Dec 14, 2012
Nanotechweb.org: best of 2012
To wrap up the year, nanotechweb.org's editorial team picks out key stories from 2012's Tech Update and Lab Talk coverage.
Highlights of 2012
Making sure that medicine hits its target is an application area in which nanotechnology excels. In the following work, scientists not only pave the way for targeting hard-to-reach areas such as the back of the eye or in spaces between joints, but also show that nanostructured polymer membranes offer a promising route to maintaining therapeutic concentrations of a drug in the body for long periods of time.
And here's another example, but this time focusing on drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier – a potential obstacle to treating diseases of the central nervous system.
Plus, in a third story, researchers demonstrate a step-change in sensitivity that's often associated with the use of nanomaterials.
Mobile-phones are packed with innovation, but even the slimmest of today's designs will feel clunky when scientists figure out how to make the most of this concept -
In our second selection, researchers show that an array of gold nanorods on a glass surface can function as a convex or concave lens depending on the circular polarization of light passing through it. Uses here include information processing.
The third pick in this category is dubbed a "photonic nanoweb" and could lead to a new generation of light filters, sensors and other optical devices.
In 2012, nanotechnology has continued to play a key role in ramping up the performance of batteries. Here are a couple of examples from this year –
Meanwhile, graphene remains the "go to" material for enhancing electronic circuits, helping to speed up, cool down, interconnect and even rethink the design of devices.
From strength to strength
Artificial muscles were a big hit on YouTube, as researchers demonstrated applications including robot jellyfish and micro-actuators.
This final selection further highlights the ingenuity on show this year –
Don't forget, this is just a snapshot of the nanoscience that hit the headlines in 2012. To read this year's coverage in full, visit our Tech Update and Lab Talk channels and keep them bookmarked ready for 2013!
And for more nano highlights, visit the latest collection of popular articles from our sister journal Nanotechnology.