Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

Complutense Young Award for Science and Technology

Images obtained from Imperial College web site

Images obtained from Imperial College web site

Esther Rodríguez Villegas, a Spanish professor at Imperial College, has been awarded the 2009 Young Science and Technology of the Universidad Complutense.

This 35 year old researcher works in electronics and nanotechnology, specifically in the microchips development. Currently performs a European project to develop non-invasive low power sensors and to implant in patients.


October 28, 2009 Posted by | Nano News, Nanoelectronics | , | Leave a comment

Nanotweezers Trapping Nanoparticles

3D animation that shows the parts of a optical tweezers microscope

Since the invention of optical tweezers in the seventies, the inventors have managed to grab more and smaller objects. Until recently it was thought that the so-called diffraction limit imposed a barrier to this technology, preventing normal focus light beyond the range between 500 and 1000 nanometers.


A team of researchers from the Institute of Photonic Science led by Romain Quidant have managed to catch with light 50 nanometers length particles. The developed nanotweezers consist of a nanometric hole in a metal film. When laser light comes into contact with this structure something happens in the hole, a phenomenon known as plasmon resonance that can trap a particle placed in the area.

October 26, 2009 Posted by | Nanophotonic | , | Leave a comment

Nanoscale Butterfly Wings

Image obtained from

Image obtained from

Scientists from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the Pennsylvania State University have developed a technique that allows butterfly wings replicas at the nanoscale.

From materials such as germanium, selenium, antimony and a solution of chitin in an aqueous solution of phosphoric acid and using a technique called CEFR (conformal-evaporated-film-byrotation), the research team has developed a new biomaterial.

According to the authors, the resultant nanostructures could be used to produce optically active structures such as optical nozzles or coatings to maximize light absorption of solar cells.

The technique could allow copying of other biological structures enabling the development of miniature cameras and optical sensors.

October 15, 2009 Posted by | Nanobiology, Nanomaterials | , | Leave a comment

Biosensor Nanoparticle

Image obtained from

Image obtained from

The Astrobiology Center has filed a patent for a process for the synthesis of a nanoparticle composed of three layers that can be used as sensitive to magnetic fields biosensors. This nanoparticle consists of a magnetic core, an intermediate layer to ensure adhesion and an outer layer of gold.

The patent applied has been the result of interdisciplinary work involving the Astrobiology Center, the Instituto de Ciencia de los Materiales and the Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica.

In the survey, composite nanoparticles have been synthesized by a magnetic core, a layer of silica and a final layer of metal on which are immobilized biosensor molecules of natural or artificial with a wide range of applications.

October 9, 2009 Posted by | Nanobiology, Nanomaterials | , | 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

Nanoparticles for Water Purification

Image obtained from

Image obtained from

A group of researchers from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Universidad de Poitiers, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana with support from Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología of Mexico have developed a technique that completely eliminates toxic substances from the water in less than an hour.

The developed technology is based on the use of titanium oxide nanoparticles on glass surfaces or glass. These particles are subjected to high temperatures to adhere, after which, in the presence of sunlight or ultraviolet light, oxidizing species are produced that are capable of degrading organic material.

In a initial phase some mushrooms are used to transform the compunds to be elimitad by the nanoparticles.

September 30, 2009 Posted by | Nanofood | , , | 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

Optical and Electrochemical Nanosensors

Image obtained from

Image obtained from

A group of researchers from the Basque technological centre CIDETEC-IK4, the Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and University of Berkeley have developed highly sensitive electrochemical sensors to detect possible mutations in the DNA faster than it was to moment.

These nanosensors use a single nanotransistor which cable is a simply carbon nanotube and allow the development of optical and electrochemical nanosensors, enabling the detection of DNA probes without the need for modification to increase the sensitivity of the system.

In the future, these nanosensors could be used to detect other molecules, and for studies of genetic diseases.

September 7, 2009 Posted by | Nanobiology, Nanoelectronics, Nanomedicine | , , | Leave a comment

Nanopigments to Improve Printing Inks

Image obtained from

Image obtained from

Instituto Tecnológico de Óptica, Color e Imagen (AIDO), in collaboration with the Universidad de Alicante, is investigating the development of nanopigments based printing inks. This development aims to create special clays based inks and organic dyes ecological, removing heavy metals and pollutants from the waste ink today.

Besides the advantages discussed the application of offset printing to nanopigments incorporates bright colours and strong by providing a high resistance to radiation, temperature, oxygen, chemicals and greater resistance to deterioration from exposure to the elements, increasing durability.

This project has been named Nanoffsetinks and has IMPIVA financing and cofinancing from the European Regional Development Fund.

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Nanomaterials | , | 2 Comments

Performance of Thin Film Nickel Anodes Investigation

Thin film nickel electrode. Image obtained from ICFO web site

Thin film nickel electrode. Image obtained from ICFO web site

A major constraint in the development of organic devices is the use of indium tin oxide as bottom electrode, because it is expensive, low, means high temperature process, polymer degradation and leads to ways to lower the optical out-coupling efficiency of the device.

To solve these problems, researchers at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) are working on the possibility of using thin nickel layer in place of indium tin oxide as anode for bottom-emitting organic light-emitting diodes.

September 2, 2009 Posted by | Nanoelectronics | , | Leave a comment