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November 14th, 2007
A number of companies have made serious headway in applying nanotechnology to improve existing products -- such as DuPont (NYSE: DD) in the field of thermoplastics. Well, this week two more interesting innovations in carbon nanotubes research could soon work their way into the marketplace.
Researchers at the University of Texas have demonstrated that cancer cells can be destroyed by injecting carbon nanotubes directly into them and then zapping them with radio frequency waves. The frequency of the radiation can be controlled to leave the rest of the body undamaged. In other words, the days of current chemotherapy, which kills both bad and good cells, could be numbered.
At the University of California at Berkeley, researchers have fashioned the world's tiniest radio out of carbon nanotubes. Now, this device isn't the kind of radio you can listen to in your car, but in combination with microelectromechanical sensors (which measure blood sugar levels or identify cancer markers in the body) it could provide wireless communication between those sensors and an external monitor.
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