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.
  • August 26, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health)

    How do you know a cell has a fever? Take its temperature. That’s now possible thanks to research by Rice University scientists who used the light-emitting properties of particular molecules to create a fluorescent nano-thermometer.

  • August 23, 2019
    (Funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

    Researchers at the University of Illinois and the Missouri University of Science and Technology have modeled a method to manipulate nanoparticles as an alternative mode of propulsion for tiny spacecraft that require very small levels of thrust. The technique is based on a field of physics called plasmonics that studies how optical light or optical electromagnetic waves, interact with nanoscale structures.

  • August 22, 2019
    (Funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency)

    A research team at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrates the use of CRISPR as a control element in a new type of stimuli-responsive "smart" materials. Upon activation by DNA stimuli, a CRISPR-Cas enzyme enables smart materials to release fluorescent dyes and active enzymes, deploy encapsulated nanoparticles and live cells, or regulate electric circuits.

  • August 21, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    UCLA researchers have developed a new technique for creating membrane filters that could offer a way for manufacturers to produce more effective and energy-efficient membranes using high-performance plastics, metal-organic frameworks, and carbon materials. To date, limitations in how filters are fabricated have prevented those materials from being viable in industrial production.

  • August 21, 2019
    (Funded by the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation)

    A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a transistor made from linen thread, enabling them to create electronic devices made entirely of thin threads that could be woven into fabric, worn on the skin, or even (theoretically) implanted surgically for diagnostic monitoring.

  • August 21, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense)

    Bioengineers and dentists have developed a new hydrogel that is more porous and effective in promoting tissue repair and regeneration. Once injected in a mouse model, the new hydrogel is shown to induce migration of naturally occurring stem cells to better promote bone healing.

  • August 21, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    A team of scientists has developed a molecular propeller that enables unidirectional rotations on a material surface when energized. In nature, molecule propellers are vital in many biological applications ranging from the swimming bacteria to intracellular transport, but synthetic molecular propellers, like what has been developed, can operate in harsher environments and under a precise control.

  • August 21, 2019
    (Funded by the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation)

    Missouri S&T researchers are demonstrating a new concept to reconstruct holographic images by using a single two-dimensional material monolayer with the thickness of less than one nanometer. Their work could lead to the creation of smart watches with holographic displays, printed security cryptograms on bank notes and credit cards, and new possibilities for data storage.

  • August 21, 2019
    (Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation)

    Most pharmaceuticals must either be ingested or injected into the body to do their work, and it takes some time for them to reach their intended targets. Also, these pharmaceuticals tend to spread out to other areas of the body. Now, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have developed a system to deliver medical treatments that can be released at precise times, minimally invasively, and that ultimately could also deliver those drugs to specifically targeted areas such as a specific group of neurons in the brain.

  • August 21, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy have developed a nanoparticle that alters the gut microbiome and alleviates symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in mice more effectively than common FDA-approved medications. IBD is an umbrella term for chronic debilitating and sometimes fatal diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's, which are characterized by inflammation in the digestive tract.