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A low-temperature bubble-generating system for enhanced surface capture of proteins

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Jul 27, 2020 (Nanowerk Spotlight) A large variety of measurements in nanotechnology and the life sciences requires analytes in solution to react with receptors immobilized on a surface. The diffusional transport of biomolecules to a substrate is one of the factors that determines sensing performance of this kind of surface-based biosensing. In the quest to miniaturize sensors and analyte volumes – ultimately down to the nanoscale – as well as increase speed and sensitivity of the results, researchers have explored and developed a variety of platforms. One of them is optothermal microbubble assisted bio-sensing. Convective fluid flow generated by an optically controlled surface microbubble is a fascinating phenomenon for overcoming the diffusion limit in surface-based biosensing. The irradiation of a plasmonic substrate with a focused laser beam at the plasmon resonance wavelength generates microbubbles at the substrate-solution interface (read more: “Nanotechnology in a bubble“). These microbubbles can quickly accumulate solutes at the bubble-liquid-substrate interface due to high-velocity fluid flows. However, the high temperature of above 100 °C required for producing water bubbles has limited this technique’s sensing applications to only certain target biomolecules. For instance, it is not suitable for sensing proteins that are subject to thermal denaturation. Motivated by the question of how to reduce and modulate the working temperature of bubble-generating systems from a material perspective, a team of researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have demonstrated a proof-of-concept study that reduces the working temperature of bubble generation simply by introducing a volatile, water-immiscible liquid into an aqueous medium. They published their findings in Nano Letters (“Enhancing Surface Capture and Sensing of Proteins with Low-Power Optothermal Bubbles in a Biphasic Liquid”). “Here, we demonstrate a biphasic system that generates microbubbles at a low optical power/temperature, thus enabling its application to protein sensing,” Youngsun Kim, a member of Yuebing Zheng’s research group and the paper’s first author, tells Nanowerk. “Specifically, we describe the capability of a bubble, generated from a perfluoropentane (PFP)-in-water biphasic liquid, as an in situ concentrator in surface-based biosensing.” By introducing a biphasic liquid system wherein a volatile, water-immiscible liquid (PFP) is formulated into an aqueous medium, the researchers were able to generate bubbles at a much lower temperature of around 30 °C – compared to over 100 °C for water bubbles – not only making this sensing platform compatible with proteins but also enhancing the surface capture of proteins. text Scheme of bubble-enhanced surface capture of proteins and description of biphasic fluid. Left: Schematic illustration of the bubble-generating perfluoropentane (PFP)-in-water system and, right: bubble-mediated concentration of target proteins near the bubble-liquid-substrate interface. Arrows in panel a indicate the expansion of the PFP droplet into the bubble. (Reprinted with permission by American Chemical Society) (click on image to enlarge) “We were able to reduce the threshold optical power for bubble generation to 33% of that in a pure aqueous medium,” Kim points out. “The generated bubble was able to induce Marangoni flow due to a surface tension gradient, which was large enough to accumulate proteins from the bulk solution near the bubble-liquid-substrate interface. We observed one-order-of magnitude enhancement of surface capture within 1 minute in a single antigen-antibody model, compared to that from diffusion-limited static incubation for 30 minutes.” One of the benefits of this concept is that the working temperature can be tuned simply by varying the components of the biphasic liquid, leading to its wide applicability in biosensing. “One of the merits of the bubble-based approach, composed of fluid formulation and an optothermal add-on, resides in its compatibility with conventional surface-based assay platforms,” Kim notes. “Given the working mode of our concept, the same method can be sequentially applied to multiple steps of solution-to-surface conjugation as in sandwich-type ELISA, e.g., capture antibody/antigen, antigen/probe antibody, probe antibody/secondary antibody, and enzyme/substrate.” Consequently, the team now plans to integrate the biphasic bubble-generating system into standard surface-based biosensing such as an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). They expect a collective improvement of sensitivity and throughput performance resulting from enhancements in binding events at multiple steps of ELISA. Overall, the present study could find a wider range of scientific and clinical applications in biosensing when combined with rational designs of sensor configurations. It also suggests a way toward improving the performance of sensor and spectroscopy applications. By
Michael is author of three books by the Royal Society of Chemistry:
Nano-Society: Pushing the Boundaries of Technology,
Nanotechnology: The Future is Tiny, and
Nanoengineering: The Skills and Tools Making Technology Invisible
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Nanowerk

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Nano Technology

STid SPECTRE nano Reader Accelerates Car Park Access Control with…

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STid launches Spectre nano reader

Our SPECTRE nano reader offers a faster entry/exit process and simple, hands-free use with top end-to-end security for hospitals, government agencies, universities and more.

STid, creator of the world’s most awarded access control reader, announced today it has set a new standard in car park access control and simplified visitor management with its new SPECTRE nano reader. The multi-technology reader quickly recognizes employees, visitors, vendors, and their vehicles – simultaneously – for smooth, hands-free access control without compromising security.

Easy to use, “all terrain” reader

The next generation, hands-free reader increases speed of entry for anyone – or anything – on two feet, two wheels, four wheels or a whole fleet. It reads windshield tags, key fobs, cards, smartphones, or wearables using UHF and Bluetooth® to leverage end-user preferences for easier adoption. It is also part of the STid Mobile ID® ecosystem, which turns smartphones into virtual cards for both vehicle and pedestrian access control.

Compatible with all access control systems worldwide, STid designed SPECTRE nano for easy integration regardless of managers’ tech expertise. The outside packaging is as rugged and durable as the technology to ensure the reader can stand up to harsh environments – everything from shock, heavy rain, and dust, to salt, frost, and fire. SPECTRE nano offers customized branding options to fit in at a bus station, corporate office, or private community, and is able for use in high-security industries. A cost-effective solution, the new reader can be installed and (almost) forgotten, with no maintenance or batteries required.

“We’ve all experienced the long wait time to get in and out of parking garages trying to pay tolls or scan access badges, tolls or gates,” said Frederick Trujillo, U.S. operations manager, STid. “Our new SPECTRE nano reader solution offers a faster entry/exit process and simple, hands-free use with top end-to-end security for hospitals, government agencies, universities and more. Parking areas are especially vulnerable to theft, damage, vandalism and even acts of terrorism making improved access control critical.”

Designed for global customers, SPECTRE nano uses OSDP™ and SSCP® protocols and has EAL5+-certified storage. Data authenticity and confidentiality are ensured using encryption methods recommended by worldwide organizations, e.g., ANSSI- & FIPs-compliant. Encrypted, signed credentials provide anti-cloning and anti-replay protection and managers can quickly erase security keys, when necessary.

SPECTRE nano will be available in October to help speed car park access control. For more information, please visit our SPECTRE Nano page.

About STid

STid’s mission is to protect people, their property and data through secure access and identity. For more than 25 years, STid has created and marketed identification solutions for high security physical and logical access control, as well as Automatic Vehicle Identification. The Company aims for businesses, residential, governments and industry to simplify and protect their digital identity management by developing non-proprietary intelligent identification solutions that use state-of-the-art RFID, NFC, Bluetooth® and Internet things of Things (IoT) technology. A recognized pioneer in its field, STid was at the forefront by being the first manufacturer to obtain First Level Security Certification (CSPN) from the French government agency ANSSI for its access control solutions. With eleven awards, STid offers the product line – the Architect° series of readers – most awarded in the world by security experts. STid recently launched the new SPECTRE nano UHF and Bluetooth® reader for easy vehicle and driver access control.

For more information contact: marketing@stid.com

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Nano Technology

AerHome Makes People Smarter about the Air in their Homes

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AerNos AerHome

Many factors, including COVID-19, wildfires and other climate-related extreme weather, have raised awareness about indoor air and the health implications. We are leveraging our experience to help make people smarter about the air in their homes and keep their families healthy

Air pollution is bad for our health and can be especially problematic for infants and young children contributing to asthma, autism, obesity, diabetes, ADHD and other mental health issues. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) describes indoor air pollution as the greatest environmental health risk to people.

AerNos, a manufacturer of tiny, accurate nano gas sensors that detect multiple harmful gases in the air at parts-per-billion levels, believes knowing the quality of the air in your home has never been more important.

This is why it is introducing AerHome, an indoor air quality monitor that will help people live healthier by making them smarter about their indoor air. It monitors Ozone, NO2, VOCs, PM10, 2.5 and 1.0, as well as temperature and humidity. It also includes a first ever replaceable sensor chip and remote updates for future enhancements. Not only does AerHome provide the data, but it shares expert insights to help people take targeted actions for a healthier home. Air quality readings, alerts, and history are delivered via a smartphone app.

AerNos is partnering with the Sean Parker Allergy and Asthma Research Center at Stanford University to help them better understand the impact of breathing polluted air from wild fires on children in school and at home. The Center will provide AerHome devices to schools and families and use the data to develop recommendations to improve air quality and prevent disease to improve learning, decrease absenteeism, and ultimately decrease disparities in health outcomes.

AerHome is launching today on Indiegogo with the opportunity to gift units for Stanford’s research in addition to purchasing AerHome units for the home.

“While, AerNos has spent the past five years developing application-specific nano gas sensor modules for the B-B market, we are using our expertise to help people improve the air quality in their homes,” explained Sundip Doshi, founder and CEO. “Many factors, including COVID-19, wildfires and other climate-related extreme weather, have raised awareness about indoor air and the health implications. We are leveraging our experience to help make people smarter about the air in their homes and keep their families healthy.”

# # #

About AerNos

AerNos, Inc. develops application-specific nano gas sensors based on its breakthrough and proprietary AerN2S™ Technology to detect harmful gases in the environment. AerNos nano gas sensors are designed to be easily integrated into consumer and commercial product lines, such as standalone monitoring devices, non-stationary devices (e.g., drones, industrial robots, construction equipment), modes of transportation, wearables, smartphones, and IoT. AerHome™, AerBand™, AerCity™, AerHome™, and AerNos™ are trademarks of AerNos, Inc. For more information, please visit http://www.AerNos.com. You may also contact us at media@AerNos.com.

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Nano Technology

Powercast’s RF Wireless Power Technology Awarded for Global…

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Powercast aims to save millions of one-time-use batteries from entering landfills yearly

Powercast’s RF Wireless Power Technology Wins Global Sustainability Award for Reducing Battery Use, E-Waste

We’re partnering with many manufacturers to create wirelessly rechargeable devices that keep batteries out of landfills. Charles Goetz, CEO of Powercast.

The Business Intelligence Group today awarded Powercast with its Sustainability Initiative of the Year in the 2021 Sustainability Awards program. These awards honor those people, teams and organizations who have made sustainability an integral part of their business practice or overall mission.

Powercast aims to make one-time-use batteries obsolete by working with electronic manufacturers to recharge batteries or replace them altogether with its over-the-air RF (radio frequency) wireless power technology. Many of today’s small electronic devices can be designed so they’re environmentally friendly, either with rechargeable batteries that can accept an RF wireless charge, or with no batteries that can be directly powered by RF power. A Powerharvester chip is embedded in devices to receive RF energy sent over the air from either a dedicated Powercast transmitter, or from industry-standard RFID readers. The Powerharvester then converts the RF to direct current (DC) to top off the battery or power the device.

Powercast’s technology touches millions of users across 15+ industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, IoT, entertainment, retail, RFID, and sensors. The company’s collaborative approach and expertise in all aspects of product design, from vision through prototyping and commercialization, has resulted in dozens of applications and millions of units shipped.

“We’re already partnering with many manufacturers to create wirelessly rechargeable devices that keep batteries out of landfills,” said Charles Goetz, CEO of Powercast. “But, we strive for the day where all devices will charge in the background when consumers enter their home, office or car, where they’ll never have to throw batteries away.”

Powercast demonstrates how its technology can save time and money, and reduce battery waste, in its new retrofit video series, “Powered by Powercast.” In Episode One, Powercast created a wireless charging hand sanitizer station, which normally uses 4 C batteries. The company projects it could save hundreds of thousands of C batteries per year if adopted by a big box store. In Episode Three, Powercast created a wirelessly rechargeable Fluke Digital MultiMeter, a common diagnostic instrument used by engineers.

About Powercast

Powercast is the established leader in RF wireless power. Since its founding in 2003, Powercast has led the industry in RF wireless power innovations and applications that meet FCC and other global standards. Powercast’s wireless power technologies eliminate or reduce the need for wires and batteries, working at distances up to 80 feet. With millions of units shipped, Powercast is led by a team with deep expertise in design, engineering, and prototyping, and with extensive commercial success in both industrial and consumer applications. With more than 100 customers and partner companies around the world, Powercast leads the RF wireless power market with 63 early and fundamental patents worldwide and 34 patents pending. For more information, visit http://www.powercastco.com.

About Business Intelligence Group

The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry award programs, business executives—those with experience and knowledge—judge the programs. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers.

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High Performance, Closed-Loop Piezo Controller with Integrated Piezo…

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Learn about PI’s new high-performance, compact digital closed-loop piezo controller that’s cost effective too!

Learn about PI’s new high-performance, compact digital closed-loop piezo controller that’s cost effective too!

Based on 5 decades of piezo driver and motion controller expertise, PI’s digital piezo controller family grows again with the next generation E-709 closed-loop piezo controller and integrated driver, well suited for applications that require high performance motion with nanometer precision such as found in semiconductor surface metrology, autofocus systems, medical apparatus, laser-beam steering, 3D imaging, and multiphoton and confocal microscopy.

Digital Controller with Fast Focus and Freeze, Automated Scans, Software Support

The new E-709 compact digital piezo servo controller / amplifier and driver was designed providing 20kHz sampling rate, twice the power of its predecessor along with multiple times is positioning resolution. When used in image processing, scanning and microscopy applications, its advanced features such as high-performance linearization, high speed tracking, and PI’s unique F3 capability (Fast Focus & Freeze) come in handy. When used with a fast objective focusing motor such as the P-725, the autofocus drive can be bumplessly switched from an external (focus) sensor to the integrated position sensor inside the focusing stage. This feature allows for calibrated, precise, and highly stable motions on a nanometer scale, with respect to the focal plane.

Software – Digital vs. Analog Closed-Loop Piezo Controllers

The new E-709 compact digital piezo controller is supported by a comprehensive software package including drivers for LabVIEW, dynamic libraries for Windows and Linux, MATLAB, MetaMorph, µManager, etc. Despite all servo operations inside the controller are of digital nature, an additional analog control interface with high resolution A/D converters is included for ease of use with existing analog signals. Digital interfaces include USB, SPI, RS-232. Supported functions include Wave generator, data recorder, auto zero, and trigger I/O. The following article explains the difference between digital piezo servo controllers and analog piezo controllers.

How to Find the Right Piezo Controller?

Several application parameters should be considered when selecting the right closed-loop piezo controller for a specific nanopositioning or high-speed precision motion task. Examples are

  • Maximum required stroke / amplitude
  • Signal type (sinusoidal, triangular, trapezoidal, steps, …)
  • Frequency / duty cycle of the drive signal
  • Rise / fall time of steps
  • Operation time (Continuous 24/7, a few minutes or seconds at a time, …)

To learn more on this subject, a selection guide on Piezo Controllers and Mechanisms is available.

Safety Monitoring, Temperature Management

Short-circuit proof, the E-709 provides safety and monitoring functionality with continuous input/output measurements as well as internal temperature. The driver is adaptable to a wide variety of operating conditions and temperature stable within 10 minutes of powering on.

Datasheet» E-709 Compact, High Performance Closed-Loop Piezo Controller with Integrated Voltage Amplifier

Working with You

PI’s in-house engineered solutions have enabled customers around the world to increase their productivity and technological advantage for 5 decades. With a large basis of proven motion technologies and methodologies, PI is in the position to quickly modify existing designs or provide a fully customized OEM solution to fit the exact requirements of your application from sensors and piezo transducers to microscope nano-focus units, fast photonics alignment systems to multi-axis automation sub-systems.

USA / Canada

http://www.pi-usa.us | info@pi-usa.us | (508) 832-3456

About PI

PI is a privately held company that designs and manufactures world-class precision motion and automation systems including air bearings, hexapods and piezo drives at locations in North America, Europe, and Asia. The company was founded 5 decades ago and today employs more than 1300 people worldwide. PI’s customers are leaders in high-tech industries and research institutes in fields such as photonics, life-sciences, semiconductors, and aerospace.

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