CEP: News Update


Engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and ExxonMobil have developed a carbon-based membrane that could cut the energy consumption required to separate liquid hydrocarbons.

A breathable fabric pocked with tiny carbon nanotube pores could be the first step toward clothing that can protect against threats both biological and chemical.

Microfluidic devices that mimic physiological processes are becoming valuable tools for the development of drugs. Materials such as glass, silicon, and polymers are etched with connected microchannels and seeded with cells. These chips serve as miniature labs of sorts for investigating in vitro how the body will respond to various drug candidates.

Smart nanorobots zoom through the bloodstream, bypassing multiple biologic barriers, en route to deliver drugs to cancerous tumors. These drug-carrying vehicles could be an alternative to conventional techniques for administering chemotherapy.

Hair-like projections from anaerobic bacteria can produce extremely thin, highly conductive nanowires. With a small genetic tweak, these wires could be made conductive enough for use in electronic devices, not only as wires but also as transistors.

For people with diabetes, a small scratch can go unnoticed and turn into a life-threatening sore. That’s because diabetes causes nerve damage that can lead to numbness in the feet, preventing a diabetic from feeling the pain of a simple cut. Exacerbating this situation is the fact that diabetics often experience slow blood circulation, which makes it more difficult for wounds to heal.

Fuel cells hold great promise for powering vehicles without emitting greenhouse gases. However, fuel cell vehicles have not yet lived up to their potential because of several challenges, including their high cost. One component of fuel cells, the platinum catalyst, is particularly expensive. And although scientists around the globe continue to search for a less-expensive alternative, they have not found a catalyst with comparable performance.

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