Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Nano design, just like in nature

Abstract:
Researchers at Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) are currently coordinating an EU project. They are using biological principles as the inspiration to develop a new bionic fuel cell.

Nano design, just like in nature

Vienna | Posted on June 15th, 2010

Every living cell in our body can do it: covered with a thin membrane known as a cell membrane or nanomembrane, the cells can deliberately let specific substances in and out. Although it is thousands of times thinner than a human hair, this nanomembrane has an extremely complex structure and function. Three Nobel prizes have already in recent years been awarded for improving our understanding of these nanomembranes.

Biological nanomembrane has hundreds of very tinny channels which convey water, electrical charges and nutrients around and in doing so, create an equilibrium within the cell. However, we still do not know about many of the functions and structural details, but only channels which balance the water and proton exchange have been understand in depth. "These extremely fine cell membrane channels, with the ability to selectively convey protons, function in exactly the same way as fuel cells created by humans", explains Dr Werner Brenner, "only this naturally occurring process is considerably more efficient".

Fuel cells: an alternative to oil

Today, fuel cells are seen as a serious alternative to oil, which until now has been the basis for electrical energy and mobility. However, the earth's oil reserves are rapidly running out, under economic pressure to drill ever deeper into the seabed. Oil combustion also generates CO2, soot and other pollutants. In contrary, the only waste product from a fuel cell is water.

The EU project focuses on the design of the main component of every fuel cell - i.e. the membrane - with the intention of conveying protons more efficiently than in previous solutions. "It is not easy task, but it is possible. Nature has been producing these structures for billions of years and their effectiveness can be seen in every living organism. Our task is to transfer the structure of these natural nanochannels to an artificial nanomembrane, which is itself only a few hundred nanometres thick", explains Dr Jovan Matovic.

A wide range of scientific approaches are required for this project, ranging from solid state physics and nanotechnology through to chemistry. Therefore, international cooperation with six universities, research institutes and companies is also of great importance. The EU project is being coordinated by the TU Vienna research team of Dr Werner Brenner, Dr Jovan Matovic and Dr Nadja Adamovic at the Institute of Sensor and Actuator Systems.

The University research team is confident: "The results of this project should have far-reaching significance for our society. If we succeed in creating the nanochannels exactly as planned, then completely different fields of application will open up, such as the accurately controlled delivery of medicine, water desalination or even new types of sensors", explains Dr Nadja Adamovic, "In this project, the boundaries between "artificial and "natural" are becoming even more blurred".

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Vienna University of Technology
Institute of Sensor and Actuator Systems
Floragasse 7, 1040 Vienna

Dr Werner Brenner Dipl.Ing
T : +43 (1) 58801 - 366 81


Dr Jovan Matovic Dipl.Ing
T : +43 (1) 58801 - 766 67


Dr Nadja Adamovic Dipl.Ing
T : +43 (1) 58801 - 766 48


Author:
Vienna University of Technology
Public Relations Office
Bettina Neunteufl, MAS
T : +43 (1) 58801 - 41025

Copyright © Vienna University of Technology

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

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

Academic/Education

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

RMIT delivers $30m boost to micro and nano-tech August 26th, 2014

SEMATECH and Newly Merged SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT Launch New Patterning Center to Further Advance Materials Development: Center to Provide Access to Critical Tools that Support Semiconductor Technology Node Development August 7th, 2014

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research and the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard University Present a Workshop on AFM Nanomechanical and Nanoelectrical Characterization, Aug. 21-22 August 6th, 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

Sensors

Copper shines as flexible conductor August 29th, 2014

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

RMIT delivers $30m boost to micro and nano-tech August 26th, 2014

Symphony of nanoplasmonic and optical resonators leads to magnificent laser-like light emission August 26th, 2014

Energy

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

Aspen Aerogels, Inc. to Present at Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference August 27th, 2014

Competition for Graphene: Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate Ultrafast Charge Transfer in New Family of 2D Semiconductors August 26th, 2014

Chemical reaction yields "tapes" of porphin molecules: Flexible tapes from the nanoworld August 13th, 2014

Water

New Nanosorbent Helps Elimination of Colorants from Textile Wastewater August 25th, 2014

Eco-friendly 'pre-fab nanoparticles' could revolutionize nano manufacturing: UMass Amherst team invents a way to create versatile, water-soluble nano-modules August 13th, 2014

PerkinElmer to Display Innovative Detection and Informatics Offerings at ACS National Meeting & Exposition Detection, Data Visualization and Analytics for Chemistry Professionals August 8th, 2014

A new way to make microstructured surfaces: Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties July 29th, 2014

Fuel Cells

Media Advisory: Minister Rempel to Announce Support for Alberta's Nanotechnology Sector June 20th, 2014

Evolution of a Bimetallic Nanocatalyst June 6th, 2014

University of Surrey collaborates with India and Tata Steel to revolutionise renewable energy March 26th, 2014

Novel membrane reveals water molecules will bounce off a liquid surface: Study may lead to more efficient water-desalination systems, fundamental understanding of fluid flow March 16th, 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