Press Releases: Research Funded by Agencies Participating in the National Nanotechnology Initiative

The following press releases describe the results of research activities that are funded by Federal agencies that participate in the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
  • May 07, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    The U.S. Department of Energy announced $89 million to support innovative, advanced manufacturing research and development projects. This Funding Opportunity Announcement tackles key Departmental priorities such as domestic manufacturing for energy storage.

  • May 07, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Office of Naval Research)

    Researchers have investigated a set of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) for their potential to stimulate cancer-quelling immune responses. After comparing compositionally identical yet structurally different vaccines, the researchers found the structure of SNAs in one vaccine dramatically outperformed the others. Vaccines with the superior structure eliminated tumors in 30% of animals and improved their overall survival from cancer.

  • May 03, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology)

    Controlling the properties of ultrafast light pulses is essential for sending information through high-speed optical circuits and in probing atoms and molecules. But the standard method of pulse shaping is costly, bulky and lacks the fine control scientists increasingly need. Now researchers have developed a novel and compact method of sculpting light with nanoscale precision.

  • May 03, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation)

    Most implantable and wearable medical devices benefit from having on-board batteries powering them, but because conventional batteries have specific internal geometries, they are not flexible. Now researchers have developed stretchable supercapacitors – devices that can hold onto electrical charge and release it as necessary – that can be pulled to eight times their original size and continue working.

  • May 03, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation)

    A team of plastic surgeons and material scientists has invented a synthetic soft tissue substitute that is well tolerated and encourages the growth of soft tissue and blood vessels. This new material retains its shape without being too dense, overcoming challenges with current tissue fillers that tend to be either too soft or not porous enough to let cells move in and start regrowing tissue.

  • May 02, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    The University of Maine and Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced that they will be partnering by harnessing ORNL’s leadership in additive manufacturing and the University of Maine’s expertise with bio-based composites to advance efforts to 3D-print with wood, creating a new market for Maine’s forest products industry.

  • May 02, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health)

    Radiation kills tumors by creating oxygen free radicals that damage the tumor DNA. However, the lack of oxygen in the center of tumors blocks the production of free radicals, inhibiting radiation killing. Researchers have now designed a nanoparticle that generates radiation-induced oxygen free radicals even in the low-oxygen center of tumors, dramatically increasing the success of radiation therapy.

  • April 30, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Engineers have made thin polymer films that conduct heat – an ability normally associated with metals. They found that the films, which are thinner than plastic wrap, conduct heat better than many metals, including steel and ceramic. These results may spur the development of polymer insulators as lightweight, flexible, and corrosion-resistant alternatives to traditional metal heat conductors.

  • April 30, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Scientists have invented a new "synthetic antibody" that could make screening for diseases easier and less expensive than current go-to methods. Such “synthetic antibodies” consist of the combination of synthetically produced molecules that are similar to peptides and tiny cylinders of carbon atoms called single-walled carbon nanotubes.

  • April 29, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health)

    Scientists have discovered that graphene quantum dots drawn from common coal may be the basis for an effective antioxidant for people who suffer traumatic brain injuries, strokes, or heart attacks. Quantum dots are semiconducting materials small enough to exhibit properties that only appear at the nanoscale.

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