Connect with us

Nano Technology

Brazilian researchers develop an optical fiber made of gel derived from marine algae: Edible, biocompatible and biodegradable, these fibers have potential for various medical applications. The results are described in the journal Scientific Reports.

Avatar

Published

on

Home > Press > Brazilian researchers develop an optical fiber made of gel derived from marine algae: Edible, biocompatible and biodegradable, these fibers have potential for various medical applications. The results are described in the journal Scientific Reports.

Edible, biocompatible and biodegradable, these fibers have potential for various medical applications. CREDIT
Eric Fujiwara
Edible, biocompatible and biodegradable, these fibers have potential for various medical applications. CREDIT
Eric Fujiwara

Abstract:
An optical fiber made of agar has been produced at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. This device is edible, biocompatible and biodegradable. It can be used in vivo for body structure imaging, localized light delivery in phototherapy or optogenetics (e.g., stimulating neurons with light to study neural circuits in a living brain), and localized drug delivery.

Brazilian researchers develop an optical fiber made of gel derived from marine algae: Edible, biocompatible and biodegradable, these fibers have potential for various medical applications. The results are described in the journal Scientific Reports.


São Paulo, Brasil | Posted on July 24th, 2020

Another possible application is the detection of microorganisms in specific organs, in which case the probe would be completely absorbed by the body after performing its function.

The research project, which was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP, was led by Eric Fujiwara, a professor in UNICAMP’s School of Mechanical Engineering, and Cristiano Cordeiro, a professor in UNICAMP’s Gleb Wataghin Institute of Physics, in collaboration with Hiromasa Oku, a professor at Gunma University in Japan.

An article on the study is published) in Scientific Reports, an online journal owned by Springer Nature.

Agar, also called agar-agar, is a natural gelatin obtained from marine algae. Its composition consists of a mixture of two polysaccharides, agarose and agaropectin. “Our optical fiber is an agar cylinder with an external diameter of 2.5 millimeters [mm] and a regular inner arrangement of six 0.5 mm cylindrical airholes around a solid core. Light is confined owing to the difference between the refraction indices of the agar core and the airholes,” Fujiwara told.

“To produce the fiber, we poured food-grade agar into a mold with six internal rods placed lengthwise around the main axis,” he continued. “The gel distributes itself to fill the available space. After cooling, the rods are removed to form airholes, and the solidified waveguide is released from the mold. The refraction index and geometry of the fiber can be adapted by varying the composition of the agar solution and mold design, respectively.”

The researchers tested the fiber in different media, from air and water to ethanol and acetone, concluding that it is context-sensitive. “The fact that the gel undergoes structural changes in response to variations in temperature, humidity and pH makes the fiber suitable for optical sensing,” Fujiwara said.

Another promising application is its simultaneous use as an optical sensor and a growth medium for microorganisms. “In this case, the waveguide can be designed as a disposable sample unit containing the necessary nutrients. The immobilized cells in the device would be optically sensed, and the signal would be analyzed using a camera or spectrometer,” he said.

###

####

About FUNDAÇÃO DE AMPARO À PESQUISA DO ESTADO DE SÃO PAULO
The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is a public institution with the mission of supporting scientific research in all fields of knowledge by awarding scholarships, fellowships and grants to investigators linked with higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. FAPESP is aware that the very best research can only be done by working with the best researchers internationally. Therefore, it has established partnerships with funding agencies, higher education, private companies, and research organizations in other countries known for the quality of their research and has been encouraging scientists funded by its grants to further develop their international collaboration. You can learn more about FAPESP at http://www.fapesp.br/en and visit FAPESP news agency at http://www.agencia.fapesp.br/en to keep updated with the latest scientific breakthroughs FAPESP helps achieve through its many programs, awards and research centers. You may also subscribe to FAPESP news agency at http://agencia.fapesp.br/subscribe .

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Heloisa Reinert
196-639-2552

@AgenciaFAPESP

Copyright © FUNDAÇÃO DE AMPARO À PESQUISA DO ESTADO DE SÃO PAULO

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Related News Press

News and information

Study: Mapping crystal shapes could fast-track 2D materials: Experts call for global effort to clear hurdles to mass production July 27th, 2020

Machine learning reveals recipe for building artificial proteins July 24th, 2020

Project creates more powerful, versatile ultrafast laser pulse: Institute of Optics research sets record for shortest laser pulse for newly developed technology, work that has important applications in engineering and biomedicine July 24th, 2020

Russian scientists identified energy storage mechanism of sodium-ion battery anode July 24th, 2020

Wireless/telecommunications/RF/Antennas/Microwaves

Chemistry paves the way for improved electronic materials June 26th, 2020

CEA-Leti Researchers Break Throughput Record for LiFi Communications Using Single GaN Blue Micro-Light-Emitting Diode: Data-Transmission Rate of 7.7 Gbps Positions LiFi as Possible Replacement for WiFi with Further R&D and Industrial Standardization to Ensure Interoperability of June 12th, 2020

Researchers demonstrate transport of mechanical energy, even through damaged pathways: Topological pump can provide stability for communication technologies May 22nd, 2020

Silicon-graphene hybrid plasmonic waveguide photodetectors beyond 1.55 μm March 13th, 2020

Possible Futures

Study: Mapping crystal shapes could fast-track 2D materials: Experts call for global effort to clear hurdles to mass production July 27th, 2020

Discovery of disordered nanolayers in intermetallic alloys: Resolving alloys’ strength-ductility trade-off and thermal instability July 24th, 2020

Photochromic bismuth complexes show great promise for optical memory elements July 24th, 2020

Russian scientists identified energy storage mechanism of sodium-ion battery anode July 24th, 2020

Discoveries

Study: Mapping crystal shapes could fast-track 2D materials: Experts call for global effort to clear hurdles to mass production July 27th, 2020

Machine learning reveals recipe for building artificial proteins July 24th, 2020

Project creates more powerful, versatile ultrafast laser pulse: Institute of Optics research sets record for shortest laser pulse for newly developed technology, work that has important applications in engineering and biomedicine July 24th, 2020

Russian scientists identified energy storage mechanism of sodium-ion battery anode July 24th, 2020

Announcements

Study: Mapping crystal shapes could fast-track 2D materials: Experts call for global effort to clear hurdles to mass production July 27th, 2020

Machine learning reveals recipe for building artificial proteins July 24th, 2020

Project creates more powerful, versatile ultrafast laser pulse: Institute of Optics research sets record for shortest laser pulse for newly developed technology, work that has important applications in engineering and biomedicine July 24th, 2020

Russian scientists identified energy storage mechanism of sodium-ion battery anode July 24th, 2020

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Study: Mapping crystal shapes could fast-track 2D materials: Experts call for global effort to clear hurdles to mass production July 27th, 2020

Machine learning reveals recipe for building artificial proteins July 24th, 2020

Project creates more powerful, versatile ultrafast laser pulse: Institute of Optics research sets record for shortest laser pulse for newly developed technology, work that has important applications in engineering and biomedicine July 24th, 2020

Russian scientists identified energy storage mechanism of sodium-ion battery anode July 24th, 2020

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Manipulating non-magnetic atoms in a chromium halide enables tuning of magnetic properties: New approach creates synthetic layered magnets with unprecedented level of control over their magnetic properties July 24th, 2020

Photochromic bismuth complexes show great promise for optical memory elements July 24th, 2020

Project creates more powerful, versatile ultrafast laser pulse: Institute of Optics research sets record for shortest laser pulse for newly developed technology, work that has important applications in engineering and biomedicine July 24th, 2020

Scaling up the quantum chip: MIT engineers develop a hybrid process that connects photonics with ‘artificial atoms,’ to produce the largest quantum chip of its type July 10th, 2020

Source: http://www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=56270

Nano Technology

A shapeshifting material based on inorganic matter

Avatar

Published

on

Nov 30, 2020 (Nanowerk News) By embedding titanium-based sheets in water, a group led by scientists from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science has created a material using inorganic materials that can be converted from a hard gel to soft matter using temperature changes. Science fiction often features inorganic life forms, but in reality, organisms and devices that respond to stimuli such as temperature changes are nearly always based on organic materials, and hence, research in the area of “adaptive materials” has almost exclusively focused on organic substances. However, there are advantages to using inorganic materials such as metals, including potentially better mechanical properties. Considering this, the RIKEN-led group decided to attempt to recreate the behavior displayed by organic hydrogels, but using inorganic materials. The inspiration for the material comes from an aquatic creature called a sea cucumber. Sea cucumbers are fascinating animals, related to starfishes (but not to cucumbers!) that have the ability to morph their skin from a hard layer to a kind of jelly, allowing them to throw out their internal organs – which are eventually regrown—to escape from predators. In the case of the sea cucumbers, chemicals released by their nervous systems trigger the change in the configuration of a protein scaffold, creating the change. To make it, the researchers experimented with arranging nanosheets—thin sheets of titanium oxide in this case—in water, with the nanosheets making up 14 percent and water 86 percent of the material by weight. schematic illustration of unilamellar titanate nanosheet a A schematic illustration of unilamellar titanate (IV) nanosheet (TiNS). Countercations are omitted for clarity. Open square indicates vacant sites. b–g Schematic illustrations of the hydrogel of TiNS (TiNS-Gel) in a repulsion-dominant state (TiNS-GelRepuls; b–d) and an attraction-dominant state (TiNS-GelAttract; e–g). When the electrostatic repulsion between TiNSs in an aqueous dispersion is strong enough, TiNSs spontaneously self-assemble into a long-periodicity lamellar architecture (c) in which their mobility is mutually restricted (d). As a result, their aqueous dispersion can exhibit a gel-like behavior, denoted as TiNS-GelRepuls. When TiNS-GelRepuls is heated above a critical temperature, the electrostatic repulsion becomes weaker than the competing van der Waals attraction, so that TiNSs abruptly stack tightly (g) to form an interconnected 3D network that can hold large quantities of water (f), denoted as TiNS-GelAttract. Because of the large difference in the topology of the internal structure between TiNS-GelRepuls and TiNS-GelAttract, this gel-to-gel transition is accompanied by drastic changes in the optical and mechanical properties. (© Nature Communications) (click on image to enlarge) According to Koki Sano of RIKEN CEMS, the first author of the paper (Nature Communications, “A mechanically adaptive hydrogel with a reconfigurable network consisting entirely of inorganic nanosheets and water”), “The key to whether a material is a soft hydrogel or a harder gel is based on the balance between attractive and repulsive forces among the nanosheets. If the repulsive forces dominate, it is softer, but if the attractive ones are strong, the sheets become locked into a three-dimensional network, and it can rearrange into a harder gel. By using finely tuned electrostatic repulsion, we tried to make a gel whose properties would change depending on temperature.” The group was ultimately successful in doing this, finding that the material changed from a softer repulsion-dominated state to a harder attraction-dominated state at a temperature of around 55 centigrade. They also found that they could repeat the process repeatedly without significant deterioration. “What was fascinating,” he continues, “is that this transition process is completed within just two seconds even though it requires a large structural rearrangement. This transition is accompanied by a 23-fold change in the mechanical elasticity of the gel, reminiscent of sea cucumbers.” To make the material more useful, they next doped it with gold nanoparticles that could convert light into heat, allowing them to shine laser light on the material to heat it up and change the structure. According to Yasuhiro Ishida of RIKEN CEMS, one of the corresponding authors of the paper, “This is really exciting work as it greatly opens the scope of substance that can be used in next-generation adaptive materials, and may even allow us to create a form of ‘inorganic life’.”

Source: https://feeds.nanowerk.com/~/639407215/0/nanowerk/agwb~A-shapeshifting-material-based-on-inorganic-matter.php

Continue Reading

Nano Technology

Nanoscopic barcodes set a new science limit

Avatar

Published

on

Nov 29, 2020 (Nanowerk News) Using barcodes to label and identify everyday items is as familiar as a trip to the supermarket. Imagine shrinking those barcodes a million times, from millimetre to nanometre scale, so that they could be used inside living cells to label, identify and track the building blocks of life or, blended into inks to prevent counterfeiting. This is the frontier of nanoengineering, requiring fabrication and controlled manipulation of nanostructures at atomic level – new, fundamental research, published in Nature Communications (“Nanorods with multidimensional optical information beyond the diffraction limit”), shows the possibilities and opportunities ahead. Schematic diagram to illustrate the route that leads to the formation of the nanorods a Schematic diagram to illustrate the route that leads to the formation of the nanorods. Conditions, including the well-controlled amount of surfactant concentration (OA-) and the relatively low concentration of shell precursor, have to be met, otherwise, nanoplates, nanodumbbells, and small nanoparticles from precursor self-nucleation, will form. b High-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM) images of three typical heterogeneous nanorods, scale bar is 50 nm. c Large area HAADF-STEM image of 18-segment heterogeneous nanorods, scale bar is 100 nm. d Distance statistics of five pairwise NaErF4 segments (center-to-center of each pairwise with different color markers) of the heterogeneous nanorods in c. (© Nature Communications) (click on image to enlarge) The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) led collaboration developed a nanocrystal growth method that controls the growth direction, producing programmable atomic thin layers, arbitrary barcoded nanorods, with morphology uniformity. The result is millions of different kinds of nanobarcodes that can form a “library” for future nanoscale sensing applications. The researchers anticipate that such barcode structures will attract broad interests in a range of applications as information nanocarriers for bio-nanotechnology, life sciences, data storage, once they are incorporated into a variety of matrixes. Lead author Dr Shihui Wen said the research provides a benchmark that will open up the potential for engineering smaller nanophotonics devices. “The inorganic nanobarcode structures are rigid, and it is easy to control the composite, thickness and distance accuracy between different functional segments for geometrical barcoding beyond the optical diffraction limit. Because they are chemically and optically stable, the nanoscopic barcodes can be used as carriers for drug delivery and tracking into the cell, once the surface of the barcode structures is further modified and functionalized with probe molecules and cargos,” Dr Wen, from the UTS Institute of Biomedical Materials and Devices (IBMD), said. The team also had an additional breakthrough with the development of a novel, tandem decoding system, using super-resolution nanoscopy to characterize different optical barcodes within the diffraction limit. Senior author, UTS IBMD Director, Professor Dayong Jin said there was no commercial system available for this type of super resolution imaging. “We had to build the instrumentation to diagnose the sophisticated functions that can be intentionally built into the tiny nanorod. These together allow us to unlock the further potential for placing atomic molecules where we want them so we can continue to miniaturise devices. This was the first time we were able to use super resolution system to probe, activate and readout the specific functional segment within the nanorod. “Imagine a tiny device, smaller than one thousandth the width of a human hair, and we can selectively activate a particular region of that device, see the optical properties, quantify them. This is the science now showing many new possibilities,” he said. Professor Jin is also the co-director of UTS-SUStech Joint Research Centre. The researchers envisage the developed nanoscale optical devices could be simultaneously used for tagging different cellular species. “These devices are also readily applicable for high-security-level anticounterfeiting when different batches of them are blended with inks and can be readily printed on high-value products for authentication.’ Dr Wen said

Source: https://feeds.nanowerk.com/~/639384579/0/nanowerk/agwb~Nanoscopic-barcodes-set-a-new-science-limit.php

Continue Reading

Nano Technology

Freeze like a star! Web exhibition explores the mysteries of the quantum world

Avatar

Published

on










(Nanowerk News) Colder than in outer space, higher pressure than 30 sperm whales on a stamp, and super magnets that could hold two Eiffel Towers: The search for new quantum materials – the materials of the day after tomorrow – is taking place today under extreme conditions.
Yet it is often difficult to understand what the researchers actually do in their high-performance laboratories.
The Würzburg-Dresden Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat–Complexity and Topology in Quantum Matter has now taken a big step towards popular science communication.
The web exhibition SHOWCASE–Insight into our Research provides information about the goals, current activities, and research achievements of over 250 international cluster researchers – with easy-to-understand texts, catchy illustrations and entertaining videos.
“No less than three exhibitions were opened this year, all explaining our research themes. The positive response inspired us to prepare these topics in a multimedia format and make them accessible on our website. Now you can navigate through our mysterious quantum world from the comfort of your sofa anywhere in the world. This is an enormous advantage, not the least during the coronavirus pandemic,” emphasizes Prof. Matthias Vojta, spokesperson of the Dresden branch of the Cluster of Excellence.
Available in German and English, the web exhibition explains in an easily understandable way the extreme conditions that prevail in the high-performance laboratories, why researchers design quantum materials atom by atom, and what topological quantum physics has to do with hairy donuts.
An outlook on future applications leads from “cold chips” to “QuBits” and quantum computers. For those who want to know more, there are links to background information.
“In Germany we are leaders in the field of topological quantum materials and we play in the top league of our research field worldwide. But we also want to communicate to the general public outside our scientific community how exciting our experiments are, what groundbreaking results we have achieved and what this means for the society as a whole. This is particularly important to us, because we are convinced that quantum technologies will decisively shape the high-tech of the 21st century and lead to new applications,” explains Prof. Ralph Claessen, spokesperson of the Würzburg branch of the Cluster.
Source: Technische Universität Dresden
Share this:
Subscribe to a free copy of one of our daily
Nanowerk Newsletter Email Digests
with a compilation of all of the day’s news.

These articles might interest you as well:

Source: https://feeds.nanowerk.com/~/639374679/0/nanowerk/agwb~Freeze-like-a-star-Web-exhibition-explores-the-mysteries-of-the-quantum-world.php

Continue Reading

Nano Technology

Game-changer in thermoelectric materials: decoupling electronic and thermal transport

Avatar

Published

on

Nov 29, 2020 (Nanowerk News) A new University of Wollongong study (Advanced Energy Materials,“Ultra-High Thermoelectric Performance in Bulk BiSbTe/Amorphous Boron Composites with Nano-Defect Architectures”) overcomes a major challenge of thermoelectric materials, which can convert heat into electricity and vice versa, improving conversion efficiency by more than 60%. Current and potential future applications range from low-maintenance, solid-state refrigeration to compact, zero-carbon power generation, which could include small, personal devices powered by the body’s own heat. “The decoupling of electronic (electron-based) and thermal (phonon-based) transport will be a game-changer in this industry,” says the UOW’s Prof Xiaolin Wang.

Thermoelectric applications and challenges

Bismuth telluride-based materials (Bi2Te3, Sb2Te3 and their alloys) are the most successful commercially-available thermoelectric materials, with current and future applications falling into two categories: converting electricity into heat, and vice versa:
  • Converting electricity into heat: reliable, low-maintenance solid-state refrigeration (heat pump) with no moving parts, no noise, and no vibration.
  • Converting heat into electricity including fossil-free power generation from a wide range of heat sources or powering micro-devices ‘for free’, using ambient or body temperature.
  • Heat ‘harvesting’ takes advantage of the free, plentiful heat sources provided by body heat, automobiles, everyday living, and industrial process. Without the need for batteries or a power supply, thermoelectric materials could be used to power intelligent sensors in remote, inaccessible locations. An ongoing challenge of thermoelectric materials is the balance of electrical and thermal properties: In most cases, an improvement in a material’s electrical properties (higher electrical conductivity) means a worsening of thermal properties (higher thermal conductivity), and vice versa. “The key is to decouple thermal transport and electrical transport”, says lead author, PhD student Guangsai Yang.

    Better efficiency through decoupling

    The three-year project at UOW’s Institute of Superconductivity and Electronic Materials (ISEM) found a way to decouple and simultaneously improve both thermal and electronic properties.
    cover image Advanced Energy Materials
    The new paper was selected as the cover story for the November edition of Wiley’s Advanced Energy Materials

    The team added a small amount of amorphous nano-boron particles to bismuth telluride-based thermoelectric materials, using nano-defect engineering and structural design.

    Amorphous nano boron particles were introduced using the spark plasma sintering (SPS) method.

    “This reduces the thermal conductivity of the material, and at the same time increases its electron transmission”, explains corresponding author Prof Xiaolin Wang.

    “The secret of thermoelectric materials engineering is manipulating the phonon and electron transport,” explains Professor Wang.

    Because electrons both carry heat and conduct electricity, material engineering based on electron transport alone is prone to the perennial tradeoff between thermal and electrical properties.

    Phonons, on the other hand, only carry heat. Therefore, blocking phonon transport reduces thermal conductivity induced by lattice vibrations, without affecting electronic properties. “The key to improving thermoelectric efficiency is to minimize the heat flow via phonon blocking, and maximize electron flow via (electron transmitting),” says Guangsai Yang. “This is the origin of the record-high thermoelectric efficiency in our materials.” The result is record-high conversion efficiency of 11.3%, which is 60% better than commercially-available materials prepared by the zone melting method. As well as being the most successful commercially-available thermoelectric materials, bismuth telluride-based materials are also typical topological insulators.

    Source: https://feeds.nanowerk.com/~/639374601/0/nanowerk/agwb~Gamechanger-in-thermoelectric-materials-decoupling-electronic-and-thermal-transport.php

    Continue Reading
    Cyber Security50 mins ago

    Digitally Signed Bandook Trojan Reemerges in Global Spy Campaign

    Amb Crypto59 mins ago

    Ethereum long-term Price Analysis: 30 November

    Amb Crypto1 hour ago

    Bitcoin’s price could one day be $500,000: Gemini’s Winklevoss brothers

    Aerospace2 hours ago

    2020 SpaceNews Awards Virtual Event

    Amb Crypto2 hours ago

    What does Bitcoin’s Sentiment say about its future?

    Amb Crypto2 hours ago

    Monero, Polkadot, Compound Price Analysis: 30 November

    Amb Crypto2 hours ago

    Former Chief Digital Officer of Luxury brand LVMH joins Ledger 

    Cleantech3 hours ago

    EV Aftermarket Virtual Trade Show (Show & Tell) Is Today — Join Us!

    Cyber Security3 hours ago

    MacOS Users Targeted By OceanLotus Backdoor

    Cleantech3 hours ago

    Townie Path Go! E-Bike: A Premium, Sturdy Electric Bike For Commuters & Fun

    Cyber Security3 hours ago

    Pandemic, A Driving Force in 2021 Financial Crime

    Aerospace3 hours ago

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to leave agency in January

    SaaS3 hours ago

    Generative Media: The Future of Visual Marketing

    Amb Crypto3 hours ago

    Bitcoin SV long-term Price Analysis: 30 November

    Automotive3 hours ago

    Tesla gains permission to begin second phase of deforestation at Giga Berlin

    Aerospace3 hours ago

    SES to provide satellite connectivity for U.S. military ‘internet of things’

    Aerospace4 hours ago

    Launchspace Technologies proposes debris mitigation and collection constellations

    SaaS4 hours ago

    How Long It Roughly Takes to Close a Deal in SaaS. And Why.

    Cleantech4 hours ago

    Renewables = 70% of New US Power Capacity in 2020, Solar = 43%

    Big Data4 hours ago

    Capital on Tap apuesta por el software Modellica Originations de GDS Modellica para evaluar los procesos de solicitudes de tarjetas de crédito

    Cleantech5 hours ago

    Ford To Convert Cologne Factory For MEB Based EV Production

    Aerospace5 hours ago

    China pushes ahead with super-heavy-lift Long March 9

    Automotive5 hours ago

    GM cuts back terms of partnership with Nikola, shares drop over 24%

    Cleantech6 hours ago

    Top Tesla Goodies for Cyber Monday

    Cleantech6 hours ago

    Conference programme announced for Plastics Recycling Show Europe virtual event

    Cleantech6 hours ago

    Research creates hydrogen-producing living droplets, suggesting a route to possible future energy sources

    Cleantech6 hours ago

    Australasian water programme creates opportunities for European technology companies

    SaaS6 hours ago

    How to Level up Your Writing Skills for Irresistible PPC Ads

    Blockchain7 hours ago

    J.P. Morgan Analysts Foreshadow Further Bitcoin Declines

    Blockchain7 hours ago

    Chainlink (LINK) Falls Putting Bullish Structure In Doubt

    Trending