A new material developed at Harvard and MIT adds a distinctly cybernetic element to the science of tissue engineering. The 3-D mesh of transistors and cells, which can support tissue growth while monitoring its health and progress, could even be a step toward prosthetic devices that connect directly to the nervous system.
Giving cardiac patients a heart of gold nanowires could ensure engineered tissue works like it should, pulsing in unison to make the heart beat. First growing nanowires and then growing heart cells, engineers from MIT and Harvard University say their new muscle-machine blended heart patch improves on existing cardiac patches, which have trouble reaching a consistent level of conductivity.
Cables made out of nanowires could be just as efficient as the copper cables we’ve been using for more than a century, but at a fraction of the weight, according to a new paper. Braiding billions of carbon nanotubes into a nanowire cable can efficiently replace copper in a light bulb circuit.
Nanotechnology promises to enable tiny, intricate circuits powering devices on any surface. But unless they're harvesting energy from something like a heartbeat, the devices can only be as small as the smallest battery.
Now researchers at Rice University have combined the two, packing an entire lithium-ion battery into a single nanowire. The developers say it's as small as such a device can possibly get.
Nanocomputers have been around for decades as a concept, but in actual practice they’ve been harder to come by. Now, engineers collaborating at Harvard and the MITRE Corporation have taken a huge step forward for the field of nanocomputing by creating the world’s first programmable nanoprocessor.
By building the tiniest functional lithium-ion battery ever, researchers at Sandia National Laboratory have explained why these power sources are so short-lived: their parts engage in an atomic-scale contortion act that leaves them weakened and susceptible to damage.
So next time you throw out (and hopefully recycle) a pair of lithium batteries, show some respect for the deformations it suffered while powering your camera.
A new nano-scale wiretap device could tell researchers about the inner workings of cells, according to a new Harvard study.
It involves a transistor that can take electrical readings, embedded inside a membrane that fits inconspicuously inside an individual living cell. The tiny probe, which is smaller than many viruses, is the first semiconductor device to take measurements of the inside of a cell.
Nanowires inside a rat can convert the power of breathing and heartbeats into electricity, according to researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The nano-generator could conceivably lead to nano-scale medical implants and sensors powered by the body, Technology Review reports.
A collaboration between U.S. and South Korean researchers has produced what is thought to be the world’s smallest man-made pump, merely the size of a red blood corpuscle. More impressive still is their means of powering the pump, using glass – generally a very bad conductor of electricity – to craft an electrode at the nanoscale.