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Tiny Capsules Float Downstream

October 30, 2001

Tiny capsules that can be injected into the bloodstream and perform corrective tasks, using biological microelectromechanical systems (bioMEMS), have been used to cure rats with diabetes.
A University of Illinois at Chicago researcher has created a nano-scale capsule, using pores on the surface only 7 nanometers across. This is big enough to let the insulin out, but small enough to keep antibodies from entering.

If it works, the nanopore… read more

Tiny Cellphone Chip Aims to Improve Sound Quality

February 11, 2008

Audience, a Silicon Valley start-up company that has modeled the function of the cochlea of the inner ear, plans on Monday to introduce an integrated circuit intended to improve the sound quality of cellphones.

The chip runs software that digitizes sound and represents it as a three-dimensional matrix, making it possible for the circuitry to identify and then suppress noise picked up by the cellphone microphone while leaving the… read more

Tiny delivery system with a big impact on cancer cells

December 16, 2008

Penn State medical researchers have found that calcium phosphate nanocomposite particles (CPNPs)encapsulating cancer-killing ceramide (effectively making ceramide soluble), killed 95 percent of human melanoma cells and were “highly effective” against human melanoma and breast cancer cells that are normally resistant to anticancer drugs.

Tiny Drug Transporters

August 29, 2008

Research from Stanford University has shown that carbon nanotubes loaded with anticancer drugs can target tumor cells while avoiding healthy tissue.

The researchers coated the nanotubes with a molecule called polyethylene glycol (PEG) and attached molecules of the anticancer drug paclitaxel to each branch. Tumors treated by nanotube delivery were less than half the size of the tumors treated by the second most effective treatment, Taxol.

Tiny ear listens to hidden worlds

March 1, 2010

“Optical tweezers” used to measure the sounds created by microscopic organisms have been developed by scientists at Glasgow and Oxford Universities and at the National Institute of Medical Research.

They suspended very small glass or plastic beads in a beam of laser light to measure the movement of these beads as they are jostled by tiny objects, allowing for detection of piconewton (extremely weak) forces at molecular scales. The… read more

Tiny ‘elevator’ most complex nanomachine yet

March 19, 2004

Nanoscale elevators made of two interlinking organic molecules have been built and operated by US and Italian scientists.

They are the most complex molecular machines built yet, consisting of a platform flanked by three rings that thread through three vertical rods. The force of an acid-base reaction is used to power the “elevator.”

The most likely application will be in bringing two reactants together, allowing tight control over… read more

Tiny Etch-a-Sketch

March 5, 2008
(Jeremy Levy)

University of Pittsburgh researchers have demonstrated a new technique that could be used to create rewritable logic circuits and denser computer memory.

Using an atomic force microscope (AFM), the researchers were able to draw electrically conductive paths to create nano-sized wires and dots that could be repeatedly erased and written.

Tiny fishing reel gets DNA researchers out of a tangle

July 14, 2008
(K Terao/Kyoto University)

Kyoto University researchers have developed the world’s smallest fishing reel to wind up DNA strands without damaging them.

The microdevice lets geneticists more precisely locate specific genes and identify genetic disorders.

The researhers developed minuscule hooks and bobbins that mimic the way a fishing reel winds line onto a spool as a safer way to manipulate DNA. These are fabricated from a polymer called SU-8 photoresist… read more

Tiny fuel cell might replace batteries in laptop computers, portable electronics

September 13, 2006

Chemists at Arizona State University have created a tiny hydrogen-gas generator that they say can be developed into a compact fuel cell package that can power electronic devices three to five times longer than conventional batteries of the same size and weight.

The generator uses a special solution containing borohydride, an alkaline compound that has an unusually high capacity for storing hydrogen, a key element that is used by… read more

Tiny genetic differences have huge consequences

January 21, 2008

McGill University researchers have demonstrated that small differences between individuals at the DNA level can lead to dramatic differences in the way genes produce proteins, and these, in turn, are responsible for the vast array of differences in physical characteristics between individuals.

This study solves in part the mystery of how a relatively small number of differences within DNA protein coding sequences could be responsible for the enormous variety… read more

Tiny Genome May Reflect Organelle in the Making

October 12, 2006

The record for world’s smallest genome has been smashed by a bacterium that lives inside a sap-feeding insect. The microbe is missing almost half of the genes thought to be essential for its kind to persist, raising the possibility that it is becoming an organelle similar to a mitochondrion or chloroplast.

Tiny Ideas Coming of Age

October 25, 2004

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has announced a new registration category just for nanotechnology inventions.

The patent office’s definition requires that a least one dimension of an invention be less than 100 nanometers and the nanoscale element of the product or process must be essential to whatever properties make it novel.

The patent office began training its examiners in nanotechnology concepts and terminology in November, and has… read more

Tiny Implants for Treating Chronic Pain

May 15, 2009

A tiny (smaller than a grain of rice) injectable implant designed to treat chronic pain and other neurological disorders has been developed by MicroTransponder using RFID technology.

Radio waves transmitted by the external coil generate a magnetic field in the internal coil, which powers the electrodes.

Tiny Is Beautiful: Translating ‘Nano’ Into Practical

February 22, 2005

Nanoparticles of various sorts are already found in products like sunscreen, paint and inkjet paper. More exotic varieties offer promise in medicine for sensitive diagnostic tests and novel treatments: the detection of Alzheimer’s disease by finding a protein in spinal fluid, for instance, or nanoparticles that heat up and kill cancer cells.

Tiny Living Machines

January 29, 2008

Harvard University researchers have developed devices made of heart tissue that could screen drug candidates and be used to power implantable robots.

The muscle cells would be fueled by sugar in the bloodstream and maintained by the same repair mechanisms that keep the heart pumping. And the muscle-coated film could also be used to regenerate tissue damaged in heart attacks.

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