Anti-counterfeit ‘fingerprints’ made from silver nanowires

Main Points:

Unique patterns made from tiny, randomly scattered silver nanowires have been created by a group of researchers from South Korea in an attempt to authenticate goods and tackle the growing problem of counterfeiting.

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The nanoscale ‘fingerprints’ are made by randomly dumping 20 to 30 individual nanowires, each with an average length of 10 to 50 µm, onto a thin plastic film, and could be used to tag a variety of goods from electronics and drugs to credit cards and bank notes.

According to the researchers, the fingerprints are almost impossible to replicate because of the natural randomness of their creation and the difficulty associated with manipulating such small materials.

Lead author of the research Professor Hyotcherl Ihee, from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Institute for Basic Science (IBS), said: “It is nearly impossible to replicate the fingerprints due to the difficulty in trying to manipulate the tiny nanowires into a desired pattern. The cost of generating such an identical counterfeit pattern would generally be much higher than the value of the typical product being protected.”

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Ordinary chemical with an extraordinary property to be used in quantum computation

Copper Phtalocyanine Blue (Credit: Wikipedia)

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Researchers have reported that a common blue pigment, copper phthalocyanine (CuPc), could be used potentially in the making of quantum computer.

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Copper phthalocyanine (CuPc):

It is also known as Phthalocyanine Blue BN, Monastral blue and phthalo blue. It is a semiconductor and is similar to the light harvesting part of the chlorophyll molecule. Read More …

Tiny device to capture, release and study cancer cells

Tiny device that can capture circulating tumor cells (Credit - RIKEN)
Tiny device that can capture circulating tumor cells (Credit: RIKEN)

Researchers have developed a device that captures/preserves and releases cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream.

This device has been developed by scientists from RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Japan in collaboration with University of California Los Angeles and has been mentioned in the paper published online in the journal Advanced Materials.

This new device is a nanoscale Velcro-like device that can help not only in non-invasive diagnosis of cancer but also to study the mechanism involved in the spread of cancer in the body. With the help of this device doctors would be able to detect the cancer cells before their stay in the other organs. Moreover, the tumor cells would remain alive on the device, so the researchers would easily study them.

Blood passes through the device as a filter and the tumor cells adhere to the small molecules and separate them with 40%-70% of efficiency. Temperature at 37 degrees Celsius helps scientists to keep the tumor cells in tiny temperature-responsive polymer brushes or the temperature cooled to 4 degrees Celsius helps them to release and examine the cells.

Researchers wrote, “A platform for capture and release of circulating tumor cells is demonstrated by utilizing polymer grafted silicon nanowires. In this platform, integration of ligand-receptor recognition, nanostructure amplification, and thermal responsive polymers enables a highly efficient and selective capture of cancer cells. Subsequently, these captured cells are released upon a physical stimulation with outstanding cell viability.” Read More …

Novel technology to detect cancer in early stages

Researchers have developed novel technology to detect the tumors in the body in early stages with the help of nanoparticles that would help to amplify the minute cancerous alarms.

This research has been published in the December 16th issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Cancer cells produce many of the proteins that could be used as biomarkers to detect the cancer in the body but the amount of these proteins is not up to the mark or they may get diluted in the body of the patients making it nearly impossible to detect them in early stages.

Nanoparticles (brown) coated with peptides (blue) cleaved by enzymes (green) at the disease site. Peptides than come into the urine to be detected by mass spectrometry. (Credit: Justin H. Lo/MIT)

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Formation of brain cells from simple cells of urine

Researchers have utilized the cells in human urine to make brain cells.

This research has been published online in the journal Nature Methods.

In this study, researchers have found that the human excreta could be powerfully used to study different diseases thereby help us in overcoming some of the problems of utilizing stem cells. Not only this but it can also help us one day to control neurodegenerative diseases.

Researchers in this study presented the clear-cut way to utilize the cells in the human urine to be converted into valuable neurons. Interestingly, researchers have not used the stem cells, which can result in the development of tumors upon transplantation; instead they used simple cells and converted them into neural progenitor cells, which are the originator of brain cells. These are precursor cells and can be easily used in different individuals than the current procedures.

Neural Progenitor cells (Credit: Prof Chandran lab, University of Edinburgh)

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Diagnostic tool to determine down to 20 nm of individual particles in blood sample at an early stage

Researchers from Norway have developed the sensor that is capable of determining the individual particles in the blood sample and can help to detect cancer such as prostate and ovarian cancer in very early stages.

It is the world’s first sensor with such capability of determination developed by researchers from SINTEF, the largest independent research organization in Scandinavia, in collaboration with the researchers from Stanford University in the USA and the University of Oslo (UiO). This nano-particle sensor has been developed in MiNaLab in Oslo.

The MiNaLab nanotechnology laboratory in Oslo (Credit: SINTEF ICT)

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New types of soft and almost natural lightening alternatives for offices and homes; Research

Professor David Carroll works with graduate student Greg Smith on new FIPEL lighting technology (Credit: Ken Bennett, Wake Forest University photographer)Researchers have developed a new form of light bulb alternative based on field-induced polymer electroluminescent (FIPEL) technology that gives light without yellowish or bluish tinge.

This research has been published online in the journal Organic Electronics.

This new technology gives off light with soft and flicker-free capabilities. It is also durable. It can also be made into any color and shape. These are also two times more efficient as compared to compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs and have the same level as that of LEDs.

“People often complain that fluorescent lights bother their eyes, and the hum from the fluorescent tubes irritates anyone sitting at a desk underneath them,” David Carroll, Director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University, who is leading the development of this technology at Wake Forest, David Carroll. “The new lights we have created can cure both of those problems and more.” Read More …

Nanoparticle delivery of cancer killing agents could improve chemotherapy; Research


Researchers have developed a nano-scale particle that could result in improvement of chemotherapy by delivering cancer killing agent.

This research has been done by researchers from Australian Center for Nanomedicine at the University of New South Wales in Sydney and published online in the journal of Chemical Communications. Read More …

Carbon nanotubes that can support 50,000 times of their own weight; Research

Scientists have developed artificial carbon nanotube muscles that are 200 times stronger than the human muscle fibers of the same size. They can support about 50,000 times their own weight as reported by the researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas.

This research has been published online in the journal Science.

Individually, these tiny nanotubes can be 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of the human hair and pound-for-pound, they can be 100 times than that of steel in strength.

Carbon nanofiber. This coiled yarn is two times the width of a human hair. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Texas at Dallas)

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