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news archives: 2010

2010 News

Study improves understanding of multi-metal nanoparticles (December 15, 2010). A new study from researchers at NC State sheds light on how a technique that is commonly used for making single-metal nanoparticles can be extended to create nanoparticles consisting of two metals – and that have tunable properties. The study also provides insight into the optical properties of some of these nanoparticles. NC State News Service

Researchers find ‘goldilocks’ of DNA self-assembly (October 27, 2010). Researchers from NC State have found a way to optimize the development of DNA self-assembling materials, which hold promise for technologies ranging from drug delivery to molecular sensors. The key to the advance is the discovery of the “Goldilocks” length for DNA strands used in self-assembly – not too long, not too short, but just right. NC State News Service

Structure of plastic solar cells impedes their efficiency (October 5, 2010). A team of researchers from NC State--including Dr. Harald Ade--and the U.K. has found that the low rate of energy conversion in all-polymer solar-cell technology is caused by the structure of the solar cells themselves. They hope that their findings will lead to the creation of more efficient solar cells. The researchers’ results appear online in Advanced Functional Materials and Nano Letters. NC State News Service

Mimicking nature, water-based ‘artificial leaf’ produces electricity (September 24, 2010). A team led by Dr. Orlin Velev has shown that water-gel-based solar devices – “artificial leaves” – can act like solar cells to produce electricity. The findings prove the concept for making solar cells that more closely mimic nature. They also have the potential to be less expensive and more environmentally friendly than the current standard-bearer: silicon-based solar cells. NC State News Service

Study shows nano-architectured aluminum has steely strength (September 8, 2010). A NC State researcher and colleagues have figured out a way to make an aluminum alloy, or a mixture of aluminum and other elements, just as strong as steel. That’s important, says Dr. Yuntian Zhu, professor of materials science at NC State, because the search for ever lighter – yet stronger – materials is crucial to devising everything from more fuel-efficient cars to safer airplanes. NC State News Service

Gubbins wins Rossini Award (August 31, 2010). Dr. Keith E. Gubbins received the 2012 Rossini Lectureship Award from the International Association of Chemical Thermodynamics. The award, presented every two years, recognizes significant contributions to the field of thermodynamics. Gubbins will deliver a lecture at the 2012 International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Conference on Chemical Thermodynamics in Buzios, Brazil. NC State News Service

New Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute is established (August 30, 2010). World-changing, broad-based scientific collaboration to make fuel directly from sunlight is the mission of the Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute that the three universities that make up North Carolina’s Research Triangle and RTI International have established. Duke University, North Carolina State University, RTI International, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have joined forces and signed a memorandum of understanding creating the Research Triangle Solar Fuels Institute. RTSFI

Microneedle study opens door to new clinical cancer tools (August 25, 2010). Researchers from NC State have developed extremely small microneedles that can be used to deliver medically-relevant nanoscale dyes called quantum dots into skin – an advance that opens the door to new techniques for diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions, including skin cancer. NC State News Service

Dr. Yuntian Zhu honored for nanomaterials work (August 17, 2010). Dr. Yuntian Zhu has been elected a fellow of ASM International, a society for materials scientists and engineers. Zhu, a professor of materials science and engineering, was recognized for improving understanding of deformation mechanisms in nanomaterials and simultaneously enhancing their strength and ductility. He will be honored Oct. 19, 2010 during an awards convocation in Houston. NC State News Service

NC State researchers develop nanoparticle screening tool (August 15, 2010). Researchers at NC State have developed a method for predicting the ways nanoparticles will interact with biological systems – including the human body. Their work could have implications for improved human and environmental safety in the handling of nanomaterials, as well as applications for drug delivery. Drs. Jim Riviere, Nancy Monteiro-Riviere, and Xin-Rui Xia wanted to create a method for the biological characterization of nanoparticles – a screening tool that would allow other scientists to see how various nanoparticles might react when inside the body. Nanowerk

RTI International to develop registry for nanomaterials (August 3, 2010). Scientists at RTI International will develop a registry for nanomaterials as part of a new contract from the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Under a federally funded three-year contract, RTI researchers will establish a web-based registry that will provide curated information on the biological and environmental interactions of well-characterized nanomaterials. RTI International

"2010 Update: NC Nanotechnology" from John Hardin, Executive Director of NC Board of Science & Technology (July 28, 2010). Coming off the heels of the 2nd annual NC Nanotechnology Commercialization Conference (NCNCC) in Spring 2010, catches up with John Hardin, Executive Director for the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology, to find out how the landscape for nanotechnology looks in 2010.

Dr. Jan Genzer to receive the 2010 NC ACS Distinguished Speaker Award (July 21, 2010). Dr. Jan Genzer of Chemical Engineering has been selected to receive the 2010 NC ACS Distinguished Speaker Award for his seminal research in the formation, characterization, and use of controlled polymer surfaces. Dr. Genzer will present his award address on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at the ACS local section meeting in the Research Triangle Park. The meeting is from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at The Solution Center. For more information, email Kenneth Tomer.

NC State researchers evaluate the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies' Consumer Products Inventory (July 6, 2010). NC State's Dr. David Berube, Eileen Searson, Timothy Morton, and Christopher Cummings have published an article in the journal Nanotechnology Law and Business that evaluates the reliability of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN)'s Consumer Products Inventory (CPI). The PEN's CPI lists products that are produced by nanotechnology and/or incorporate nanoparticles. Meridian Institute

UNC-TV airs program highlighting NC State nanotechnology innovations (flash video) (June 21, 2010). UNC-TV's "North Carolina Now" program aired a 30-minute special on nanotechnology innovations featuring NC State's Dr. Jagdish Narayan and Dr. Joseph DeSimone today at 7:30 p.m. The program by reporter Kelley McHenry aired statewide on UNC-TV and included Dr. John Hardin of the NC Board of Science & Technology.

DeSimone teams up with Sloan-Kettering Cancer Nanocenter (June 14, 2010). Dr. Joseph DeSimone, founder of Liquidia Technologies and holder of professorships at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill, has been appointed as an adjunct member at the New York Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Cancer Nanocenter. The appointment should enable DeSimone to expand his work in nanomedicine, specifically producing custom-made microparticles and nanoparticles tailored with specific sizes, shapes, and properties. Triangle Business Journal

NC State chemists going green in world of nanotech (June 14, 2010). "Green" is a ubiquitous label that is even creeping into nanotechnology. But to engineer designs so small they can only be seen through the most powerful microscopes - plus use renewable materials and no harmful processing chemicals - is no easy feat, Drs. Renzo Shamey and Khaled El-Tahlawy of NC State's College of Textiles discovered. The News & Observer

Electric fields make ceramic production quicker, cheaper (June 1, 2010). Researchers from North Carolina State University have found that applying a small electric field results in faster formation of ceramic products during manufacture at lower temperatures, and enhances the strength of the ceramic itself. NC State News Service

New microneedle antimicrobial techniques foster innovation (May 19, 2010). A team led by researchers from NC State has developed two new approaches for incorporating antimicrobial properties into microneedles – vanishingly thin needles that hold great promise for use in portable medical devices. Researchers, including lead author Dr. Roger Narayan, expect the findings to spur development of new medical applications using microneedles. NC State News Service

Hiding risks can hurt public support for nanotechnology (May 4, 2010). A new national survey on public attitudes toward medical applications and physical enhancements that rely on nanotechnology shows that support for the technology increases when the public is informed of the technology’s risks as well as its benefits – at least among those people who have heard of nanotechnology. The survey, which was conducted by Dr. Michael Cobb at NC State and researchers at Arizona State University, also found that discussing risks decreased support among those people who had never previously heard of nanotechnology – but not by much. NC State News Service

Nanodots breakthrough may lead to ‘a library on one chip’ (April 28, 2010). Dr. Jay Narayan at NC State has developed a computer chip that can store an unprecedented amount of data – enough to hold an entire library’s worth of information on a single chip. The new chip stems from a breakthrough in the use of nanodots, or nanoscale magnets, and represents a significant advance in computer-memory technology. NC State News Service

Materials research advances reliability of faster smart sensors (April 20, 2010). In military and security situations, a split second can make the difference between life and death, so NC State’s development of new “smart sensors” that allow for faster response times from military applications is important. Equally important is new research from NC State that will help ensure those sensors will operate under extreme conditions – like those faced in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Dr. Jay Narayan, John C. Fan Distinguished Chair Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, is co-author of the research. NC State News Service

Study shows that size affects structure of hollow nanoparticles (April 13, 2010). A new study from NC State shows that size plays a key role in determining the structure of certain hollow nanoparticles. The researchers, including Assistant Professor Joe Tracy of Materials Science and Engineering, focused on nickel nanoparticles, which have interesting magnetic and catalytic properties that may have applications in fields as diverse as energy production and nanoelectronics. NC State News Service

AIChE Bionanotechnology Graduate Student Awards (April 12, 2010). This session will honor graduate students whose research achievements, in the broad area of bionanotechnology, demonstrate a high level of excellence. Finalists will be selected from the abstract submissions to present their work in this award session. At the end of the session, a panel of judges will determine 1st-3rd place. Submit application packets by July 1, 2010.

Paper describes functional nanomaterials for medical devices (March 23, 2010). A team led by researchers from NC State has published a paper that describes the use of a technique called atomic layer deposition to incorporate “biological functionality” into complex nanomaterials, which could lead to a new generation of medical and environmental health applications. Dr. Roger Narayan, the paper’s lead author, is a professor in the joint biomedical engineering department of NC State’s College of Engineering and UNC-Chapel Hill. NC State News Service

Dr. David Berube introduces new nano YouTube channel (March 9, 2010). The Public Communication of Science & Technology (PCOST) Project, directed by Dr. David Berube at NC State, was developed to improve public communication on science and technology, specifically emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, bionanotechnology, neurotechnology, and synthetic biology. PCOST now has its own YouTube Channel, which features videos on a range of nanotechnology topics.

Dr. Gail Jones discusses nanoscience education with eGFI (February 22, 2010). Dr. Gail Jones, Professor of Math, Science, and Technology Education at NC State, is interviewed about nanoscience education for an article by eFGI, a newsletter and website by the American Society of Engineering Education.

New post-doctoral positions in nanotechnology announced (February 15, 2010). New post-doctoral positions in nanotechnology have been announced by NCSU's Biomedical Engineering, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, and Population and Health Pathobiology Departments, as well as by Phononic Devices, Inc., a company headquartered in Cary, NC that is commercializing advanced thermoelectric materials and devices expected to dramatically improve the efficiency of heat-to-electric energy conversion.

Dr. Michael Escuti receives NSF CAREER Award (February 12, 2010). Dr. Michael Escuti, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at NC State, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation, effective February 1, 2010. The award is one of the highest honors given by the NSF to young university faculty in science and engineering. NCSU Electrical and Computer Engineering

Smart coating opens door to safer hip, knee and dental implant (February 3, 2010). Researchers at NC State have developed a “smart coating” that helps surgical implants bond more closely with bone and ward off infection. When patients have hip, knee or dental replacement surgery, they run the risk of having their bodies reject the implant. But the smart coating developed at NC State mitigates that risk by fostering bone growth into the implant. The coating creates a crystalline layer next to the implant, and a mostly amorphous outer layer that touches the surrounding bone. The amorphous layer dissolves over time and encourages bone growth. NC State News Service

Dr. Gregory Parsons awarded patent on nanostructured solar cells (February 1, 2010). Dr. Gregory Parsons, Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Nanotechnology Initiative Director at NC State, has been awarded U.S. Patent 7,655,860 for developing nano-structured photovoltaic solar cells and related nanofabrication methods. According to the patent, light-harvesting rods with linked porphyrinic macrocycle molecules and quantum dots make improved nanostructured solar cells. Nano Patents and Innovations


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