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news archives: 2011

2011 News

Nanotech firm Liquidia partners with PATH on new pneumonia vaccine (December 13, 2011). NC nanotechnology company Liquidia Technologies is partnering with nonprofit organization PATH to develop a new pneumonia vaccine that could be deployed globally. Research Triangle Park-based Liquidia, co-founded by Dr. Joe DeSimone, is working with PATH to conduct preclinical studies on a “next-generation” pneumococcal vaccine that could be more effective than existing vaccines and more efficient to produce. Liquidia has also partnered with PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative to develop a new malaria vaccine. MedCity

New dye will lead to more efficient solar energy technology (December 12, 2011). A NC State invention has significant potential to improve the efficiency of solar cells and other technologies that derive energy from light. Dr. Ahmed El-Shafei’s research group invented a new “sensitizer,” or dye, that harvests more ambient and solar light than any dyes currently on the market for use in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). NC State News Service

Joint School of Nanoscience & Engineering opens in Greensboro (December 7, 2011). A joint school between the University of NC Greensboro and NC A&T State University has been years in the making, and on December 7, it officially opened. With construction finished on a second research facility at Gateway University Research Park's South Campus, the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering became official. A ceremony, which included Governor Bev Perdue, marked the grand opening. The new two-story, 105,000-sq-ft facility will feature extensive labs, a clean room, a 3-D visualization suite, and a large suite of high-tech tools including a Carl Zeiss SMT Orion Helium Ion microscope, which is the only one of its kind in the Southeastern United States. WFMY News 2

NC State has leading role in NSF Soft Matter Research Center (September 9, 2011). NC State will play a leading role in a new multi-university soft matter research center. Recognizing that some of the leading scientists and engineers involved in soft matter research are located in the Research Triangle, NSF provided a six-year, $13.6 million grant to establish the center. NC State may receive $4 million of the center funding. The initiative also involves researchers from Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, and NC Central. The new initiative will be known as the Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). Dr. Carol Hall, Camille Dreyfus Distinguished University Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, serves as co-principal investigator for the center. NC State News Service

Dr. Richard Spontak wins professorship (October 14, 2011). Dr. Richard Spontak, chemical engineer and materials scientist, has been selected as the 2012 recipient of a professorship at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He will receive the Lars Onsager Medal and have the opportunity to spend three to six months studying at the university in Norway. Spontak is only the second chemical engineer chosen for the award, named for a Nobel-winning Norwegian-American chemist and physicist. NC State News Service

Researchers find way to align gold nanorods on a large scale (August 17, 2011). Researchers from NC State (including Dr. Joe Tracy and Dr. Richard Spontak have developed a simple, scalable way to align gold nanorods, particles with optical properties that could be used for emerging biomedical imaging technologies. Aligning gold nanorods is important because they respond to light differently, depending on the direction in which the nanorods are pointed. To control the optical response of the nanorods, researchers want to ensure that all of the nanorods are aligned. NC State News Service

Ions control shape of nanofibers grown on clear substrate (August 16, 2011). Researchers from NC State (including Dr. Anatoli Melechko), the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and CFD Research Corporation have found a new way to develop straight carbon nanofibers on a transparent substrate. Growing such nanofiber coatings is important for use in novel biomedical research tools, solar cells, water repellent coatings and others. The technique utilizes a charged chromium grid, and relies on ions to ensure the nanofibers are straight, rather than curling – which limits their utility. NC State News Service

Researchers create technique to scale up nanofiber production (August 16, 2011). NC State researchers developed a nanofiber production technique that will enable significantly increased output compared with the traditional needle electrospinning method and allow industrial-scale production of nanofibers comparable in quality to those formed by needle electrospinning. The research team--Dr. Russell Gorga, Dr. Laura Clarke, Dr. Jason Bochinski, and Nagarajan Muthuraman--reported their findings in a paper published last month in the journal Nanotechnology. Textile World.

Chancellor's Innovation Fund gives award to project that develops nano-coatings for fabrics (watch video) (July 27, 2011). The researchers behind an invention of coatings that protect fabrics from ultraviolet rays are among the first ever recipients of the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund award, which provides the funding to help bring these ideas to market. Outdoor fabrics that last in the sun and don’t cost a ton? These are on the horizon thanks to work by chemical engineer Dr. Greg Parsons, textile engineer Dr. Jesse Jur, and post-doctoral researcher Chris Oldham, who are developing nano-coatings for fabrics that protect them from UV rays. The work goes beyond building better beach umbrellas – they believe these coatings can be used to produce protective clothing as well as in other applications. NC State News Service

Dr. Orlin Velev Selected as ACS Fellow (July 20, 2011). Dr. Orlin Velev has been named a fellow of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Velev, the Invista Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, was selected based on his achievements, professional contributions, and ACS service. In August, he will be honored at the organization’s national meeting and recognized in Chemical & Engineering News. NC State News Service

NC State researchers fabricate squishy electronics (July 19, 2011). In an exiting new development, researchers from NC State have fabricated a memory device that is soft, entirely based on liquid-based matter, and functions well in wet environments – opening the door to a new generation of biocompatible electronic devices. Reporting their work in the July 4, 2011 online edition of Advanced Materials ("Towards All-Soft Matter Circuits: Prototypes of Quasi-Liquid Devices with Memristor Characteristics") a team led by Dr. Orlin Velev, and Dr. Michael Dickey have demonstrated a memory device composed entirely of soft, squishy materials that operates in a wet environment. Nanowerk

Research examines conductive nanocoatings for textiles (June 6, 2011). Imagine plugging a USB port into a sheet of paper, and turning it into a tablet computer. It might be a stretch, but ideas like this have NC State researchers examining the use of conductive nanocoatings on simple textiles. “Normally, conductive nanocoatings are applied to inorganic materials like silicon. If we can find a way to apply them to textiles, it would represent a cost-effective approach and framework for improving current and future types of electronic devices,” says Dr. Jesse Jur. NC State News Service

NC State students look to support manned mission to Mars (May 31, 2011). What would it take to make a manned mission to Mars a reality? A team of aerospace and textile engineering students from NC State believe part of the solution may lie in advanced textile materials. The students joined forces to tackle life-support challenges that the aerospace industry has been grappling with for decades. NC State News Service

Heterogenous morphology found in organic solar cells (April 27, 2011). Recent spectroscopy and scattering studies conducted by NC State and Cambridge University researchers found a substantial amount of molecular mixing between model materials currently used in bulk heterojunction organic solar cells. This suggests that the amorphous portions of these devices do not have pure domains, and the paradigm of device operation may need to be refined to accommodate this newly discovered complexity. Advanced Light Source

The emergence of North Carolina as a nanobiotechnology hub (April 21, 2011). The tools of nanobiotechnology have wide-ranging commercial impact on fields that include pharma, medtech, textiles, agriculture, consumer products and many more. There are many hotbeds of nanobiotech innovation, and North Carolina has emerged as a leader in nanobiotech research, development and commercialization. Nanowerk News

Study finds public relatively unconcerned about nanotechnology risk (April 12, 2011). A new study by NC State's Dr. David Berube and Dr. Andrew Binder finds that the general public thinks getting a suntan poses a greater public health risk than nanotechnology or other nanoparticle applications. The study compared survey respondents’ perceived risk of nanoparticles with 23 other public-health risks. NC State News Service

'Spincasting’ holds promise for creating nanoparticle thin films (March 30, 2011). Researchers from NC State have investigated the viability of a technique called “spincasting” for creating thin films of nanoparticles on an underlying substrate – an important step in the creation of materials with a variety of uses, from optics to electronics. NC State News Service

Study finds more efficient ways to create, arrange carbon nanofibers (March 13, 2011). Carbon nanofibers hold promise for technologies ranging from medical imaging devices to precise scientific measurement tools, but the time and expense associated with uniformly creating nanofibers of the correct size has been an obstacle – until now. A new study from NC State demonstrates an improved method for creating carbon nanofibers of specific sizes, as well as explaining the science behind the method. NC State News Service

Liquidia wins the backing of Bill Gates (March 4, 2011). A Durham company developing vaccines using nanotechnology developed by renowned chemist Joseph DeSimone, William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State, will announce today that it has attracted a $10 million investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Liquidia Technologies is testing a flu vaccine that uses tiny, engineered particles to deliver the medicine in patients. The News & Observer

Stretched rubber offers simpler method for assembling nanowires (February 28, 2011). Researchers at NC State have developed a cheap and easy method for assembling nanowires, controlling their alignment and density. The researchers hope the findings will foster additional research into a range of device applications using nanowires, from nanoelectronics to nanosensors, especially on unconventional substrates such as rubber, plastic and paper. NC State News Service

DeSimone receives top science mentor award (February 17, 2011). Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone, North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researcher and innovator, has received the 2010 Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. NC State News Service

NanoBioConnect: A new tool to accelerate commercialization of nanobiotechnology (February 15, 2011). The Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology (COIN) launched an information-rich, comprehensive nanobiotechnology information portal available to the public: NanoBioConnect. The portal's objective is to provide a trusted and valued compendium of nanobio- and nanomedicine-related business and technology intelligence, including information on relevant assets, resources, and people. Nanowerk News

Tracy earns NSF Career Award (February 7, 2011). Dr. Joe Tracy, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation. The NSF Career Award, one of the highest honors for young faculty in science and engineering, will provide $550,000 over five years to support Tracy’s research project, Magnetic Field-Driven Self-Assembly of Magnetic and Multifunctional Nanochains in Bulk Matrices. NC State News Service

Study reveals flaw in approach of science public opinion surveys (January 13, 2011). A new NC State study highlights a major flaw in attempting to use a single survey question to assess public opinion on science issues. Researchers found that people who say that risks posed by new science fields outweigh benefits often actually perceive more benefits than risks when asked more detailed questions. To assess this, the researchers developed two surveys; one focused on nanotechnology and the other on biofuels. NC State News Service

Coiled nanowires may hold key to stretchable electronics (January 11, 2011). NC State researchers, including Dr. Yong Zhu, have created the first coils of silicon nanowire on a substrate that can be stretched to more than double their original length, moving us closer to incorporating stretchable electronic devices into clothing, implantable health-monitoring devices, and a host of other applications. NC State News Service

 

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