By using a device only six-millionths of a meter long, researchers at Cornell University have been able to detect the presence of as few as a half-dozen viruses -- and they believe the device is sensitive enough to notice just one.
The research could lead to simple detectors capable of differentiating between a wide variety of pathogens,i ncluding viruses, bacteria and toxic organic chemicals. The experiment, an extension of earlier work in which similar devices were used to detect the mass of a single bacterium, is reported in a paper, "Virus detection using nanoelectromechanical devices," in the September 27, 2004, issue ofApplied Physics Letters by Cornell research associate Rob Ilic of the Cornell NanoScale Facility (CNF), Yanou Yang, a Cornell graduate student in biomedical engineering, and Harold Craighead, Cornell professor of applied and engineering physics. The work was done with the assistance of Michael Shuler, Cornell professor of chemical and biological engineering, and microbiologist Gary Blissard of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research on the Cornell campus.
At CNF, the researchers created arrays of tiny silicon paddles from 6 to 10 micrometers (millionths of a meter) long, half a micrometer wide, and about 150 nanometers (billionths of a meter) thick, with a one-micrometer square pad at the end. Think of a tiny fly-swatter mounted by its handle like a diving board. A large array of paddles were mounted on a piezoelectric crystal that can be made to vibrate at frequencies on the order of 5 to 10 megaHertz (mHz). The experimenters then varied the frequency of vibration of the crystal. When it matched the paddles resonant frequency, the paddles began to vibrate, as measured by focusing a laser on the paddles and noting the change in reflected light, a process called optical interferometry.
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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