Tag Archives: nanotechnology

Anti-counterfeit ‘fingerprints’ made from silver nanowires

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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. Continue reading

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.” Continue reading

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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