Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Revolutionising the diagnosis of serious disease

Abstract:
Revolutionary ultrasonic nanotechnology that could allow scientists to see inside a patient's individual cells to help diagnose serious illnesses is being developed by researchers at The University of Nottingham.

Revolutionising the diagnosis of serious disease

Nottingham, UK | Posted on June 2nd, 2009

The new technique would utilise ultrasound technology — more commonly used to look at whole bodies such as fetal scanners — to look inside cells. The components of the new technology would be many thousand times smaller than current systems.

The technology would be tiny enough to allow scientists to see inside and image individual cells in the human body, which would further our understanding of the structure and function of cells and could help to detect abnormalities to diagnose serious illnesses such as some cancers.

The work by the Ultrasonics Group in the Division of Electrical Systems and Optics has been deemed so potentially innovative it has recently been awarded a £850,000 five-year Platform Grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Ultrasound refers to sound waves that are at a frequency too high to be detected by the human ear, typically 20 kHz and above. Medical ultrasound uses an electrical transducer the size of a matchbox to produce sound waves at much higher frequencies, typically around 100-1000 times higher to probe bodies.

The Nottingham researchers are aiming to produce a miniaturised version of this technology, with transducers so tiny that you could fit 500 across the width of one human hair which would produce sound waves at frequencies a thousand times higher again, in the GHz range.

Dr Matt Clark of the Ultrasonics Group, said: "By examining the mechanical properties inside a cell there is a huge amount that we can learn about its structure and the way it functions. But it's very much a leap into the unknown as this has never been achieved before.

"One of the reasons for this is that it presents an enormous technical challenge. To produce nano-ultrasonics you have to produce a nano-transducers, which essentially means taking a device that is currently the size of a matchbox and scaling it down to the nanoscale. How do you attach a wire to something so small?

"Our answer to some of these challenges is to create a device that works optically — using pulses of laser light to produce ultrasound rather than an electrical current. This allows us to talk to these tiny devices."

The new technology may also allow scientists to see objects even smaller than optical microscopes and be so sensitive they may be able to measure single molecules.

In addition to medical applications, the new technology would have important uses as a testing facility for industry to assess the integrity and quality of materials and to detect tiny defects which could have an impact on performance or safety.

Ultrasonics is currently used in applications such as testing landing gear components in the aero industry for cracks and damage which may not be immediately visible or may develop with use.

The group is also looking at developing new inspection techniques for inspecting engineering metamaterials — advanced composites that are currently impossible to inspect with ultrasound. These materials offer huge performance advantages allowing radical new engineering but can't be widely used because of the difficulty of inspection.

Dr Clark added: "We are also applying our technology to nanoengineering because we have to match the enormous growth in nanotechnology with techniques to inspect the nanoworld. As products and their components become ever tinier, the testing facilities for those also need to be scaled down accordingly.

In NEMS (nanoelectromechanical) and MEMS (microelectromechanical) based machines there is an increasing demand for testing facilities which offer the same capabilities as those for real-world sized devices."

####

About University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dr Matt Clark
+44 (0)115 951 5536


Lindsay Brooke
Media Relations Manager

+44 (0)115 951 5751
Location: King's Meadow Campus

Copyright © University of Nottingham

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 News Press

News and information

A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

NEMS

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

LetiDays Grenoble to Present Multiple Perspectives on Development, Challenges and Markets for the IoT April 14th, 2014

Columbia engineers make world's smallest FM radio transmitter: Team demonstrates new application of graphene using positive feedback November 18th, 2013

Revisiting quantum effects in MEMS: New calculations shows that the influence of quantum effects on the operating conditions of nanodevices has, until now, been overestimated November 15th, 2013

Possible Futures

Air Force’s 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

MEMS

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Leti to Present Technological Platforms Targeting Industry’s Needs for the Future at Semicon West Workshop: Presentation at STS Session to Focus on Leti Advanced Lithography Programs for 1x Nodes and on Silicon Photonics at TechXPot June 25th, 2014

Mirrorcle Technologies Opens New Company Headquarters May 27th, 2014

Ziptronix and EV Group Demonstrate Submicron Accuracies for Wafer-to-Wafer Hybrid Bonding: Enables Fine-Pitch Connections for 3D Applications, Including Image Sensors, Memory and 3D SoCs May 27th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

Copper shines as flexible conductor August 29th, 2014

Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices August 28th, 2014

PetLife Comments on CNN Story on Scorpion Venom Health Benefits August 27th, 2014

Announcements

A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Rice physicist emerges as leader in quantum materials research: Nevidomskyy wins both NSF CAREER Award and Cottrell Scholar Award August 20th, 2014

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Receives the 2014 Microscopy Today Innovation Award for blueDrive Photothermal Excitation August 18th, 2014

AQUANOVA receives Technology Leadership Award 2014 FROST & SULLIVAN honors NovaSOL® Technology again August 12th, 2014

Focal blood-brain-barrier disruption with high-frequency pulsed electric fields August 12th, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

The channel that relaxes DNA: Relaxing DNA strands by using nano-channels: Instructions for use August 20th, 2014

Сalculations with Nanoscale Smart Particles August 19th, 2014

Interaction between Drug, DNA for Designing Anticancer Drugs Studied in Iran August 17th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE