Nav: Home

Illuminating the world of nanoparticles

January 08, 2020

Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have developed a light-based device that can act as a biosensor, detecting biological substances in materials; for example, harmful pathogens in food samples.

Current industry-standard biosensors have limited sensitivity and precision. They can only detect cumulative effects of groups of particles, rather than individual molecules.

But the tool the team developed is 280 times more sensitive.

In collaboration with researchers from the University of Wisconsin, USA, researchers in OIST'S Light-Matter Interactions for Quantum Technologies Unit used this tool, a type of optical resonator, to create high-resolution, real-time images of individual nanoparticles. Their findings are published in ACS Nano.

Chemistry on a nano scale

For the last several years, the OIST scientists have been experimenting with microbubble resonators, a type of microresonator that consists of a hollow glass shell attached to a long, thin glass capillary. The researchers fill a microbubble resonator with water. Then, when they shine beams of light onto it, light waves circulate quickly through the water, allowing scientists to do study physical and chemical properties of particles on the resonator's surface.

For the present study, the collaborating researchers from the University of Wisconsin coated the inside of the microbubble resonator's glass sphere with gold nanorods.

The scientists shined a laser beam to heat the nanorods, then observed how the shape, orientation, and surface chemistry of the nanorods changed when they were exposed to certain chemicals and light fields.

When the nanoparticles absorbed the light shone on them, they heated up. These temperature increases caused shifts in the light frequencies emitted by the resonator, allowing the scientists to measure and image shifts in nanoparticle temperature at an incredibly high resolution.

Essentially, the resonator became an incredibly sensitive type of thermometer, the researchers said.

The scientists' next step is to apply this photothermal sensing technique to proteins, rather than nanoparticles, coating the inside of the resonator with proteins instead of gold nanorods.[1] The researchers hope that changes in protein shape will change the optical and thermal properties of the proteins, allowing them to further study molecular events on the resonator surface.

Additionally, the method may be useful for detecting tiny viruses or single DNA strands.

"Normally if you want to get high resolution images of tiny proteins you would need an electron microscope -- which would damage the protein," said Dr. Jonathan Ward, a co-author of the study. "The potential here for commercialization is huge, although, there are still many technical challenges to overcome."
-end-


Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

Related Nanoparticles Articles:

How to get more cancer-fighting nanoparticles to where they are needed
University of Toronto Engineering researchers have discovered a dose threshold that greatly increases the delivery of cancer-fighting drugs into a tumour.
Nanoparticles: Acidic alert
Researchers of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have synthesized nanoparticles that can be induced by a change in pH to release a deadly dose of ionized iron within cells.
3D reconstructions of individual nanoparticles
Want to find out how to design and build materials atom by atom?
Directing nanoparticles straight to tumors
Modern anticancer therapies aim to attack tumor cells while sparing healthy tissue.
Sweet nanoparticles trick kidney
Researchers engineer tiny particles with sugar molecules to prevent side effect in cancer therapy.
A megalibrary of nanoparticles
Using straightforward chemistry and a mix-and-match, modular strategy, researchers have developed a simple approach that could produce over 65,000 different types of complex nanoparticles.
Dialing up the heat on nanoparticles
Rapid progress in the field of metallic nanotechnology is sparking a science revolution that is likely to impact all areas of society, according to professor of physics Ventsislav Valev and his team at the University of Bath in the UK.
Illuminating the world of nanoparticles
Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have developed a light-based device that can act as a biosensor, detecting biological substances in materials; for example, harmful pathogens in food samples.
What happens to gold nanoparticles in cells?
Gold nanoparticles, which are supposed to be stable in biological environments, can be degraded inside cells.
Lighting up cardiovascular problems using nanoparticles
A new nanoparticle innovation that detects unstable calcifications that can trigger heart attacks and strokes may allow doctors to pinpoint when plaque on the walls of blood vessels becomes dangerous.
More Nanoparticles News and Nanoparticles Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.