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.
Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials
18.01.2019 | University of Sheffield
Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics
17.01.2019 | Georgia Institute of Technology
The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research
Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI
The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...
World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles
The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.
Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
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18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine