column on this blog.