Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > News > The Materialist

October 16th, 2008

The Materialist

Abstract:
Earlier this year, Francesco Stellacci announced that his group had developed a material that can suck 20 times its weight in oil out of a sample of water. The material could be used to clean up massive crude spills, and chemist Joerg Lahann of the University of Michigan called the work a blueprint for scientists who hope to design nanomaterials that protect the environment. Yet Stellacci doesn't consider this his best work. He's excited about tricking cells.

Stellacci's first major step came in 2003, when he created a peculiar coating for metallic nanoparticles. He had been wondering what would happen if hydrophilic, or water-loving, molecules, and their opposites, hydrophobes, were stuck together on the surface of a nanosize sphere. So he ran an experiment and found that the molecules self-organized into alternating stripes, like lines of latitude on a globe. A belt of tiny, spherical hydrophilic molecules sat atop a band of hydrophobes, and so on from top to bottom.

These stripes are not only aesthetically attractive, they gave his particles new properties. Typically, when materials try to enter a cell, they either get swallowed up and spat out, or they damage it by poking a hole in its membrane. But Stellacci's striped nanoparticles slipped right in. "The cell has a security system," he says, "and somehow my particles trick it."

Source:
popsci.com

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Materials/Metamaterials

Bioinspired process makes materials light, robust, programmable at nano- to macro-scale: Ultralight web of silk nano fibers withstands load 4,000 times its weight February 28th, 2017

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

EmTech Asia breaks new barriers with potential applications of space exploration with NASA and MIT February 22nd, 2017

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

Biosensors: Distance makes the signal grow stronger March 1st, 2017

Smart multi-layered magnetic material acts as an electric switch: New study reveals characteristic of islands of magnetic metals between vacuum gaps, displaying tunnelling electric current March 1st, 2017

Bioinspired process makes materials light, robust, programmable at nano- to macro-scale: Ultralight web of silk nano fibers withstands load 4,000 times its weight February 28th, 2017

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project