As you know, we have been trying to incorporate more nano-related material into our editorial features and also in our e-newsletter, Insider News. There is so much exciting nanotechnology research being done – the frustration for me is that a great deal of it is outside the coatings venue and, therefore, we simply cannot cover it.
As you know, we have been trying to incorporate more nano-related material into our editorial features and also in our e-newsletter, Insider News. There is so much exciting nanotechnology research being done – the frustration for me is that a great deal of it is outside the coatings venue and, therefore, we simply cannot cover it. However I am going to take this opportunity to highlight some of the more recent activities in the nano field that hold scientific interest and potential that affects all of us.
Brown University researchers have developed nano-sized iron oxide particles (super paramagnetic and 8 nm average diameter) that can eliminate bacterial infections on implanted prosthetic devices such as knee and hip replacements. Currently, removing the implant is the only successful remedy. These nano assassins have the ability to penetrate the bacterial cell wall and destroy the infection. It is all apparently based on the magnetic properties of the iron oxide nanoparticles and their ability to be guided to the infection site by a magnetic field.
Diabetic eye disease is a serious problem and can lead to vision loss or blindness. This is usually from leakage and inflammation of various blood vessels in and around the eye. University of Oklahoma researchers have found a new compound, which is delivered using nanoparticle technology to cells that can stop the leakage and block inflammation. This approach is also showing promise for macular degeneration.
Nano waterproof sand may green the Arab world. This breakthrough is very significant and could provide agricultural opportunities through moist soil in desert conditions. Laying down a blanket of supersand beneath the desert topsoil allows for water to be retained near root levels. The waterproof (hydrophobic) sand is coated with a nanotechnology coating that is not a silica-based water repellent. Currently about 3000 tons per day can be produced as either loose hydrophobic sand or in large rolls sandwiched between polyethylene sheeting. Each grain of sand is coated in less than a minute. I wish we could get a story in the future regarding this nano coating.
And in the dental world nanotechnology is also making strides. Currently a Georgia researcher is hoping to improve the bonds between a filling and the tooth. The goal is to grow nano-sized, mineral-rich crystals, which would then be used in the bond-making filling process. Controlling the crystal size is critical but the goal of saving the bond between filling and tooth would be welcome to all of us.
In this issue of PCI we have an article on nanoparticle dispersions offering increased resistance in waterborne coatings. If you search our website – www.pcimag.com – you will find numerous articles and references to nanotechnology, nanoparticles, nanosized, etc. Almost all countries today are pouring vast amounts of research dollars into nanotechnology efforts, and certainly the potential in the medical field and in electronics is vast. Let me know if you would like to see more about nanotechnology in other scientific fields as well as coatings and we can perhaps come up with a mechanism to provide you with briefs. A fascinating area indeed!