LATEST UPDATES » Volume 20, No. 10, October 2016 – Medical Tourism       » Hospitality Bridging Healthcare (H2H)©: Medical Tourism and Wellness       » Study Shows Sound-induced Fear Can Be Treated       » Tobacco Harm Reduction and Reduced-Risk Products       » China Issues Plan on Turning Beijing Into a Tech Innovation Hub       » Takeda Announces Bold, New Access to Medicines Strategy      
No assembly required for new micro particles
Scientists have created new kinds of particles—1/100th the diameter of a human hair—that “self-assemble” into structures that look like molecules made from atoms.

These new particles come together to form structures in patterns that were previously impossible to make and hold promise for manufacturing advanced optical materials and ceramics.

The method, described in the latest issue of the journal Nature, was developed by a team of chemists, chemical engineers, and physicists working together at New York University’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

The method is centered on enhancing the architecture of colloids—small particles suspended within a fluid medium. Colloidal dispersions are composed of such everyday items such as paint, milk, gelatin, glass, and porcelain, but their potential to create new materials remains largely untapped.

Previously, scientists had succeeded in building rudimentary structures from colloids. But the ability to use colloids to design and assemble complex 3-dimensional structures, which are vital to the design of advanced optical materials, has been limited.

This is, in part, because colloids lack directional bonds, which are necessary to control particle self-assembly as well as to enhance complexity while maintaining the structural integrity of these creations. Such assemblies serve as the building blocks of the natural world—e.g., atoms and molecules—but they are rare in the colloidal domain.

“What this method aimed to do was to use nature’s properties for atoms and apply them to the colloidal world,” explained New York University chemistry professor Marcus Weck, one of the study’s co-authors.

“Chemists have a whole periodic table of atoms to choose from when they synthesize molecules and crystals,” adds Vinothan Manoharan, an associate professor of chemical engineering and physics at Harvard and one of the study’s co-authors.

“We wanted to develop a similar ‘construction set’ for making larger-scale molecules and crystals.”

In developing colloids with such properties, the researchers engineered chemical “patches” that can form directional bonds, thus allowing for the assembly of 3-dimensional “lattices” with only a few connections between particles, an important design element for many advanced materials. Without directional bonding, such structures are unstable.

The trick was establishing bonding capabilities on the patches. The scientists did so by using single strands of DNA, which scientists at NYU and elsewhere have previously employed to organize small particles. In the method described in Nature, these strands of DNA served as “sticky ends” to which particle patches could adhere.

“What this means is we can make particles that attach only at the patches, and then we can program them so only specific kinds of particles attach at those patches,” says NYU physics professor David Pine, one of the study’s co-authors. “This gives us tremendous flexibility to design 3-dimensional structures.”

The researchers added that the specificity of DNA interactions between patches means that colloids with different properties, such as size, color, chemical functionality, or electrical conductivity, could lead to the production of new materials.

These potentially include 3-dimensional electrically wired networks or photonic crystals to enhance the optical displays of a range of consumer products and to improve the speed of computer chips.

The work, funded by the National Science Foundation, also included researchers currently working at the Dow Chemical Company and Harvard University.

Source: New York University/Futurity

Click here for the complete issue.

news Enterprise meets technology: More than 300 enabling innovations showcased at TechInnovation
news CPhI's Pre-Connect Congress outlines current trends in pharma
news World Population Day 2016
Asia Pacific Biotech News

Lady Ganga: Nilza'S Story
Subscribe to APBN E-Newsletter
Find us under 'Others' option to receive APBN e-newsletters thrice a month!

APBN Editorial Calendar 2016
Guest Editorial - Biotechnology In Korea
Guest Editorial - Biomedical Research Governance
Guest Editorial - Life-Saving Opportunities: A Guide to Regenerative Medicine
Leading-Edge ONCOLOGY
Healthcare Systems & Policies in Asia
Medical Devices & Healthcare Technology
Water Technology and Management
Novel Technologies for Antibody Drug Discovery in Japan
Infectious Diseases
Medical Tourism
Big Data in Healthcare
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
– Editor: Carmen, Jia Wen Loh
About Us
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Carmen
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
Copyright© 2016 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy