Chemists at the University of California, San Diego have developed a method that uses dust-sized chips of silicon to surround and precisely direct the motion of molecules, cells, bacteria and other miniscule objects within a tiny drop of liquid.
Smart dust particles self assembled on drops of oil in water. Photo Credit: Jamie Link, UCSD
Their development of these tiny silicon “chaperones,” detailed today in an advance online publication in a forthcoming issue of the journal Nature Materials, represents an important new achievement in the emerging field of “microfluidics,” in which new methods are sought to create, transport and experiment with ever smaller volumes of fluids.
Much as the development of smaller and smaller computer chips has transformed the electronics industry, the “smaller is better” movement of microfluidics is already beginning to pave the way for a new wave of developments in biotechnology and nanotechnology. One major problem now facing scientists in the biotechnology industry is how to handle tiny volumes of liquid containing precious samples of DNA, bacteria, viruses or other nano-sized particles without losing much of the samples.
Kim McDonald | EurekAlert!
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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