Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When chemists invent new rattles

13.02.2014
Chemists supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) have developed a one-pot synthesis process to encapsulate nanoparticles. This type of particle could improve the antimicrobial coating of implants.

Western populations live longer while enjoying good health. More and more people, for example young pensioners, have implants fitted to pursue their activities. But such surgery is not without its risks: during an operation, bacteria can reach the surface of the implant.

Once they have colonised the surface and formed a biofilm, the implant has to be removed and the wound cleaned. No new implant can be fitted till the infection has cleared up completely. These complications affect 2% of artificial hip joints, 5-10% of artificial knee joints and reach 50% for cardiac shunt and stent operations.

One way of fighting the growth of bacteria on the surface of the implant is the addition of an antimicrobial coating. A research group, led by Katharina Fromm of the University of Fribourg, has developed such a coating. It is currently undergoing in-vivo tests in a project funded by the CTI. This coating continually emits an antimicrobial agent - silver ions - for the duration of approximately three months.

Coating with longer effect

To prolong the efficiency of the coating, the researchers are currently working on a second-generation coating in which the silver nanoparticle would be encapsulated in silica. This would enhance the stability of the nanoparticle by isolating it from its environment. It would also slow down the diffusion of the silver and prolong the efficiency of the coat-ing. Another advantage of this method is that cells can tolerate a much greater number of silver nanoparticles if they are encapsulated than if they are naked.

To this end, the researchers have developed, within the context of the National Research Programme “Smart Materials” (NRP 62), a one-pot synthesis process (*) to encapsulate the nanoparticles. This allows them to determine the porosity and the size of the silica container in relation to the nanoparticle it contains. Under the microscope, it looks like a nanoscopic rattle.

Targeted release

To improve the performance of the coating even further, the researchers - in collaboration with Prof Christian Bochet’s group - are also working on bacterial sensors which they aim to attach to the encapsulated nanoparticles. If such a sensor were in place, the silver would only be released if a pathogen were nearby. This targeted release would further prolong the efficiency of the protection and it would prevent silver from being needlessly released into the organism.

The synthesis developed by the researchers allows for the development of various types of containers for various nanoparticles. The application potential for these nano-rattles is therefore considerable: by con-trolling the porosity of the container, it is for example possible to con-trol which molecules can get close to the nanoparticles. This, in turn, would make it possible to create a nanoreactor in which a chemical reaction can take place. The technique might also enable new battery designs in which each encapsulated nanoparticle would play the role of an electrode.

National Research Programme “Smart Materials” (NRP 62)

NRP 62 is a cooperation programme between the Swiss National Sci-ence Foundation (SNSF) and the Innovation Promotion Agency (CTI). The programme's aim is not only to promote scientific excellence but also to promote the successful industrial exploitation of smart materi-als and their application. NRP 62 also strives to link up the available skills and resources of various research institutions in Switzerland. The research work provides the technologies required to develop smart materials and the structures needed to integrate these. Having started its second phase at the beginning of 2013, NRP 62 now consists of 12 projects whose funding has been continued thanks to their high potential for practical application. NRP 62 will come to an end in 2015.

www.nrp62.ch

(*) Magdalena Priebe et Katharina M. Fromm (2014). One-pot synthesis and catalytic properties of encapsulated nanoparticles in silica nanocontainers. Particle & Particle Systems Characterization online: doi:10.1002/ppsc.

(Journalists can order the article as a PDF from the SNSF: com@snf.ch)

Contact
Prof. Katharina M. Fromm
Chemistry department
University of Fribourg
Chemin du Musée 9
1700 Fribourg
Tel. : ++41 26 300 87 32
E-mail : katharina.fromm@unifr.ch

Media - Abteilung Kommunikation | idw
Further information:
http://www.nfp62.ch
http://www.snsf.ch

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Scientists generate an atlas of the human genome using stem cells
24.04.2018 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Industrial Maturity of Electrically Conductive Adhesives for Silicon Solar Cells Demonstrated

25.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Electrode shape improves neurostimulation for small targets

25.04.2018 | Medical Engineering

Silicon as a new storage material for the batteries of the future

25.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>