This month’s issue focuses on materials in medicine, and includes:
•A timely delivery – Roy Carter, Director of Celsum Technologies, and Mike Newton, Emeritus Professor, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, describe how technology developed for the production of solid gun and rocket propellants has been tailored to enable pharmaceutical pills to progressively release active ingredients. Computer modelling was used to predict tablet erosion in the human body.
•Light fantastic - Recent advances in organic semiconductors have led to a light-emitting sticking plaster that treats skin cancers. Professor Ifor Samuel from the Organic Semiconductor Centre at the University of St Andrews reports on photodynamic therapy (PDT) as an attractive alternative to surgery. In PDT, light and a pharmaceutical cream are used to treat non-melanoma skin cancers. Aminolaevulinic acid in the cream is metabolised to a porphyrin, which is a photosensitiser. When illuminated, a photochemical reaction occurs destroying the surrounding tissue.
Differences in metabolism between normal and tumour cells mean that there is a higher concentration of porphyrin in the tumour than in the surrounding healthy tissue.
•Cast away - Articulated materials can be used to support injured body parts. Mary Anne Cordeiro, Commercial Director of FlexNlock Ltd, explores a family of materials suitable for any application that requires customised moulding and setting. The material can stretch and conform around complex 3D shapes. Once in the desired position, energy, such as in the form of high intensity visible light, locks the structure into place. Developed by researchers in the UK at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, University College London and Brunel University, the material could provide treatment for patients with spinal disabilities, particularly those with scoliosis.
In addition, Materials World carries industry and conference news, as well as event listings. The mining features in August’s issue cover attempts to harmonise reporting standards. ‘In reserve’ focuses on the Pan European Resources Committee, a member of the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards. The second article, ‘Coded messages’ examines government perceptions of mining companies, looking at how mining codes have brought prosperity to African countries, and the limitations of earlier codes.
Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible
22.08.2017 | Science China Press
Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition
21.08.2017 | Nagoya University
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine
22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.08.2017 | Life Sciences