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:

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.
Cutting nanoparticles down to size -- new study
A new technique in chemistry could pave the way for producing uniform nanoparticles for use in drug delivery systems.
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

Our Relationship With Water
We need water to live. But with rising seas and so many lacking clean water – water is in crisis and so are we. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around restoring our relationship with water. Guests on the show include legal scholar Kelsey Leonard, artist LaToya Ruby Frazier, and community organizer Colette Pichon Battle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#568 Poker Face Psychology
Anyone who's seen pop culture depictions of poker might think statistics and math is the only way to get ahead. But no, there's psychology too. Author Maria Konnikova took her Ph.D. in psychology to the poker table, and turned out to be good. So good, she went pro in poker, and learned all about her own biases on the way. We're talking about her new book "The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Uncounted
First things first: our very own Latif Nasser has an exciting new show on Netflix. He talks to Jad about the hidden forces of the world that connect us all. Then, with an eye on the upcoming election, we take a look back: at two pieces from More Perfect Season 3 about Constitutional amendments that determine who gets to vote. Former Radiolab producer Julia Longoria takes us to Washington, D.C. The capital is at the heart of our democracy, but it's not a state, and it wasn't until the 23rd Amendment that its people got the right to vote for president. But that still left DC without full representation in Congress; D.C. sends a "non-voting delegate" to the House. Julia profiles that delegate, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and her unique approach to fighting for power in a virtually powerless role. Second, Radiolab producer Sarah Qari looks at a current fight to lower the US voting age to 16 that harkens back to the fight for the 26th Amendment in the 1960s. Eighteen-year-olds at the time argued that if they were old enough to be drafted to fight in the War, they were old enough to have a voice in our democracy. But what about today, when even younger Americans are finding themselves at the center of national political debates? Does it mean we should lower the voting age even further? This episode was reported and produced by Julia Longoria and Sarah Qari. Check out Latif Nasser's new Netflix show Connected here. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.