10 Ways Nanomanufacturing Will Alter Industry

By Robert Lamb

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8Do you remember your childhood building blocks? You probably started out with large, wooden cubes and turned to increasingly smaller blocks as you grew older and the structures you created became more complex. That miniature version of the space shuttle wouldn’t have been nearly as accurate (or cool) with big bricks, right?

The building blocks get even smaller in the real world — so much so that even an optical microscope won’t reveal them. They exist at the nanoscale of things, where a single-walled carbon nanotube is scarcely 1 nanometer thick. To put that in relatable terms, you’d have to line up 100,000 of these nanotubes side by side in order to equal the 100-micrometer diameter of a single strand of hair .


Nanomaterials occur naturally all around us, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that scientists developed the tools to see and manipulate such minuscule building blocks as individual molecules and atoms. By directing matter at the nanoscale, scientists achieve greater control over a material’s properties, ranging from its strength and melting point to its fluorescence and electrical conductivity. We call this field nanotechnology, and it involves such diverse disciplines as chemistry, biology and physics.

Currently, more than 800 commercial products rely on nanomaterials, according to the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative. To capitalize on nanotechnology, however, we need to mass-produce at the nanoscale. So we enter the world of nanomanufacturing. Here are 10 ways it will change the landscape of industry forever.

10. Rise of the Super Drugs

Nanotechnology allows us to mess with matter molecularly, which is great news for the pharmaceutical industry. After all, every profitable brand-name medication ultimately breaks down to a particular, and often synthetic, molecular structure. This structure interacts with molecules in the human body, and that’s where the profitable magic happens.

Just consider the botulinum toxin in Botox treatments. The bacteria’s muscle-weakening abilities aid in the treatment of muscle pain, in addition to smoothing wrinkles. Doctors typically inject Botox into the target tissue since it can’t pass through the skin. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Nanomanufacturing Center, however, aim to create a topical Botox cream. Their secret? Simply attach the toxin to a nanoparticle, allowing it to hitch a ride through the skin.


Meanwhile, other drugs suffer from poor solubility, resulting in inadequate or delayed absorption into the human body and, consequently, a need for greater dosage levels. Yet if we reduce the size of the drug particles to the nanoscale, then absorption rates increase and dosage levels decrease.

Finally, nanotechnology enables scientists to knit together tiny drug fragments into single “super-molecules” — such as the proposed morphine-cannabis painkiller. Envisioned by the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, this pharmaceutical tag team would consist of a morphine molecule and a THC molecule (THC being the intoxicating part of marijuana) joined by a single linking particle. Once in the body, the linking bit would break free, releasing the morphine and THC in equal, targeted doses.

Mass production at the nanoscale will enable pharmaceutical companies to create increasingly effective medication.

9. Drug Delivery Goes Nano

Nanomanufacturing will change far more than the medications we take; it also will alter the nature of drug delivery. Researchers at Northwestern University are developing drug devices made from nano-diamonds, which prevent medicine from releasing too swiftly into the body. With this technology, doctors will be able to implant months’ worth of medication directly into the affected tissue area.

But nano-manufacturing will provide far more than mere convenience — it will save lives. Just consider today’s anticancer drugs. Chemotherapy treatments often damage healthy cells as well as cancerous ones, leading to the full array of side effects typically associated with cancer treatments. By studying the inner workings of cell-seeking viruses, scientists hope to engineer nanostructures capable of delivering medication directly to targeted tissue.

Both of these nanoscale biomedical technologies enable smarter and minimally invasive treatment. Just imagine a day when chemotherapy doesn’t wipe out the entire body and when implanted nanostructures administer your daily medication for you.

8. Fresh-grown Organs All Around

Modern organ transplant technology continues to save lives, but emerging biomedical nanotechnology aims to streamline the process. In some cases, it even eliminates the need for an organ donor. Why worry about harvesting a new heart from a fresh cadaver when we can grow a new one instead?

By using a patient’s own stem cells, researchers have successfully grown human bladders and even hearts. In 2011, doctors made history by transplanting a bio-artificial trachea into a cancer patient . The key is to have accurate, organ-shaped scaffolding for the cells to grow on — such as a collagen “ghost heart” (a donor heart stripped of its cells) or a glass replica of the patient’s trachea.

Nanotechnology introduces even more exciting possibilities here, such as the use of nano-engineered gel to help nerve cells re-grow around spinal injuries. As for growing new organs wholesale, the future is also bright. Researchers at Rice University and the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, have developed an organ sculpting technique that employs metal nanoparticles suspended in a magnetic field. This 3-D environment encourages the suspended cells to grow more naturally and may enable the development of complex, 3-D systems such as the heart or lung.

In the future, researchers hope to program detailed magnetic fields tailored to specific organs. So imagine a future where human organs aren’t merely harvested but custom-manufactured to fit the patient.


7. The World’s Smallest Laboratory

State-of-the-art medical diagnostic technology helps physicians save countless lives. There’s one catch: Much of this equipment requires a modern laboratory and a highly trained staff to operate it. Take this sort of diagnostic tool out of an air-conditioned, sterile and electrically stable environment and transport it to a distant outpost in the developing world, and guess what happens?


That’s right: The technology fails to function. Luckily, nanotechnology comes to the rescue with so-called lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology. Such nanodevices would boast high-tech laboratory functions on a single, tiny chip capable of processing extremely small fluid volumes. Through lasers and electrical fields, scientists hope to manipulate these fluids and tiny particles of bacteria, viruses and DNA for analysis. The possible applications range from swift blood analysis during the initial outbreak of an epidemic to improved food safety screenings.

It all comes down to nano-manufacturing, however, as such technology would only provide a significant advantage if cheap and plentiful. A single application of a disease vaccine, after all, won’t fight off an epidemic. You need doses for multiple patients in several locations. Likewise, an LOC-enabled health scanner would only make a difference if it were standard issue in the field.

6. Honey, the Walls Are Bleeding Again

Even the most devoted horror movie fan would probably shy away from a house that oozes blood whenever you scratch the wall or suffer a mild earthquake. Yet this is exactly the sort of reality nanotechnology can bring into the world. And if nano-manufacturing makes the fruits of this technology available globally, then you may very well spend your retirement years in a bleeding house of your own.

In this case, however, bleeding walls are a good thing. Just as blood from a cut clots into a sealing scab, proposed nano-polymer particles in a house’s walls will liquefy when squeezed by an earthquake or structural collapse. This liquid will then flow into any cracks and transform back to a solid state.

The University of Leeds’ Nano-Manufacturing Institute plans to build a prototype on a Greek mountainside — with an estimated price tag of $15 million . The technology is too costly and too “bleeding-edge” (get it?) to make an impact on the construction industry just yet, but nano-manufacturing techniques could allow buildings around the world to benefit from this amazing self-healing technology.


5. Super-strong Materials

When it comes to nanotechnology, there’s no denying the abundant applications for carbon nanotubes, or carbon sealed up into cylindrical tubes. Materials forged from these tubes are both lightweight and incredibly strong, since the carbon atoms in each tube are so tightly bonded.

The applications are endless. Virtually any synthetic structure could be made lighter and more durable. In addition to improving existing structures, carbon nanotubes could make impossible structures a reality. Just consider the premise of a space elevator: a direct, physical connection between the surface of the Earth and a satellite tethered in geosynchronous orbit. Such a structure would enable humans to transport large payloads into space without explosive rocketry and costly heavy-lift vehicles.

Operating space elevators would be a game changer for not only the space exploration industry but also the energy industry. Imagine an orbital solar collector that wires energy right back down to the planet’s surface. Although the necessary carbon nanotube technology is already within grasp, the ability to cheaply mass-produce the material would move such a massive project even closer to reality .

4. Will Nano-bots Clean Up the Mess?

Nanomanufacturing will revolutionize the oil industry, enabling stronger pipelines and more effective pollution detectors as well. Plus, in the event of an oil spill or leak, tiny nanobots might just come to the rescue, “feeding” on oil as part of the cleanup effort.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are currently working on a pack of autonomous, solar-powered robots called the Seaswarm. While this 16-foot (5-meter) long technology is hardly nano in scale, it does implement nanotechnology. Each Seaswarm, which already exists in prototype form, will use a conveyor belt lined with oil-absorbing nanowire fabric. The unique, hydrophobic, meshed structure of the fabric grabs the oil molecules but not the water molecules. These properties allow the fabric to absorb a reported 20 times its weight in oil, which can then be released when the fabric is heated .

How much difference will the mass-production of such nanotechnology make in the event of an oil spill? A swarm of oil-absorbing robots potentially could clean up a disaster involving millions of barrels worth of fossil fuels within a single month .


3. Tiny Oil Hunters

Speaking of oil, if you want to send a robot into an oil reservoir, you’re going to have to think small — nanorobotics small. After all, fossil fuel deposits don’t occur in large, spacious underground caverns but in the pores of solid rock. The oil travels through tiny pore throats that are tinier than the average germ . So, if you want to build a robot petite enough to explore an oil reservoir, you’ll need to design it at the nanoscale.

Scientists and oil companies envision a day when trillions of minuscule, water-soluble carbon clusters can be injected deep underground and then pulled back to the surface. Geologists would then be able to note changes in the chemical makeup of the carbon clusters to decipher such details as temperature and pressure in the oil reserve. Other, more advanced plans even call for nano-robots capable of transmitting their findings back to the surface.

2. Nano-empowered Batteries and Solar Panels

Whether facing the battery death of a beloved smartphone or the limitations of solar technology, nano-manufacturing will eventually solve your problem. Not only will nanotechnology enable the production of longer-lasting batteries and more efficient solar sails, it will also do it cheaply.

The limitations of both batteries and solar panels tend to boil down to the materials used in the electrode portion of a battery. This material is the conductor through which an electric current enters or leaves a solution in a battery. Typical electrode materials can only transmit a limited electrical charge. Nanotechnology, however, gives scientists the ability to enlarge the surface area of the electrode material at the nanoscale without increasing the material size. The trick is to boost the complexity of the material at the nanoscale.


For example, imagine two blocks of cheese of equal size: one solid cheddar and the other Swiss cheese riddled with pores and holes. Due to the interior walls of the holes, the Swiss cheese benefits from greater surface area than the solid cheddar.

Scientists have drawn inspiration for such technology from marine sponges, which assemble their complex, crystalline structures at the molecular level. And it’s that sort of assembly that factors into the last item on our list.

1. Some Self-assembly Required

All of these nano-manufacturing and nanotechnology advancements will undoubtedly change the face of industry forever, but the biggest game changer of them all will come in the form of self-assembly. The smaller the building blocks become, the closer we get to the molecular-scale building techniques of nature itself.

Earlier applications of nanotechnology implemented a top-down approach, in which scientists use instruments such as the atomic force microscope to manipulate matter at the nanoscale. The bottom-up approach, however, actually builds at the molecular level. The difference between the two approaches is not unlike that between Victor Frankenstein’s stitching together body parts to make a new human and nature simply growing one up from genetic material.

In the future, nano-manufacturing will take place entirely at a scale invisible to the naked eye, as nano-bots construct everything from delicate fabrics and super-strong steel to computing components.


The future of industry all comes down to the size and complexity of the building blocks.


QMC & DOE collaborate on tetrapod quantum dot research

Mar 28, 2013    

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8Quantum Materials Corporation has recently developed and delivered customized tetrapod QD samples for applications being developed by the US Department of Energy National Lab researchers.

As one of the largest sponsors of U.S. technical and military research, the DOE helps to move innovative technologies into the commercial marketplace, creating new jobs and future industries.

Quantum Materials Corporation (QMC) has also agreed to supply customized tetrapod quantum dots to a U.S. government defense related agency in support of a nano-biological project.

More than 110 science-related Nobel Prizes have been awarded to DOE-associated researchers.

Department of Energy National (DOE) Labs, Energy Innovation Hubs and Technology Centers are developing quantum dot and other nanoscale applications.

Relevant applications include solar photovoltaics, batteries, biofuels, physics and biological sciences.

One institute working on the project is Los Alamos National Lab (LANL), which is exploring quantum dot-fluorescent proteins (QD-FP) in devices. They use pH-sensitive fluorescent protein acceptors to produce long-lived sensors for biological imaging. LANL’s use of quantum dots for precise cellular imaging produces valuable data for the hopeful cure or treatment of many diseases and conditions.

QMC believes its technology meets three NNI National Signature Initiatives objectives. These are new advanced materials (tetrapod quantum dots), mass production (continuous flow process) and nano-manufacturing (roll-to-roll printing).

Stephen Squires, QMC CEO commented, “The many DOE National Labs are in the forefront of quantum dot research and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with them. QMC has enabling technologies to help fulfill NNI National Signature Initiatives years ahead of forecasts, advancing the nation’s research rapidly while perhaps saving the U.S. Government millions that can be redirected to application development.”

QMC currently offers high-brightness cadmium-based and ecological cadmium-free non-heavy metal tetrapod QD and can synthesize many Group II-VI inorganic mono or hybrid tetrapod quantum dots.

The firm intends to build out its quantum dot production facilities in the U.S. with full commercial production expected in the fourth quarter of 2013.



Quantum Dot and Quantum Dot Display (QLED): Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, Nanotechnology, 2013 to 2019


WinterGreen Research announces that it has published a new study Quantum Dot and Quantum Dot Display (QLED) Market Shares, Strategy, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2013 to 2019. The 2013 study has 221 pages, 80 tables and figures. Quantum dots will cascade into the marketplace. They offer lower cost, longer life, and brighter lighting.


According to Susan Eustis, “The commercialization of quantum dots using kilogram quantity mass production is a game-changer. High quality, high quantity and lowest price quantum dots increase product quality in every industry. The rate of change means speeded products cycles are evolving.”


Once manufacturers learn to integrate higher efficiency luminescent quantum dots into their products, each vendor will need to follow or dramatically lose market share. This level of change brought by quantum dot and quantum dot displays (QLED) represents a new paradigm that will create new industries, products and jobs in science and industry. The list of possible quantum dot applications is ever expanding. New applications are waiting for the availability of more evolved quantum dots.

Quantum Dot LED (QLED) commercial focus has remained on key optical applications: Optical component lasers are emerging as a significant market. LED backlighting for LCD displays, LED general lighting, and solar power quantum dots are beginning to reach the market. Vendors continue to evaluate other applications.

Quantum dots QDs are minute particles or nano-particles in the range of 2 nm to 10 nm diameter. Quantum dots are tiny bits of semiconductor crystals with optical properties that are determined by their material composition. Their size is small to the nanoparticle level. They are made through a synthesis process. QD Vision synthesizes these materials in solution, and formulates them into inks and films. Quantum Dot LEDs (QLED) enable performance and cost benefits.

The quantum dot cannot be seen with the naked eye, because it is an extremely tiny semiconductor nanocrystal. The nanocrystal is a particle having a particle size of less than 10 nanometers. QDs have great potential as light-emitting materials for next-generation displays with highly saturated colors because of high quantum efficiency, sharp spectral resolution, and easy wavelength tenability. Because QDs convert light to current, QDs have uses in other applications, including solar cells, photo detectors, and image sensors.


QLED displays are anticipated to be more efficient than LCDs and OLEDs. They are cheaper to make. Samsung estimates that they cost less than half of what it costs to make LCDs or OLED panels. QLED quantum dot display is better than OLED. It is brighter, cheaper, and saves more energy. Energy-savings is a strong feature. Its power consumption is 1/5 to 1/10 of the LCD’s Samsung offers now. Manufacturing costs of a display are less than half of OLED or LCD. It has a significantly longer life than the OLED.


QLED quantum dot display uses active matrix to control the opening and closing of the pixels of each color. Quantum dots have to use a thin film transistor. Emission from quantum dots is due to light or electrical stimulation. The quantum dots are able to produce different colors depending on the quantum shape and size used in the production of materials.


Dow Electronic Materials, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) and Nanoco Group plc (AIM: NANO) have a global licensing agreement for Nanoco’s cadmium-free quantum dot technology. Under the terms of the agreement, Dow Electronic Materials will have exclusive worldwide rights for the sale, marketing and manufacture of Nanoco’s cadmium-free quantum dots for use in electronic displays.


Market Participants

  • Evident Technologies
  • InVisage
  • LG Display
  • Nanoco Technologies
  • Nanoco Group / Dow Chemical
  • Company (NYSE: DOW)
  • Nanoco / Tokyo Electron
  • NanoAxis
  • N-N Labs
  • Nexxus Lighting
  • Quantum Materials Corp
  • Samsung
  • Sigma-A


Lockheed Martin moves beyond weapons to clean water with graphene


Lockheed Martin moves beyond weapons to clean water with graphene


Visitors look at the Lockheed Martin’s stand at the Eurosatory 2012 defence and security exhibition in Villepinte near Paris on June 11, 2012.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has discovered a way to make desalination 100 times more efficient. And that could have a big impact on bringing clean drinking water to the developing world.

The process is called reverse osmosis, and the material used is graphene — a lot like the stuff you smudge across paper with your pencil.

“This stuff is so thin and so strong, it’s a remarkable compound, it is one atom thick,” says Lockheed Martin senior engineer John Stetson. “If you have a piece of paper that represents the thickness of graphene, the closest similar membrane is about the height of a room.”

The new material essentially acts as a sieve, allowing water to pass though while salts remain behind. Graphene could make for smaller, cheaper plants that turn salt water into drinking water, but it could also have uses in war zones as a portable water desalinator.

Lockheed really is concerned with the broadest aspects of global security [and] maintaining safe environments and that includes water,” says Stetson.


New process to make nanospheres could enable advances across multiple industries

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8(Nanowerk News) A patent-pending technology to produce  nanospheres developed by a research team at North Dakota State University,  Fargo, could enable advances across multiple industries, including electronics,  manufacturing, and biomedical sectors.


The environmentally-friendly process produces polymer-based  nanospheres (tiny microscopic particles) that are uniform in size and shape,  while being low-cost and easily reproducible. The process developed at NDSU  allows scale-up of operation to high production levels, without requiring  specialized manufacturing equipment.

The environmentally-friendly process oxidizes ozone in water to produce  polymer-based nanospheres, ranging from 70 to 400 nanometers in diameter, that  are uniform in size and shape, stay suspended in solution, and are easily  removed using a centrifuge. The scanning electron microscopy image depicts the  uniform spherical morphology of these nanospheres.

A 3 a.m. Eureka! moment

Dr. Victoria Gelling, associate professor in the Department of  Coatings and Polymeric Materials at NDSU, had a “Eureka!” moment when she woke  early one morning – 3 a.m., to be precise, an hour when most of us are still  sleeping. Dr. Gelling used early morning creativity to imagine a new way to  oxidize monomers, which are relatively small and simple molecules, into  polymers, which are larger, more complex molecules that can be used to create  synthetic materials. Dr. Gelling hypothesized that oxidizing ozone in water  might accomplish this task.

Later that day in the lab, Dr. Gelling and her team tested the  hypothesis. On the first try, they created a suspension of nearly perfectly  rounded, uniformly-sized nanospheres, ranging from 70 to 400 nanometers in  diameter. In addition to their uniform size, the nanospheres stay suspended in  the solution, and are easily removed using a centrifuge.

“The synthesis of the nanospheres is rather simple, with no  other chemicals required other than water, ozone, and the small molecules which  will become the polymers,” said Dr. Gelling. “We also have tight control of the  size, as they are beautiful, perfect marbles.”

Given their uniform size and shape, the nanospheres could have  uses across multiple industries. According to Dr. Gelling, such nanospheres  could be used to:

  • Produce  high-performance electronic devices and energy-efficient digital displays
  • Create  materials with high conductivity and smaller parts for consumer electronics
  • Deliver  medicine directly to diseased cells in the body
  • Provide  antibacterial coating on dressing for wounds
  • Develop  nanosensors to aid in early disease detection
  • Create  coatings that provide increased protection against corrosion and  abrasion

Watch the Video Here: http://youtu.be/ndK-NzULfAk

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Graphene Commercialisation and Applications: Global Industry and Academia Summit

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8(Nanowerk News) From its high electrical conductivity  and structural strength, graphene has been cited as a “wonder material” with the  potential to revolutionize materials engineering in many different industrial  sectors. While the number of commercial applications for graphene is potentially  unlimited, production scalability must first be established and R&D activity  properly directed to ensure graphene moves out of the lab and into the market.

The Graphene Commercialisation & Applications:  Global Industry & Academia Summit 2013, (25th-26th June, 2013, London),  is the first forum of its kind aimed at establishing the real, commercially  viable industrial applications of graphene, and expediting its role as a  game-changing technology.

With trailblazing companies such as Nokia, Head, Samsung,  Philips, BAE Systems, Sony and Thales, as well as leading academic and research  institutions such as Manchester University, UCLA, Chalmers University, Seoul  National University and Fraunhofer IPA, coming together for the first time to  present their views, this exciting event is a timely opportunity for relevant  stakeholders to evaluate specific industry requirements for graphene, as well as  understanding its’ material capabilities and real world applications.

Senior Business And Scientific Leaders Speaking At The Summit  Include

  • – Jari Kinaret, Professor, Chalmers University and Director, Graphene Flagship  Consortium
  • – James Baker, Managing Director, BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre
  • – Jani Kivioja, Research Leader, Nokia
  • – Ralf Schwenger, Director R&D Raquetsports, Head Sport
  • – Seungmin Cho, Principal Research Engineer and Group Leader, Samsung Techwin
  • – Byung Hee Hong, Associate Professor, Seoul National University
  • Richard Kaner, Professor of Chemistry, UCLA
  • – Paolo Bondavalli, Head of Nanomaterial Topic, Thales Group
  • – Marcello Grassi, Head of Technology, Spirit AeroSystems Europe
  • – Nuno Lourenco, Head of Technology, UTC Aerospace
  • – York Haemisch, Senior Director Corporate Technologies, Philips Research
  • – Peter Fischer, CTO, Plastic Logic
  • – Antonio Avitabile, Head of Strategic Technology Partnerships, Sony
  • – Ivica Kolaric, Department Head, Fraunhofer IPA
  • – Pradyumna Goli – Research Associate, A.A. Ballandin Nano-Device Laboratory, UC  Riverside
  • – Rahul Nair, Lead Researcher, University of Manchester
  • – Craig Poland, Research Scientist, Institute of Occupational  Medicine

Day One of the Summit will establish graphene’s commercially  viable applications across multiple sectors and the commercialisation roadmap.

Day Two illustrates supply and cost projections as well as  production scalability steps.

Download The Full Agenda And Speaker Faculty  HereThis forum will provide a unique and invaluable opportunity to  gain insights into the opportunities and hindrances presented by graphene. It  will also provide the framework for industry, research and academia to  collaborate in making this revolutionary technological development a market  reality.

Click Here To Register, Saving £200 Per Person By  19th AprilIf you would like more information about joining the exhibition  showcase or require information on group registration discounts, then please  contact the team on +44 (0) 800 098 8489 or email  info@london-business-conferences.co.uk

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Nanotechnology: Drug Delivery Market 2012-2016

IOTA NanoSolutions Ltd., Lena Nanoceutics Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Celgene Corp., and SkyePharma Dominate the Market


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/rcp9ds/global) has announced the addition of the “Global Nanotechnology Drug Delivery Market 2012-2016” report to their offering.


TechNavio’s analysts forecast the Global Nanotechnology Drug Delivery market to grow at a CAGR of 73.97 percent over the period 2012-2016. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the low R&D cost. The Global Nanotechnology Drug Delivery market has also been witnessing an increase in customer support services. However, the increasing safety concerns could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

Commenting on the report, an analyst from TechNavio’s Healthcare team said: ”Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are focusing on capitalizing on the potential of nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery. Nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery systems are helping pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to counter the threat of generics.

Reformulation helps in extending the product life cycle, and novel reformulations help an existing drug candidate to qualify as a new chemical entity. This increases profitability and discourages competition during the drug’s most profitable years.”
According to the report, increasing government funding is one of the major drivers in the Global Nanotechnology Drug Delivery market. Government programs in various countries such as the US, the UK, Germany, and China exist for funding various R&D initiatives in nanotechnology, which is boosting the growth of the market.

Further, the report states that various manufacturing issues constitute one of the major challenges in the Global Nanotechnology Drug Delivery Market.

The key vendors dominating this space are IOTA NanoSolutions Ltd., Lena Nanoceutics Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Celgene Corp., and SkyePharma plc.

The other vendors mentioned in the report are Merck & Co. Inc., Pfizer Inc., AlphaRx Inc., Amgen Inc., Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., Biophan Technologies Inc., Calando Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cephalon Inc., Cerulean Pharma Inc., Copernicus Therapeutics Inc., CritiTech Inc., CytImmune Sciences Inc., Elan Corp. plc, Debiotech SA, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Nano Interface Technology Inc., Spherics Inc., Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc., SoluBest Ltd., Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc., PharmaNova Inc., Particle Sciences Inc., Novavax Inc., Nanotherapeutics Inc., NanoSight Ltd., NanoCarrier Co. Ltd., NanoBioMagnetics Inc., Nano Interface Technology Inc., Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kuecept Ltd., and Izon Science Ltd.

Key questions answered in this report:

– What will the market size be in 2016 and what will the growth rate be?

– What are the key market trends?

– What is driving this market?

– What are the challenges to market growth?

– Who are the key vendors in this market space?

– What are the market opportunities and threats faced by the key vendors?

– What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of these key vendors?

You can request one free hour of analyst time when you purchase this report. Details provided within the report.

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/rcp9ds/global

Novel-Nano Encapsulation Technologies: A Good Business?

Q: Is there a market for novel encapsulation technologies?

The Encapsulation Paradox

In the past few years, novel encapsulation technologies have become a hot topic in the thin-film, printed end electronics communities. Many of the latest materials platforms for displays, lighting and solar panels appear to require higher performance encapsulation technologies. And in response to this apparent need, new alternatives have appeared in the marketplace; notably multilayer barrier films and conformally deposited coatings.

This sounds like the makings of a good business case. Unfortunately, recent history seems to be saying otherwise. The start-up firms that have believed in this business case have not been a happy crew. Symmorphix and (quite recently) Cambridge Nanotech have gone out of business.

Vitex has been swallowed up by Samsung. And other startups are confessing that they are no longer sure how they are ever going to make big money out of their clever encapsulation ideas.

So here is the encapsulation paradox. Some of the most exciting new thin-printed-organic technologies apparently need new kinds of encapsulation. Yet there is good empirical evidence that firms cannot make money providing these novel species of encapsulation. What is missing from this picture?

“Too Late,” The Market Cried

NanoMarkets’ analysis suggests that a big part of the problem here is the big contrast between the apparent size of the novel encapsulation market and the time that it will take to emerge. NanoMarkets has carried out detailed forecasts of the markets for encapsulation in both the OLED and thin-film photovoltaics sectors and the results are rather illustrative in this regard.

Glass endures:

At first blush, the total addressable market (TAM) for encapsulants looks quite respectable. Our projections indicate that materials for encapsulation of OLEDs and TFPV can reach about $770 million by 2015 and about $2 billion by 2019. These amounts should be more than enough to put a smile on the face of any advanced materials entrepreneur. However, there is a world of difference between the theoretically addressable market for a new material and the market that is actually serviceable.

The NanoMarkets view is that rigid glass is going to be very difficult to dislodge in the encapsulation marketplace and will be used wherever it can be used. Because of this NanoMarkets estimates the market share for non-glass encapsulation can grow from about 11 percent today, to only about 21 percent and 27 percent in 2015 and 2019, respectively.

So one question that has to be asked here is: Have the providers of the latest and greatest encapsulation materials confused the whole market for encapsulation with the part of the market they can actually reach? Could it be that their business models are based on a false idea of what the revenue potential of this market actually is?

For if one takes glass technologies out of the equation, then the markets for encapsulation suddenly look a lot less attractive. Without glass, the 2013 market value of novel encapsulation materials multilayer barrier films and conformally deposited coatings is under $2 million in OLEDs and just over $50 million in PV applications. And these market values are only expected to grow to about $135 million and $410 million, respectively, by 2019. These are not revenue numbers that can expect to entice investment into this sector.

This analysis takes on an even more cautionary tinge, if one takes into consideration the fact that NanoMarkets doesn’t even expect to achieve this combined figure of around $445 million, unless the firms in this space can concurrently improve performance (especially in the OLED sector) and reduce costs, which will be very difficult.

In other words, what we are looking at here is a market where market expectations are just not that great but the risks are fairly high. And glass systems are meeting encapsulation requirements now, will continue to do so for the near- and mid-term, and glass companies will make continual improvements to their products, too!

Time, time, time:

But the truly damning aspect of NanoMarkets’ projections in this area is not the long-term revenue projections and certainly not the technology risk, but the fact that it is going to take a long time to reach a market that any outside investor is going to treat seriously.

In the current environment, any firm or individual putting money into the encapsulation business is going to have to wait quite a few years before they will see any real return and they will have to make their investment decisions based on discounting future cash flows with high numbers for inflation, political risk, etc., etc.

In fact, NanoMarkets is already hearing from the encapsulation start-ups that this issue is becoming one that is of serious concern. What these firms are actually saying is that they can’t charge prices high enough to stay profitable because end-user markets are too cost-sensitive, and thus the novel encapsulation technologies have been unable to gain a foothold in the market. They also say that they can’t yet generate cash flows large enough to grow organically and build large-scale manufacturing plants for their new materials, thereby reducing the cost through economies of scale.

But turn this tale of woe around and an investment story emerges. The encapsulation firms can’t get profitable because they can’t find investors who can relieve them of the necessity of having to charge a price for their materials that reimburses them for CapEx and R&D in a short period of time. Such investors would also let them build capacity and tap into economies of scale in advance of volume demand.

A full-scale manufacturing plant for advanced encapsulation systems, would surely cost tens of millions of dollars and take many years to recover. Scaling up is a shaky value proposition, and few investors are willing to take the risk!

What is to be Done? Four Strategies

None of this is encouraging. And it cannot help but leave encapsulation companies wondering whether they should “die well or die badly.” Beyond hyperbole, there are, NanoMarkets believes, four options available to today’s generation of novel encapsulation companies.

Get out now:

Some firms may opt out of the business altogether. NanoMarkets believes that there will be more market exits and bankruptcies by small firms in the encapsulation business during the 2013 and 2014. Few encapsulation firms are likely to choose this option willingly, and for obvious reasons.

Alternative products:

Moving into other markets. This is not an uncommon strategy for struggling start-ups in the advanced materials sector. The point here is that most such firms begin with a core materials technology and then try to find an application that will fit the technology. We can think of one company, for example, that started in the lighting business, shifted to the drug delivery business, before settling on the solar panel business. Ultimately it was acquired by a large chemical company!

This is an approach that we think firms in the space that we are discussing should be considering. But we don’t think it will be that easy. While encapsulation technologies might find new homes in the packaging of other electronics products or in food packaging, both of those markets are crowded with much lower-cost competition. But there may always be niches worth exploring.

A more viable option may be available to encapsulation firms whose expertise tends towards the equipment/process side of the business. Equipment expertise is more widely needed, and there may be any number of markets that the firm could target. For example, Beneq already works in various end-markets; high performance encapsulation of OLEDs and PV is only one of the many applications in which its ALD processes could be used. While shifting into new markets may not be an easy strategy for struggling encapsulation firms, it does hold out the prospects of a fresh start and big profits. . . someday.

Strategic investments:

It may be possible for some encapsulation firms to attract strategic investments from large materials or electronics firms who are in need of a good new encapsulation technology for their products. Here the economics surrounding the investment is quite different to other kinds of investment. In this case, the investor may be basing its calculations of return on enhanced cash flows from its core products; displays and solar panels. Or the investor may be a large materials company that simply has the resources to withstand some very lean years and believes in advanced encapsulation enough not to mind.

At the margin, a strategic investment morphs into a large firm buying a small firm for its technology and some smaller encapsulation firms may thus see the strategic investment option more in terms of hanging on long enough to get acquired. This may make a lot of sense for some of them; but, of course, it assumes that they don’t run out of cash while waiting for their savior.

The problem with this approach is that as time drags on, the deals that can be struck become more and more unfavorable to the smaller company. In the end, strategic investment can look quite close to liquidation.

Give up on big revenues:

Finally, an encapsulation start-up may opt to become a small R&D company, obtain some development contracts and survive. This is a classic small businessscenario. It is not compatible with a “flashy” VC business with big IPO plans, but it may be better than nothing. And there is always the hope that such firms may grow big some day. By way of an example, there were many very small telecom component firms that grew into substantial businesses during the telecom boom of two decades ago.

Frankly, none of the options that we have set out above are that attractive and we can understand why many firms in this space may want to follow their bliss. But the reality is that some of these small firms show little likelihood of finding it based on existing strategies and goals.

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What it Really Takes to Succeed

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8By Jack and Suzy Welch

The modern marketplace demands that people possess a wide range of skills. But what core qualities are truly essential to career advancement, regardless of industry or job?


The answer could fill a book and it has, thousands of times, if not more. Myriad experts claim that career advancement is a function of everything from extreme self-confidence to extreme humility (or both at once). Still others make the case that big-time professional success derives from more sinister behaviors, such as callous ambition or unfettered narcissism. And then there is the whole “positive thinking” bandwagon, which claims that getting ahead is primarily a function of believing you can. In sum, there’s so much contradictory advice out there about the core components of success that it’s enough to reduce you to a weary sigh of: “Whatever.”
Which is just fine. Because we’d suggest that you can’t really manipulate yourself into success with personality tweaks or even major overhauls. In fact, we’d say just the opposite. The most powerful thing you can do is, well, be real. As in not phony. As in grappling, sweating, laughing, and caring. As in authentic.

Yes, yes, we know the upper echelon of the corporate world has its share of slick super achievers who appear simultaneously all-knowing and unknowable. They’re cool, poised, almost digitally enhanced in their affect. But such bloodless executives, even the most technically skilled ones, rarely reach the highest heights. They’re just too remote to move people. They can manage, but they can’t motivate.

Now, we’re not saying that authenticity is the only quality you need for professional advancement. Everyone knows that to succeed in today’s competitive global marketplace, you also have to be smart, curious, and highly collaborative. You have to be able to work with diverse teams and ignite them as a manager to excel together. You need heaps of positive energy, the guts to make tough yes-or-no decisions, and the endurance to execute—get the job done. And, indeed, you do have to possess self-confidence and humility at the same time. That combination is called maturity.
We would also add two other qualities to the must-have list. One is heavy-duty resilience, a requirement because anyone who is really in the game messes up at some point. You’re not playing hard enough if you don’t! But when your turn comes, don’t make the all-too-human mistake of thinking getting ahead is about minimizing what happened. The most successful people in any new job always own their failures, learn from them, regroup, and then start again with renewed speed, vigor, and conviction.

The other quality we’d mention is really special but quite rare: the ability to see around corners, to anticipate the radically unexpected. Now, practically no one starts their career with a sixth sense for market changes. It takes time to get a feel for what competitors are thinking and what product or service customers will eventually want – once they know it exists. But the bottom line is, the sooner you develop this acumen, and the more you hone it, the farther you will go.

But not if you’re not real, too. Think of authenticity as your foundation, your center, and don’t let any organization try to wring it out of you, subtly or otherwise. That happens. Companies have a way of tamping people down, particularly early on. Not that it happens with any kind of conscious planning, of course. But too many organizations manage to surreptitiously nudge people toward a generic type who keeps it all pretty well tucked in.

Meanwhile, if you put your whole self out there, bosses can complain that you act too emotional or get too close to teammates or become too worked up in meetings. Your performance reviews will note: “Tom has some potential, but he just doesn’t fit in.” Or “Sally has some rough edges, but with coaching, her intensity might even out.”

In time though, if you have everything else you need in terms of talent and skill, your humanity will come to be your most appealing virtue to an organization. Your team and your bosses will know who you are in your soul, what kind of people you attract, and what kind of performance you want from everyone. Your realness will make you accessible; you will connect and you will inspire. You will lead.

So, getting back to the original question of this missive: Yes, the modern marketplace does demand that people possess a wide range of skills to achieve success. Most of them you have to acquire, develop, and refine. But one of them – the most important one – is already inside you, ready to be let out. Don’t get in its way.

A version of this column originally appeared in BusinessWeek Magazine.

Jack Welch is Founder and Distinguished Professor at the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University. Through its executive education and Welch Way management training programs, the Jack Welch Management Institute provides students and organizations with the proven methodologies, immediately actionable practices, and respected credentials needed to win in the most demanding global business environments.

Suzy Welch is a best-selling author, popular television commentator, and noted business journalist. Her New York Times bestselling book, 10-10-10: A Life Transforming Idea, presents a powerful decision-making strategy for success at work and in parenting, love and friendship. Together with her husband Jack Welch, Suzy is also co-author of the #1 international bestseller Winning, and its companion volume, Winning: The Answers. Since 2005, they have written business columns for several publications, including Business Week magazine, Thomson Reuters digital platforms, Fortune magazine, and the New York Times syndicate.

Researchers use ‘Spinostics’ to detect cancer biomarkers

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8(Nanowerk News) A new biosensing assay which can  specifically and rapidly detect colorectal cancer biomarkers in solution has  been developed by researchers at the London Centre for Nanotechnology and other  UCL departments, introducing the concept of “spinostics”.


Reported in Nature Scientific Reports (“Homogeneous antibody fragment conjugation by disulfide bridging  introduces ‘spinostics’”) this week, the study describes the addition of a “spin label” to an antibody fragment, which can then be detected using electron  spin resonance (ESR) and subsequently used to determine the presence of certain  cancer biomarkers.

Nanowerk spinostics

The complex formed between the antibody fragment with the label (green and  yellow) and the antigen (blue wire frame). The cartoon is a crystallographic  representation – only a schematic.

This research has potential to provide a wide range of  off-the-shelf biochemical tests, which use antibodies to detect the presence of  biomolecules, revolutionising the in vitro diagnostics field. The study describes the modification of the antibody fragment  (anti-CEA sscFv) through its disulfide bond by adding a spin label, a nitroxide  molecule that has an unpaired electron, which can attach itself to a biomolecule.

When this modified antibody fragment binds to the colorectal  cancer biomarker, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), the tumbling motion of the  fragment is slowed. These changes are reported by the attached spin label and  can be detected using ESR.

Biomarkers are biological molecules found in blood or other body  tissues that are a sign or signature of a disease or condition.   The  carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a protein involved in cell adhesion, is a  biomarker of colorectal cancer and, if present in the blood, is an indication  that the disease is present.

One of the advantages of this technique was that the researchers  were able to measure CEA concentrations in complex media, such as whole human  blood without the need to pre-treat the blood samples e.g. remove the red blood  cells.

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