Prof. Dr. Matthias Karg’s group “Colloids and Nanooptics” at the Institute of Physical Chemistry has developed a simple yet precise method for producing extremely ordered particle layers. The group is using miniature, soft and deformable spherical polymer beads with a hydrogel-like structure. Hydrogels are basically water swollen, three-dimensional systems. For instance, hydrogels are commonly found in babies’ nappies as super-absorbers with the ability to soak up large quantities of liquids.
Inside these hydrogel beads are minute silver or gold particles, merely a few nanometers in size, which Karg’s team synthesized at Heinrich-Heine University (HHU) using metal salts in a reduction process. “We can adjust the size of the gold particles very precisely, because the hydrogel shells are permeable to dissolved metal salts, allowing for successive overgrowth of the gold cores.” The structure of these core-shell particles can be approximately compared with that of a cherry, where a hard core is enclosed by soft pulp. However, the particles from the lab are approximately one hundred thousand times smaller.
The scientists based at Duesseldorf can then utilize a dilute solution of these hydrogel beads to create thin monolayers. They apply the beads to a water surface, where an extremely ordered and colorfully shimmering layer self-assembles. They move this layer from the water surface onto glass substrates. This transfer makes the whole glass substrate shimmer.
Image Credit: HHU/Christoph Kawan
News This Week
By early 2020, concern was mounting about a new, deadly coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization had declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency just days before. There had been [...]
As a COVID-19 and medical device researcher, I understand the importance of face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. So I am intrigued that some mask manufacturers have begun adding graphene coatings [...]
Swansea University scientists have uncovered potentially dangerous chemical pollutants that are released from disposable face masks when submerged in water. The research reveals high levels of pollutants, including lead, antimony, and copper, within the [...]
Bowel cancer survival rates could be improved if chemotherapy drugs were delivered via tiny nanoparticles to the diseased organs rather than oral treatment. That's the finding from Indian and Australian scientists who have undertaken [...]
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says his company’s experimental COVID-19 treatment, a pill that can be taken at the first sign of the illness, could be available before the end of the year. Speaking on CNBC, Bourla said clinical [...]
At the University of Chicago, scientists have developed an absolutely innovative, promising treatment for COVID-19 in the form of nanoparticles with the ability to trap SARS-CoV-2 viruses inside the body and use the body’s [...]
Australian researchers have identified neutralizing nanobodies that block the SARS-CoV-2 virus from entering cells in preclinical models. The discovery paves the way for further investigations into nanobody-based treatments for COVID-19. Published in PNAS, the research [...]
Someday, scientists believe, tiny DNA-based robots and other nanodevices will deliver medicine inside our bodies, detect the presence of deadly pathogens, and help manufacture increasingly smaller electronics. Researchers took a big step toward that [...]
Experts have discovered what they believe is the world’s most mutated COVID strain – and there’s one detail in particular that has scientists worried. Scientists have detected what is believed to be the world’s [...]
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, likely does not directly infect the brain but can still inflict significant neurological damage, according to a new study from neuropathologists, neurologists, and neuroradiologists at Columbia University Vagelos [...]
ANSTO has contributed to a comprehensive investigation of a promising type of nanoparticle that could potentially be used for intractable brain cancers in a combined therapy. The study, which was led by Dr. Moeava [...]
The immune response needed to protect people against reinfection with the coronavirus will be explored in a new human challenge trial, researchers have revealed. Human challenge trials involve deliberately exposing healthy people to a [...]
Researchers from Duke University are developing a flu shot with the new technology that was used for two coronavirus vaccines. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna shots use part of the virus's genetic code [...]
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have shown the potential of repurposing an existing and cheap drug into a long-acting injectable therapy that could be used to treat Covid-19. In a paper published in the journal Nanoscale, [...]
Researchers have developed a new superbug-destroying coating that could be used on wound dressings and implants to prevent and treat potentially deadly bacterial and fungal infections. The material is one of the thinnest antimicrobial [...]