Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

Apple iPhone apps put Nanotechnology in your pocket

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN), established in April 2005 as a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts (Washington) has developed findNano, an application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch that lets users discover and determine whether consumer products are nanotechnology-enabled ranging more than 1,000 different products from consumer electronics, toys or food to improved drug delivery systems.

This application takes as base, the PEN’s “Consumer Products Inventory”, which is one of the leading sources of information on manufacturer-identified nanotechnology consumer products around the world and through this new application becomes more accessible for today’s consumers.

Patrick Polischuk, Research Associate at PEN says: “This innovative tool satisfies the needs of citizen, scientists, tech-savvy consumers, and those who are merely curious about whether products contain nanomaterials.”

To help develop better estimates of the number of nano-based products in commerce, the iPhone app allows users to submit information on new products, including product name and where the product can be purchased. Using the built-in camera, iPhone users can even submit new nanotech product to be included in future inventory updates. This feature will help consumers, researchers, etc to determine how and where nanotechnologies are entering the marketplace.

findNano is available as a free download for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and can be found in the iTunes App Store.


April 20, 2011 Posted by | Nanobiology, Nanoelectronics, Nanofood, Nanomaterials, Nanomedicine, Nanooptics, Nanopackaging, Nanophotonic, Nanoproduction, Nanotester, Nanotextile | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Biomaterials used to repair liver

Biocompatible materials that emulate living tissues can be used for tissue repair and regeneration. Polymer scaffolds, for example, mimic the network that connects cells and stimulates cell adhesion. They can also transport various cell types. Now, stem cells differentiated into liver-like cells from bone marrow stem cells can be delivered to the liver using a fibrous polymer scaffold containing the peptide RGD, thanks to a technique developed by a team led by Dr Andrew Wan at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. You can read the full article here.

The photo by Benjamin Tai shows a fluorescence microscopy image of the scaffold-embedded cells showing the integration of the fibers (yellow-green) with differentiated cells after implantation. Cell nuclei are stained blue.

March 19, 2010 Posted by | Nanobiology, Nanomaterials, Nanomedicine, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nanotechnology in the healthcare sector

In an interview published in PharmTech, four specialists give their opinion on the contribution of Nanotechnology in the healthcare sector. It become clear that a lot as been done, but even more is yet to be achieved.

Professor Jamie C. Oliver, President & CEO, Peptagen; Adriana Vela, Founder and CEO, NanoTecNexus; Dr Gary Liversidge, Chief Technology Officer, Elan Drug Technologies and Professor Mike Eaton Executive Board Member, European Technology Platform on Nanomedicines answer the following questions: ‘What has been nanotechnology’s greatest contribution to the healthcare sector in the last 5 years?’, ‘What challenges does nanotechnology pose to the pharma industry?’, ‘Will pharmaceutical manufacturing processes need to be adapted in any way to work with nanomaterials?’, ‘How do you think nanomedicines will be regulated in the future?’ and ‘What future advances in nanotechnology do you think will have a significant impact on the pharma and biopharma industries?’

March 2, 2010 Posted by | Nanomedicine | 2 Comments

Scientists create nanoenvironment to control stem cells

Within the emerging field of stem cells there is a need for an environment that can regulate cell activity, to slow down differentiation or proliferation, in vitro or in vivo while remaining invisible to the immune system. Researchers form the University of Hong Kong and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faced that challenge and published the study “Forever Young: How to Control the Elongation, Differentiation, and Proliferation of Cells Using Nanotechnology” in the current issue of Cell Transplantation. The article is freely available here.

By creating a nanoenvironment surrounding PC12 cells, Schwann cells, and neural precursor cells (NPCs), the researchers were able to control the proliferation, elongation, differentiation, and maturation in vitro.

“The successful storage and implantation of stem cells poses significant challenges for tissue engineering in the nervous system, challenges in addition to those inherent to neural regeneration,” said Dr. Ellis-Behnke, corresponding author. “There is a need for creating an environment that can regulate cell activity by delaying cell proliferation, proliferation and maturation. Nanoscaffolds can play a central role in organ regeneration as they act as templates and guides for cell proliferation, differentiation and tissue growth. It is also important to protect these fragile cells from the harsh environment in which they are transplanted.”

According to Dr. Ellis-Behnke, advancements in nanotechnology offer a “new era” in tissue and organ reconstruction. Thus, finding the right nano-sized scaffold could be beneficial, so the research team developed a “self-assembling nanofiber scaffold” (SAPNS), a nanotechnology application to use for implanting young cells.

The researchers concluded that a combination of SAPNS and young cells can be implanted into the central nervous system (CNS), eliminating the need for immunosuppressants.

“Implanted stem cells are adversely susceptible to their new environment and quickly get old, but this study suggests a solution to conquer this problem,” said Prof. Shinn-Zong Lin, professor of Neurosurgery at China University Medical Hospital, Taiwan and Chairman of the Pan Pacific Symposium on Stem Cell Research where part of this work was first presented. “The self-assembling nanofiber scaffold (SAPNS) provides a niche for the encapsulated stem cells by slowing down their growth, differentiation and proliferation, as well as potentially minimizing the immune response, thus enhancing the survival rate of the implanted stem cells. This allows the implanted stem cells to “stay forever young” and extend their neurites to reach distant targets, thereby re-establishing the neural circuits

This combination of stem cells and SAPNS technologies gives a new hope for building up younger neural circuit in the central neural system.”

surce: Euekalert and Cell Transplantation

December 30, 2009 Posted by | Nanomedicine | Leave a comment

Nanostructures Against Cancer

Images obtained from BIND Biosciences web site

Images obtained from BIND Biosciences web site

The startup BIND Biosciences develops novel nanoparticles which include a drug and that they hope, at the same time, reducing the side effects of chemotherapy and increase its effectiveness against cancer. In addition to carrying the drug, these nanoparticles are inserted into proteins used to attack the cancer.

The nanoparticles developed by BIND Biosciences can remain in the bloodstream longer than a day, which increases the effectiveness of the drug due to increased chances of the medication to reach its objectives.

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Nanomaterials, Nanomedicine | , | Leave a comment

Antimicrobial and Flame Retardant Agent

Images obtained from Nanoparticle BioChem web site

Images obtained from Nanoparticle BioChem web site

Nanoparticle BioChem Inc., a University of Missouri spin-off  has developed antimicrobial and flame retardant agent, called NUL/FL-Mikrobe-I. This agent can provide antimicrobial and flame retardant properties for textiles. According to the company, the staff developed an antimicrobial action has proved 100% against several important microbes both gram-positive and gram-negative.

Antimicrobial Research conducted by the company focuses on a number of microbial agents with applications for the production of antimicrobial textiles earmarked to military and health and hygiene industries.

November 17, 2009 Posted by | Nanobiology, Nanomaterials, Nanomedicine | , | Leave a comment

Would the Nanoparticles help to Prevent the Healthcare-associated Infections?


Image obtained from “HAI Watch: Not on My Watch” web site

Recently it began to be some concern about the Healthcare-associated infections (HAI), as evidenced by initiatives such as the prevention campaign Kimberly-Clark Health Care, called HAI Wactch: Not on My Watch.

Perhaps similar technologies to the one used in the anti-swine flue costumes design by Haruyama Trading Company which is based on titanium dioxide nanoparticles may facilitate prevention.

If these new nanomaterials demonstrate its effectiveness we could find ourselves in a new era in the field of disease prevention. But until then it is more prudent to follow the recommendations of the HAI Campaign Watch: Not on My Watch.

November 3, 2009 Posted by | Nanomedicine, Nanotextile | | 4 Comments

Magnetic Nanoparticles for Fight Against Cancer

One field of application of the technology that more effort is being invested is nanomedicine, and perhaps, within this, therapies to treat cancer.

In the posts entitled “Nanomedicine” and “Magnetic Nanomedicine“, Nano Bugle’s team has placed at your disposal documents that develop basic concepts related to those terms. On this occasion we show you a video entitled “Fighting Cancer with Magnetic Nanoparticles” developed by the spin-off of the Charité Hospital of the Charité–Universitätsmedizin called MagForce Nanotechnologies AG. Video can serve as a practical example and educational supplement to the two presentations above.

This film describes the system developed by MagFroce Nanotechnologies and that it is based on injecting minosilane-coated iron oxide nanoparticles into a tumour that has been located previously. These nanoparticles are given a high-frequency alternating magnetic field, causing them to vibrate and damage or destroy the tumor.

This method can be used as thermoablation method for destroying tumour cells or hyperthermia therapy to facilitate conventional treatments (chemotherapy or radiotherapy).

October 7, 2009 Posted by | Educational & Teaching Resources, Nanomedicine | , | Leave a comment

Nanomaterials and Influenza Vaccines

Image Obtained from

Image Obtained from

A study published in Advanced Materials and conducted by researchers at the CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) and INIA (Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentación) could help reduce costs and improve the effectiveness of influenza vaccines, including H1N1, and other infectious agents. The effectiveness of this technique has been tested in animal models and is based on the use of nanomaterials in the group of biocomposites made with components that are commonly used in food and biomedicine.

According to the authors, bionanocomposite silicate natural sepiolite magnesium based and the xanthan polysaccharide would achieve vaccines, administered intramuscularly or intranasally, to immunize with lower doses of antigen.

October 2, 2009 Posted by | Nanomedicine | , | Leave a comment

Research Projects in the Field of Biosciences

Images obtained from LABONFOIL web site

Images obtained from LABONFOIL web site

The alliance IK4 participates in research projects of the Seventh Framework Program of the European Union called NANOTHER, LABONFOIL and POCO.

The project NANOTHER seeks synthesis of polymeric nanoparticles and magnetic drug carriers for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer. Also collaborating on this project, besides other international partners, are CIC bioGUNE and pharmaceutical Pharmamar and Pharmakine and a spin-off from the University of the Basque Country specialized in products and services for preclinical and clinical research in cancer and metastasis.

LABONFOIL is a project that aims to develop ultra-low-cost lab-on-chip without compromising the response time, sensitivity and ease of use. The intention is to incorporate mobile laboratory on a chip that can perform diagnostics in areas such as health, environment, food and safety. Participants of the project are Gema Medical, the Fundación Vasca de Innovación e Investigación Sanitarias and Biotools B&M Labs, a spin-off of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid..

The POCO project aims at developing polymer nanocomposites with carbon nanotubes to obtain materials with special properties with applications in the aerospace, automotive, construction and biomedical research. Besides two IK4 alliance members, the participation of the Iberian Peninsula in the project is completed by the University of the Basque Country and Acciona Infraestructuras.

September 25, 2009 Posted by | Nanomaterials, Nanomedicine | , , , , | Leave a comment