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Home > Nanotechnology Columns > Earl Boysen

Earl Boysen

April 18th, 2013
Farming out your R&D
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

Imagine that there's a market for a material or product with capabilities provided by nanotechnology, but your company doesn't have people with the expertise to develop it. Fortunately other companies have made it their business to perform contract research and development of nanomaterials or nanodevices for you. Read the Whole Article


March 13th, 2013
Farming out your analysis
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

For many companies developing new nanotech products it may not be feasible to have an in-house lab to fully analyze the properties and structure of their products. Fortunately several companies have made it their business to analyze nanomaterials for others, and have labs with the necessary equipment and staff to run the analytical equipment and interpret the results. Read the Whole Article


December 17th, 2012
Combining Nanomaterials for Improved Performance
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

A few years ago there were several news stories and research articles indicating the advantages of graphene over carbon nanotubes. I find it interesting that recently research articles have been talking about obtaining better performance when graphene and carbon nanotubes are used together. Read the Whole Article


July 31st, 2011
Nanotechnology For Dummies
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

Recently my co-author Nancy Muir Boysen and I finished an all-new edition of an introductory guide on nanotechnology; Nanotechnology For Dummies. We have completely rewritten the book to cover nanotechnology basics plus recent advances in the field. Read the Whole Article


August 21st, 2010
An Intriguing Method of Drug Delivery
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

Recently I read about a method to deliver drugs to the interior of a cell through the cell membrane to treat diseases such as cancer. This method, developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology, blasts temporary holes in the cell membrane which allow therapeutic drug molecules to enter the cell. Read the Whole Article


June 16th, 2010
The Latest Miracle Nanomaterial
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

Anybody who tries to keep up with nanotechnology is familiar with the many news stories about the potential applications of graphene. These stories remind me of the stories about the potential applications of nanotubes that proliferated just a few years ago. Read the Whole Article


May 5th, 2010
Nano Contributions to the Fight Against Heart Disease
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

Looking at news stories about the application of nanotechnology to medical issues it seemed to me that articles about curing heart disease show up much less frequently than articles about curing cancer. That got me thinking, so I started looking for programs that coordinate and fund research for the application of nanotechnology to curing heart disease. Read the Whole Article


January 20th, 2010
Targeted Drug Delivery That Hits the Mark
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

One of the challenges with current cancer treatments is how to deliver drugs to tumors without causing debilitating side effects. By delivering drugs in a more targeted way, some of those side effects can be reduced. There are several companies and universities developing targeted drug delivery using nanoparticles. One method being developed by researchers at MIT and University of California at San Diego and Santa Barbara looks interesting. They have divided the task between two nanoparticles in order to increase the targeting effectiveness. Read the Whole Article


December 28th, 2009
Small Windmills Improved With Nanotubes
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

Solar panels are a widely accepted way to generate electricity if your house is off the grid or if you want to supplement power from the grid, however in some regions windmills may be much more effective. Considering that adding nanotubes to composites produces stronger, lighter components I had assumed that nanotubes would be used to produce larger windmills that can withstand higher winds. I was therefore interested to find Eagle Windpower taking a different approach in one of their product lines by using an epoxy containing carbon nanotubes to improve small windmills, small enough to be used to power a single house. Read the Whole Article


November 19th, 2009
Nano Medical Cures Coming Closer?
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

In updating my website recently, I noticed that several efforts to use nanotechnology in medicine have moved from the realm of research papers to the pre-clinical or clinical testing stage. For example, CytImmune has published the preliminary results of a phase 1 clinical trial of a targeted chemotherapy treatment method. Read the Whole Article


June 17th, 2008
Behind the Scenes at a Nano Lab
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

Mack Carter, Program Manager for the NanoTech User Facility at the University of Washington in Seattle has a passion for getting the word out about the equipment available at his lab. This facility is part of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), whose goal is to support nanotechnology research. Mack was gracious enough to invite me to visit UW's NanoTech User Facility recently, and I eagerly accepted. Read the Whole Article


March 24th, 2008
For Rent: One Nano Research Lab…
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

Say you're an aspiring young nanotechnologist with an idea for a new product. What are the barriers to moving your project forward? One big barrier is the cost of the equipment to build and test your nano-based prototype. For example an ebeam lithography system has a price tag of a million dollars, not counting the cost of installation, a facility to put it in, and maintance. The reality is that not just every Tom, Dick, or Mary can set up a nano lab. What's a researcher to do? Rent a lab. Read the Whole Article


January 31st, 2008
Can Nanotechnology Economically Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions?
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a naturally occurring gas that the plants in your garden use to produce oxygen. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. However, when excess carbon dioxide is produced, for example in power plant emissions, it can be a major factor in global warming.

Electric power plants fired by fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) produce about a third of the man-made carbon dioxide released into the air in the United States. Several methods exist or are under development to try to reduce the problem. The challenge seems to be developing a method that can be inexpensively and easily retrofitted into existing power plants.
Read the Whole Article


December 1st, 2007
Santa Goes Nano
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

With the holidays coming up I got to wondering how nanotechnology might help Jolly Old St. Nick with his annual gift-giving. I came up with several ideas to make Santa's life easier. Read the Whole Article


October 22nd, 2007
Can Nanotechnology Make Drought Relief A Reality?
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

The drought plunging Georgia into a state of emergency this fall set me thinking. How ironic that even states that enjoy miles of coastline are rationing water, truly a case of "water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink." Could nanotechnology ease the threat of drought by helping to make our ocean water potable? Read the Whole Article


September 18th, 2007
Bright Ideas: Nanotechnology and Electronics
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

I recently read about researchers at the University of Michigan who have demonstrated that nanowires can be used as electrodes in organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays, thereby enabling manufacture of larger flexible OLED displays. This started me thinking about how nanotechnology might affect the appearance and function of electronic devices. For example, could a laptop computer display unroll like a portable movie screen or could you detach it from the laptop and attach it to the back of an airline seat with Velcro®? I began to tally up the ways that nanotechnology might change laptops. Read the Whole Article


August 8th, 2007
Nanotechnology offers an Alternative to Fossil Fuels
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

With the uncertainty about supply of crude oil, as well as high prices, other sources of fuel are now a hot topic. An interesting option is ethanol, currently made from plants such as corn and sugar cane. Companies and universities are working to develop a process for producing ethanol from many other types of plant material; which may significantly increase the amount of ethanol available as fuel. Nanotechnology may be of help in this effort. Read the Whole Article


June 6th, 2007
Nanotechnology on the Road
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

The astronomical price of gas this summer inspired me to look at how nanotechnology might help reduce the cost of driving. I identified two rays of hope: better batteries for cars powered by electricity and hydrogen fuel cells. Read the Whole Article


April 29th, 2007
Nanotechnology in Space
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology may hold the key to making spaceflight more practical. Advancements in materials to make lightweight solar sails and the cable for the space elevator could significantly cut the cost of reaching orbit and traveling in space, as well as dramatically reducing the amount of rocket fuel used. Also new materials, along with nanosensors and nanorobots could improve the performance of spaceships, spacesuits and equipment used to explore planets and moons, making a big difference on the ‘final frontier.' Read the Whole Article


March 30th, 2007
Nanotechnology in the Food Industry
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is having an impact on several aspects of the food industry, from how food is grown to how it is packaged. Companies are developing nanomaterials that will make a difference not only in the taste of food, but also in food safety, and the health benefits food delivers. Read the Whole Article


February 12th, 2007
Connecting with Nanotechnologists of the Future
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

While being interviewed by a high school class I discovered interesting perspectives on the future of nanotechnology, as well as a surprising lack of attention to the topic in our school textbooks. Read the Whole Article


January 17th, 2007
Nano Aids Delivery of Drugs in Patients
Earl Boysen
Understanding Nanotechnology

For diabetics who have to inject insulin several times a day, or cancer patients experiencing debilitating side effects from treatment, the benefits of improved drug delivery through the application of nanotechnology may be life changing. Drug delivery using nano techniques is helping researchers to target delivery of drugs to diseased cells to avoid side effects, provide drugs such as insulin in pill form, deliver drugs through skin lotions, and even help you avoid catching the common cold. Read the Whole Article

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