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

(Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a technology that delivers a combination therapy to #pancreatic #tumors using #nanoscale particles loaded with irinotecan, a #chemotherapy drug approved as part of a drug regimen for #PancreaticCancer, and an investigational drug that can boost #immune activity and help overcome tumors' resistance. The research team showed that the combination therapy outperformed the sum of its parts in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer.

(Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy)

Scientists from Harvard University, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Northwestern University have developed a new approach to transporting gases in aqueous environments using porous liquids. Until now, all porous liquids have consisted of microporous nanocrystals or organic cage molecules dispersed in organic solvents or ionic liquids that are too large to diffuse through the pore entrances. This time, the researchers proposed that microporous nanocrystals with hydrophobic internal surfaces and hydrophilic external surfaces could be designed to leave the microporous framework permanently dry in water and available to absorb gas molecules. 

(Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation)

The natural world has its own intrinsic electrical grid composed of a global web of tiny bacteria-generated nanowires in the soil and oceans that "breathe" by exhaling excess electrons. In a new study, Yale University researchers have discovered that exposing bacteria-produced nanowires to light yielded an up to 100-fold increase in electrical conductivity. 

(Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation)

Johns Hopkins University researchers have engineered a way to ensure that nanotubes are safe from the tiniest of leaks. Leak-free piping made with nanotubes that self-assemble, self-repair, and can connect themselves to different biostructures is a significant step toward creating a nanotube network that one day might deliver specialized drugs, proteins, and molecules to targeted cells in the human body.

(Funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy)

A research team led by a physicist at the University of California, Riverside, has demonstrated a new magnetized state in a monolayer of tungsten ditelluride. Called a magnetized or ferromagnetic quantum spin Hall insulator, this material of one-atom thickness has an insulating interior but a conducting edge, which has important implications for controlling electron flow in nanodevices. Because devices using this material would consume less power and dissipate less energy, they could be made more energy efficient. Batteries using this technology, for example, would last longer.

(Funded by the National Science Foundation)

Researchers from Florida State University and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida, have developed a new way to create blue light from metal halide perovskites, a class of materials that shows enormous potential for optoelectronic devices, including solar cells, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers. First, the researchers created nanoplatelets, which are nanomaterials with only a few unit cells in thickness, and then they coated them with a multifunctional organic sulfate, which caused the nanoplatelets to emit efficient and stable blue light.

(Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense)

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University are advancing and optimizing a technology that allows a clot-promoting enzyme to be intravenously delivered in a targeted manner to the site of internal injuries. The researchers made nanoparticles that carry the clot-promoting enzymes to the bleeding site and then release them at the site to make a specialized protein called fibrin – the body’s mesh-like substance critical to staunching the bleeding – where it is needed.

(Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation)

Imaging a specific protein inside a cell requires labeling it with a fluorescent tag carried by an antibody that binds to the protein. Antibodies are about 10 nanometers long, while typical proteins are usually about 2 to 5 nanometers in diameter, so if the proteins are too densely packed, the antibodies can't get to them. To overcome this limitation, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the University of Maryland have developed a way to make those "invisible" proteins visible. Their technique expands a cell or tissue sample before labeling the proteins, which makes the proteins more accessible to fluorescent tags.

(Funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense)

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, HRL Laboratories LLC, in Malibu, California, and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, have found a way to better control silicon quantum dot qubits. One common issue with silicon qubits is competition between different kinds of quantum states, and the states that most often compete with the ones needed for computing are “valley states.” The researchers found a way to control the valley states, even in the presence of defects.

(Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation)

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab, the University of Central Florida, and Penn State have unveiled a new, fast, and readily reproducible way to map and identify defects in two-dimensional (2D) materials. It uses an application of artificial intelligence to quickly analyze data from autonomous experiments, which in recent years have become a powerful tool for imaging 2D materials.