Exploiting a process known as molecular self-assembly, MIT chemical engineers have built three-dimensional arrays of antibodies that could be used as sensors to diagnose diseases such as malaria or tuberculosis. These sensors, which contain up to 100 stacked layers of antibodies, offer much more sensitivity than existing antibody-based sensors, which have only a single layer [..]

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Microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, are tiny machines fabricated using equipment and processes developed for the production of electronic chips and devices. They’ve found a wide variety of applications in today’s consumer electronics, but their moving parts can wear out over time as a result of friction. A new approach developed by researchers at MIT could [..]

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Nanotechnology

Night vision technology is essential on the modern battlefield but is not without its shortcomings. Conventional night vision goggles (NVGs) have been compared to looking “through toilet paper tubes” on account of their drastically diminished peripheral view. Conventional NGVs rely on a process called cascaded secondary emission. Ambient low-level and near-infrared light are first collected [..]

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Just like in normal road traffic, crossings are indispensable in optical signal processing. In order to avoid collisions, a clear traffic rule is required. A new method has now been developed at TU Wien to provide such a rule for light signals. For this purpose, the two glass fibers were coupled at their intersection point [..]

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A little biosensor can analyze if there are antibiotics in your blood in 10 minutes. Developed by researchers from the University of Freiburg, the system could be used to develop a personalized course of antibiotics, but also to test food and water. The objective? Slow down the rise of multi-resistant bacteria. Read more

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2D Nanomaterials

Two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials have been made by dissolving layered materials in liquids, according to new UCL-led research. The liquids can be used to apply the 2D nanomaterials over large areas and at low costs, enabling a variety of important future applications. 2D nanomaterials, such as graphene, have the potential to revolutionise technology through their remarkable [..]

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Invisible to the human eye, terahertz electromagnetic waves can “see through” everything from fog and clouds to wood and masonry – an attribute that holds great promise for astrophysics research, detecting concealed explosives and many other applications. Terahertz lasers can produce photons with frequencies of trillions of cycles per second – energies between those of [..]

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Thermo Action

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have developed a new way of driving fluid droplets across surfaces in a precisely controlled way. The method could open up new possibilities for highly adaptable microfluidic devices, as well as for de-icing technologies, self-cleaning surfaces, and highly efficient condensers. Read more

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Electron Optics

A team of scientists has coaxed electrons into displaying a behavior—negative refraction at a boundary—that’s previously been reserved for light passing through exotic metamaterials. The researchers believe that the finding could open up new prospects in so-called electron optics, in which components such as electronic switches are designed based on the principles of geometrical optics. [..]

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A contact lens-based system that uses a strategically placed drug polymer film to deliver medication gradually to the eye was shown to be as effective as daily eye drops in a preclinical model for managing glaucoma. In a study supported by a grant from the Boston Children’s Hospital, the effect of the drug-eluting contact lens [..]

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Qualifications

Cardiac arrhythmia — a wildly irregular heartbeat, can kill a person in minutes. Implantable defibrillators can provide lifesaving electrical jolts to the hearts of patients with a known risk of arrhythmia, but these shocks can be painful. Research teams in Germany and the United States have developed a potentially gentler method of stimulating a regular [..]

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Researchers have developed a new laser that makes it possible to measure electron transition energies in small atoms and molecules with unprecedented precision. The instrument will help scientists test one of the bedrock theories of modern physics to new limits, and may help resolve an unexplained discrepancy in measurements of the size of the proton. [..]

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Nanoscale Imaging

The bulky nature of optical components has long hindered their convenient integration into our daily lives. Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, for example, require multiple sets of bulky lenses that must be interchanged depending on the desired imaging parameters. Analogous to the miniaturization of silicon chips that has revolutionized electronic devices over the past few [..]

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A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH; Boston, MA) has developed an optical sensor that can be embedded into an epidural needle, helping anesthesiologists guide the needle to the correct location. The development helps address the complication of needles being inserted too far or [..]

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A research team led by Sushil Kumar of Lehigh University, Penn, USA, has devised an “antenna feedback” scheme that reportedly can provide single-mode operation and strong, highly directional far-field coupling in surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) lasers, bringing them “closer to practical applications” Read more

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Live 3-D imaging is one of the hottest topics in optics today, transforming medical imaging capabilities and delivering the immersive experience behind augmented and virtual reality. During The Optical Society’s Light the Future centennial program in Heidelberg, Germany on 26 July, Dr. Joseph Izatt of Duke University and Microsoft’s Bernard Kress gave an insider’s look [..]

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For medics on the battlefield and doctors in remote or developing parts of the world, getting rapid access to the drugs needed to treat patients can be challenging. Biopharmaceutical drugs, which are used in a wide range of therapies including vaccines and treatments for diabetes and cancer, are typically produced in large, centralized fermentation plants. [..]

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