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.
Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells
01.12.2016 | University of California - Riverside
New process produces hydrogen at much lower temperature
01.12.2016 | Waseda University
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy