Electrical Energy Storage: Beyond Lithium Ion VII



Beyond Lithium Ion VII

June 3-5, 2014| Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois

Significant advances in electrical energy storage could revolutionize the energy landscape. For example, widespread adoption of electric vehicles could greatly reduce dependence on finite petroleum resources, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and provide new scenarios for grid operation. Although electric vehicles with advanced lithium ion batteries have been introduced, further breakthroughs in scalable energy storage, beyond current state-of-the-art lithium ion batteries, are necessary before the full benefits of vehicle electrification can be realized.

Motivated by these societal needs and by the tremendous potential for materials science and engineering to provide necessary advances, a consortium comprising IBM Research and five U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories (National Renewable, Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, Pacific Northwest, and Oak Ridge) will host a symposium June 3-5, 2014, at Argonne National Laboratory. This is the seventh in a series of conferences that began in 2009.

Raymond Bair, General Chair                     Nancy Dudney, Program Chair

The Monday preceding BL7, the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research is sponsoring an In SituElectrochemical Electron Microscopy (ISEEM) Workshop, which is free of charge and open to graduate students, postdocs and scientists working in that scientific discipline. The purpose of the ISEEM Workshop is to bring together researchers and talk about the roadblocks and solutions to ISEEM experiments. For more information, please go to the ISEEM website.


Slideshow Image 6Slideshow Image 7

Slideshow Image 5Slideshow Image 4




ISEEM Workshop 2014

ISEEM Conference

Sponsored by JCESR, the In Situ Electrochemical Electron Microscopy (ISEEM) Workshop is free of charge and open to graduate students, postdocs and scientists working in this scientific discipline.

The purpose of the ISEEM Workshop is to bring together researchers and talk about the roadblocks and solutions to the highly challenging experiments being undertaken. The workshop will take place on the Monday before the Beyond Lithium Ion VII (BL7) conference at Argonne National Laboratory, about 25 miles southwest of Chicago. You do not need to attend BL7 to come to the workshop, but you are certainly encouraged to register for that (separately) and attend.

ISEEM Details

When: Monday, June 2, 2014 Where: Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Ave., Argonne, IL 60439 Registration Deadline: May 1, 2014 Cost: FREE Agenda: The agenda will be shaped by the participants, so you may be asked to give a presentation on your work. Space is limited (to enhance interaction).

Registration will be open shortly. Check back in mid March.

Researchers destroy cancer with cryoablation and nanoparticle-encapsulated anticancer drug

BioGraphene-320Researchers destroy cancer with cryoablation and nanoparticle-encapsulated anticancer drug

(Nanowerk News) Combining nanodrug-based chemotherapy and cryoablation provides an effective strategy to eliminate cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) the root of cancer resistance and metastasis, which will help to improve the safety and efficacy of treating malignancies that are refractory to conventional therapies.
A schematic illustration of the resistance of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) to cryoablation alone and its combination with free doxorubicin (fDOX) and nanoparticle-encapsulated doxorubicin
A schematic illustration of the resistance of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) to cryoablation alone and its combination with free doxorubicin (fDOX) and nanoparticle-encapsulated doxorubicin (nDOX). Cryoablation may destroy most tumor cells while the remnant CSCs will reinitiate tumor growth and tumor relapse ensues. The combination of cryoablation and fDOX is not effective enough to destroy all CSCs either to prevent tumor relapse. In contrast, cryoablation combined with nDOX can effectively kill all CSCs, resulting in the eventual elimination of cancer because the non-stem cancer cells could not create the heterogeneity (e.g., cancer cells, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells) in tumor to sustain its growth.
Cryoablation (also called cryosurgery or cryotherapy) is an energy-based, minimally invasive surgical technique that has been investigated to treat a variety of diseases including cancer, which is done by freezing the diseased tissue to subzero temperature to induce irreversible damage. It is particularly attractive for fighting against breast cancer due to its excellent cosmetic outcome to preserve the organ with unnoticeable scar formation on skin. However, cryoablation alone has limited effectiveness on eradicating cancer stem-like cells (CSCs), which may lead to cancer recurrence and/or metastasis post operation. A team of researchers from the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University introduced an innovative strategy by combining cryoablation with nanoparticle-medicated chemotherapy and demonstrated that the combined therapy can significantly augment the destruction of CSCs, resulting in eliminating nearly all CSCs. This technology provides a new approach to overcome drug resistance of CSCs and improve the safety and efficacy of cancer cryoablation.
The report appears in the latest issue of the journal TECHNOLOGY (“Nanoparticle-encapsulated doxorubicin enhances cryoablation of cancer stem-like cells”).
“This novel combined therapy of cryoablation and nanodrug is a significant step forward in improving the safety and efficacy of fighting against cancer. Our study provides the first account of minimizing cancer recurrence by destroying the cancer stem-like cells in the field of cryoablation for cancer treatment.” said Xiaoming He, Ph.D., of The Ohio State University and senior author of this paper. “It is valuable to facilitate the clinical applications of cryoablation by eliminating the root of cancer resistance – the cancer stem-like cells”.
“The nanoparticles used in this study were optimized for effective drug delivery.” said Wei Rao, Ph.D., the lead author of the paper. According to the researchers, an optimized size of the nanodrug facilitates its uptake by cancer cells via endocytosis. A positively charged nanodrug has high electrostatic affinity to the negatively charged cell plasma membrane, which should further facilitate its uptake by cancer cells. Moreover, materials on the nanoparticles have high affinity to CD44 that is one of the common protein complexes overexpressed on cancer stem-like cells. Therefore, the use of nanodrug can help to achieve much-enhanced bioavailability of anticancer drug to cancer stem-like cells compared to conventional chemotherapy using free drug. This particularly attractive feature meets the demand of targeted delivery and therapy and could minimize the drug systemic toxicity. Its combination with cryoablation can significantly augment cryoinjury to ensure complete destruction of all cancer stem-like cells.
Currently, research on the combined therapy of cryoablation and nanodrug showed promising results using 3D mammosphere model at the microscale. Future research will focus more on in vivo studies to monitor tumor relapse after the combined treatment and further translate this technology into the clinic. Although more research is required to ascertain its safety and efficacy, this study provides a novel strategy of combining cryoablation and nanodrug that demonstrates great potential to eliminate cancer from its root.
Additional co-authors of the TECHNOLGY paper are Adriano Bellotti from North Carolina State University, Peter J. Littrup from Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Jianhua Yu from The Ohio State University and Xiongbin Lu from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Source: World Scientific

Read more: Researchers destroy cancer with cryoablation and nanoparticle-encapsulated anticancer drug http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology_news/newsid=34757.php#ixzz2w0brNOeh Follow us: @nanowerk on Twitter

Nanotechnology in Israel moving from strength to strength

2x2-logo-sm.jpg(Nanowerk News) According to INNI (Israel National Nanotechnology Initiative) statistics, gathered towards NanoIsrael 2014, the 4th international conference & exhibition, the number of junior scientists in the field (including post-doctorates) is 220, the number of doctoral students is about 750 and the number of masters students is more than 850. In the past three years over 7,500 scientific papers have been published where 1500 of which resulted from collaboration between the universities.
“In the six years since declaring nanotechnology as national priority, the field marked significant achievements,” says Rafi Koriat of INNI (Israel National Nanotechnology Initiative) and a conference co–chair.
According to INNI, in these years there were 830 collaborations between Israeli academia and industry (domestic and foreign), and 206 “success stories” in the form of startup companies and approved patents, with another 860 patent filings.
Commercializing technologies will stand out again in this year’s NanoIsrael conference, says Koriat. “The conference will be attended by large delegations and experts from around the world, who will come to Israel to experience its vibrant nanotechnology scene. Both industry and academia, with its six nanotechnology centers at the leading research universities, will feature strongly in the conference.”
NanoIsrael 2014 will be held on March 24th-25th , at the Tel–Aviv David Intercontinental Hotel, Israel. Prof Uri Sivan of the Technion, renowned scientist and the first head of the Russell Berry Nanotechnology Centre at the Technion, is chairing the scientific committee this year, and Nava Swersky Sofer is a conference co–chair.
NanoIsrael 2014 is held in cooperation with the Israel National Nanotechnology Initiative (INNI) and the nanotechnology centers at Israeli universities, and is supported by the Ministry of Trade & Industry, the Foreign Ministry, key companies, universities and organizations from Israel and abroad.
Source: INNI

Read more: Nanotechnology in Israel moving from strength to strength http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology_news/newsid=34768.php#ixzz2w0Y47EeA Follow us: @nanowerk on Twitter

Dentistry and bioactive glass: “Nano” for Dental Implants?

1x2 logo sm(Nanowerk News) Bioactive glass is a highly biocompatible material because of its bioactivity, osteoconductivity – a scaffold’s ability to support cell attachment and subsequent bone matrix deposition and formation – and even osteoinductivity – a scaffold that encourages osteogenic precursor cells to differentiate into mature bone-forming cells.

Bioactive glasses – which are different from conventional glasses – are composed of calcium and phosphate which are present in a proportion that is similar to the bone hydroxyapatite. These glasses bond to the tissue and are biocompatible. That’s why these materials have found a wide range of medical and dental applications and are currently used as bone grafts, scaffolds and coating material for dental implants.

Specifically for hard-tissue applications, such as the regeneration and repair of bones and teeth, several bioactive or bioinert materials have been used clinically. Silica-based bioglasses constitute the essential part of such bioactive materials, having already been utilized in numerous orthopedic and dental applications.

Researchers have even fabricated bioactive glass in nanofibrous form (read more: “Bioactive glass nanofibers as a next-generation biomaterial”). This material, which shows excellent bioactivity, is likely to open the door to the development of new nanostructured bone regeneration materials for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Bioglass in bone dentistry graftBioglass after healing. The white areas are the bioglass material and the surrounding tissue in this slide is primarily connective tissue. Bioactive glasses have different families and each family has a different composition. Some classes of bioactive glasses, like Bioglass™ (45S5), are now being used intraorally as bone grafting material after gaining FDA approval                     

In various studies, researchers have shown that, in addition to remineralization, bioactive glasses have antibacterial effects (“Antibacterial effects of a bioactive glass paste on oral microorganisms”) as they can raise the pH of aqueous solution (“Antibacterial activity of particulate Bioglass® against supra- and subgingival bacteria”).

A review article (“Bioactive Glass: A Material for the Future”) looks at various properties of bioactive glasses and their applications in dentistry and also reviews the changes that can be made in their composition according to a desired application.

Read more: Dentistry and bioactive glass

U.S. government releases 2014 National Nanotechnology Strategic Plan

U.S. government releases 2014 National Nanotechnology Strategic Plan

(2x2-logo-sm.jpgNanowerk News) The 2014 National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan (pdf) updates and replaces the prior NNI Strategic Plan released in February of 2011.  As called for in the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (Public Law 108-153, 15 USC §7501), the NNI Strategic Plan describes the NNI vision and goals and the strategies by which these goals are to be achieved, including specific objectives within each of the goals.


Also as called for in the Act, the Plan describes the NNI investment strategy and the investment categories, known as the program component areas (PCAs), used in the annual NNI budget crosscut.

2014 National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan

The National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan is the framework that underpins the nanotechnology work of the NNI agencies. It aims to ensure that advancements in and applications of nanotechnology continue in this vital area of R&D, while addressing potential concerns about future and existing applications. Its purpose is to facilitate achievement of the NNI vision and goals by laying out guidance for agency leaders, program managers, and the research community regarding planning and implementation of nanotechnology R&D investments and activities.
The NSET Subcommittee solicited multiple streams of input to inform the development of this revised NNI Strategic Plan. Independent reviews of the NNI by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the National Research Council of the National Academies—strongly supportive of the NNI overall—have made specific recommendations for improving the Initiative.3 Additional input came from the 2013 NNI Strategic Planning Stakeholder Workshop on June 11–12, 2013, as well as from detailed responses from the public to targeted questions that were published on http://www.nano.gov from June 7, 2013 to June 14, 2013.4 The draft strategic plan was posted on http://www.nano.gov for a 30-day public comment period from November 19 to December 18, 2013.

Thus informed by feedback and recommendations from a broad array of stakeholders, this strategic plan represents the consensus of the participating agencies as to the high-level goals and priorities of the NNI and specific objectives for at least the next three years. It serves as an integrated, interagency approach that informs the nanotechnology-specific strategic plans of NNI agencies (e.g., the Strategic Plan for NIOSH Nanotechnology Research and Guidance,5 the EPA’s Nanomaterial Research Strategy,6 and the FDA’s Nanotechnology Regulatory Science Research Plan7).
Accordingly, the strategic plan provides the framework within which each agency will carry out its own mission-related nanotechnology programs and that will sustain coordination of interagency activities. It describes the four overarching goals of the NNI, the major program component areas (PCAs)—established in 2004 and revised in 2013—that are used to broadly track the categories of investments needed to ensure the success of the Initiative, and the near-term objectives that provide concrete steps toward collectively achieving the NNI vision and goals.
Finally, the plan describes collaborative interagency activities. These include Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives (NSIs), which serve as a model of specifically targeted and closely coordinated interagency, cross-sector collaboration designed to accelerate innovation in areas of national priority.
Source: National Science and Technology Council

Read more: U.S. government releases 2014 National Nanotechnology Strategic Plan http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology_news/newsid=34593.php#ixzz2vUenJLJ2 Follow us: @nanowerk on Twitter

Exclusive: The miracle cure – scientists turn human skin into stem cells


Human skin cells have been turned into stem cells which have the potential to develop into fully-formed embryos, simply by bathing them in weak citric acid for half an hour, a leading scientist has told The Independent on Sunday.

The demonstration that the technique, which was pioneered on mouse cells, also works on human skin cells raises the prospect of new treatments for incurable illnesses, from Parkinson’s to heart disease, based on regenerating diseased organs in situ from a patient’s own stem cells.

Although there is no intention to create human embryos from skin cells, scientists believe that it could, theoretically, be possible to do so given that entire mouse embryos have already been effectively created from the re-engineered blood cells of laboratory mice.

Creating the mouse embryos was the final proof the scientists needed to demonstrate that the stem cells were “pluripotent”, and so capable of developing into any specialised tissue of an adult animal, including the “germ cells” that make sperm and eggs.

Pluripotent stem cells could usher in a new age of medicine based on regenerating diseased organs or tissues with injections of tissue material engineered from a patient’s own skin or blood, which would pose few problems in terms of tissue rejection.

However, the technique also has the potential to be misused for cloning babies, although stem cell scientists believe there are formidable technical, legal and ethical obstacles that would make this effectively impossible.

A team of Japanese and American scientists converted human skin cells into stem cells using the same simple approach that had astonished scientists around the world last month when they announced that they had converted blood cells of mice into stem cells by bathing them in a weak solution of citric acid for 30 minutes.

The scientist who instigated the research programme more than a decade ago said that he now has overwhelming evidence that the same technique can be used to create embryonic-like stem cells from human skin cells.

Charles Vacanti, a tissue engineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, said that the same team of researchers has generated stem cells from human dermal fibroblasts – skin cells – which came from a commercial source of human tissues sold for research purposes.

“The process was very similar to the one we used on mouse cells, but we used human dermal fibroblasts that we purchased commercially,” Dr Vacanti said. “I can confirm that stem cells were made when we treated these human cells. They do the same thing [as the mouse cells].

“They revert back to stem cells, and we believe the stem cells are not a contamination in the sample that we were inadvertently sent by the company, but that they are being made, although we still have to do the final tests to prove this,” he added.

“We have strong evidence that we have now made human stem cells by the same technique used on mouse cells and it suggests that there is probably a parallel process going on. I’m 98 per cent comfortable with the results so far.”

Detailed genetic tests and further experiments will be needed to prove beyond any doubt that the cells are true stem cells, although Dr Vacanti emphasised that he will not be carrying out the same experiments on the human stem cells that led to the creation of mouse embryos from mouse stem cells.

“My interest is to demonstrate the biological process, to grow your own perfect embryonic stem cells in order to repair your own damaged tissues – but without making an embryo,” Dr Vacanti said.

“In order to repair tissues you need embryonic stem cells, but the irony is that in order to show that you don’t need an embryo you have to sometimes create an embryo – in mice at least.”

Asked whether it would be possible in theory to follow on from the mouse research to show that skin cells could be turned into viable human embryos – effectively a clone of the donor of the skin samples – Dr Vacanti said: “This is an offshoot, an unintended consequence, so the answer is ‘yes’ …. This would be the natural conclusion, but I won’t be the one that does it.”

Robert Lanza, a stem cell expert at Advanced Cell Technology in Massachusetts, said that if the technique has been made to work on human cells as Dr Vacanti has described, then it could be a “paradigm changer” in terms of using stem cells for therapeutic purposes.

However, the development also raises serious questions about its possible unauthorised use for cloning babies,

“Because of the ease of the methodology, this research could have serious ethical ramifications,” Dr Lanza said. “If the cells are truly totipotent [able to develop into any cell type], then this technology could be used to clone organisms… and perhaps even humans.”

Haruko Obokata has stunned the world

Haruko Obokata has stunned the world Of mice and men

Haruko Obokata, a young post-doctoral researcher now at the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, startled the world two weeks ago when she explained how she created embryonic stem cells from the blood of mice by simply bathing the murine blood cells in a weak solution of citric acid for half an hour.

Dr Obokata began the research in 2008 in the United States after being recruited to work in the laboratory of Charles Vacanti, a colourful and engaging scientist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who first had the idea of creating stem cells from blood or skin cells by subjecting them to some kind of traumatic stress.

Dr Vacanti, along with his pathologist brother Martin, had previously published studies indicating that stem cells are spontaneously created when ordinary tissue is stressed by either mechanical injury or by rising acidity.

He believed this was the body’s natural repair mechanism, when damaged adult cells revert to an embryonic state which we call “stem cells”. His initial studies, published more than 10 years ago, were met with ridicule. On one occasion, Dr Vacanti was heckled at a scientific conference. “People said we were nuts. They said it was heresy, that we should withdraw our scientific papers,” Dr Vacanti said.

However, Dr Obokata’s painstaking research, now published in the journal Nature after unusually severe scrutiny by peer reviewers, appears to have proved Dr Vacanti right. Making embryonic stem cells from human skin or blood could not be any easier.


Which Nano System Works Best for Cancer Treatment?

2x2-logo-sm.jpg(Phys.org) —In current research related to improving cancer treatments, one promising area of research is the effort to find ways to selectively pinpoint and target cancer cells while minimizing effects on healthy cells.



Nano Cancer researchtest 030914

View of iron-oxide nanoparticles embedded in a polystyrene matrix as seen via a transmission electron microscope. These nanoparticles, when heated, can be applied to cancer cells in order to kill those cells. 

In that effort, it’s already been found in lab experiments that iron-oxide nanoparticles, when heated and then applied specifically to cancer cells, can kill those cells because cancer cells are particularly susceptible to changes in temperature. Increasing the temperature of cancer cells to over 43 degrees Celsius (about 109 degrees Fahrenheit) for a sufficient period of time can kill those cells.

So, a University of Cincinnati-led team – along with researchers at Iowa State University, the University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University – recently conducted experiments to see which iron-oxide nanoparticle configurations or arrangements might work best as a tool to deliver this killing heat directly to cancer cells, specifically to breast cancer cells. The results will be presented at the March 3-7 American Physical Society Conference in Denver by UC physics doctoral student Md Ehsan Sadat.

In systematically studying four distinct magnetized nanoparticle systems with different structural and magnetic properties, the research team found that an unconfined nanoparticle system, which used an electromagnetic field to generate heat, was best able to transfer heat absorbed by cancer cells.

So, from the set of nano systems studied, the researchers found that uncoated iron-oxide nanoparticles and iron-oxide nanoparticles coated with polyacrylic acid (PAA) – both of which were unconfined or not embedded in a matrix – heated quickly and to temperatures more than sufficient to kill cancer cells.

Uncoated iron-oxide nanoparticles increased from a room temperature of 22 degrees Celsius to 66 degrees Celsius (about 150 degrees Fahrenheit).

Research tests which nano system works best cancer treatment
    View of unconfined, uncoated iron-oxide nanoparticles as seen via a transmission electron microscope. These nanoparticles, when heated, can be applied to cancer cells in order to kill those cells.        

Iron-oxide nanoparticles coated with polyacrylic acid (PAA) heated from a room temperature of 22 degrees Celsius to 73 degrees Celsius (about 163 degrees Fahrenheit.)

The goal was to determine the heating behaviors of different iron-oxide nanoparticles that  varied in terms of the materials used in the nanoparticle apparatus as well as particle size, particle geometry, inter-particle spacing, physical confinement and surrounding environment since these are the key factors that strongly influence what’s called the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), or the measured rate at which the human body can absorb energy (in this case heat) when exposed to an electromagnetic field.

According to Sadat, “What we found was that the size of the particles and their anisotropic (directional) properties strongly affected the magnetic heating achieved. In other words, the smaller the particles and the greater their directional uniformity along an axis, the greater the heating that was achieved.”

He added the systems’ heating behaviors were also influenced by the concentrations of nanoparticles present. The higher the concentration of nanoparticles (the greater the number of nanoparticles and the more densely collected), the lower the SAR or the rate at which the tissue was able to absorb the heat generated.

The four systems studied

The researchers studied

  • uncoated iron-oxide nanoparticles
  • iron-oxide nanoparticles coated with polyacrylic acid (PAA)
  • a polystyrene nanosphere with iron-oxide nanoparticles uniformly embedded in its matrix
  • a polystyrene nanosphere with uniformly embedded in its matrix but with a thin film surface of silica

All four nanoparticle systems were exposed to the same magnetic field for 35 minutes, and temperature measurements were performed at two-minute intervals.

As stated, the PAA iron-oxide and the uncoated iron-oxide samples showed the highest temperature change. The lowest temperature changes, insufficient to kill , were exhibited by

  • The polystyrene nanosphere, which heated to 36 degrees Celsius (about 96 degree Fahrenheit).
  • The polystyrene nanosphere with a silica coating heated to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

Explore further:     Gold-plated nano-bits find, destroy cancer cells

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-03-nano-cancer-treatment.html#jCp


A Google Glass app for instant medical diagnostics (w/video)

(Nanowerk Spotlight)  By Michael Berger. Copyright © Nanowerk

2x2-logo-sm.jpgThe integration of consumer electronics with advanced imaging and analytical platforms holds great promises for medical point-of-care diagnostics and environmental rapid field testing for pollutants and viruses. For instance, in a recent Nanowerk Spotlight we reported on the use of smartphones to detect single nanoparticles and viruses.

In this work, a research group led by Aydogan Ozcan, a professor in the Electrical and Bioengineering Department at UCLA and Associate Director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), created a field-portable fluorescence microscopy platform installed on a smartphone for imaging of individual nanoparticles as well as viruses using a light-weight and compact opto-mechanical attachment to the existing camera module of the cellphone.

“This technology allows Google Glass wearers to use the hands-free camera on the device to send images of diagnostic tests that screen for conditions such as HIV or prostate cancer,” Ozcan explains to Nanowerk. “Without relying on any additional devices, Google Glass users can upload these images and receive accurate analysis of health conditions in as little as eight seconds.”

     Labeled Google Glass and demonstration of imaging a rapid diagnostic test

Labeled Google Glass and demonstration of imaging a rapid diagnostic test (RDT). (a) Front-profile view of the Google Glass with various hardware components36 labeled. (b) Example of using the Glass for taking an image of an RDT as part of our RDT reader application. (Reprinted with permission from American Chemical Society) (click image to enlarge)

This is the first biomedical sensing application created through Google Glass. This breakthrough technology takes advantage of gains in both immunochromatographic rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and wearable computers (such as Google Glass). The team reported their findings in  the February 27, 2014 online edition of ACS Nano (“Immunochromatographic Diagnostic Test Analysis Using Google Glass”).

Over the past decade, RDTs – which are in general based on light scattering off surface-functionalized metallic nanoparticles – have emerged as a quick and cost-effective method to screen various diseases and have provided various advantages for tackling public health problems including more effective tracking/monitoring of chronic conditions, infectious diseases and widespread medical testing by minimally trained medical personnel or community healthcare workers.

The new Google Glass-based diagnostic technology could improve individual tracking of dangerous conditions or diseases, public health monitoring and rapid response in disaster relief areas or quarantine zones. This is how it works: The user takes a photo of the RDT device through the camera system in Google Glass. Using a Quick Response (QR) code identifier, which is custom-designed and attached to each RDT cassette, this custom-written Glass application is capable of automatically finding and identifying the type of the RDT of interest, along with other information (e.g., patient data) that can be linked to the same QR code.

The data is transmitted to a central server which has been set up for fast and high-throughput evaluation of test results coming from multiple devices simultaneously. The data is processed automatically and to create a quantitative diagnostic result, which is then returned to the Google Glass user.

Here is how it looks through the screen of Google Glass during imaging and quantification of a diagnostic test.

This is the first biomedical sensing application on Google Glass.
Achieved a few parts per billion level of sensitivity with Glass.

“We also developed a centralized database and Web interface for visualizing uploaded data in the form of geo-tagged map data, which can be quite useful for short- and long-term spatiotemporal tracking of the evolution,” says Ozcan. “This web portal allows users to view test results, maps charting the geographical spread of various diseases and conditions, and the cumulative data from all the tests they have submitted over time.” He also points out that the precision of the Google Glass camera system permits quantified reading of the results to a few-parts-per-billion level of sensitivity – far greater than that of the naked eye – thus eliminating the potential for human error in interpreting results, which is a particular concern if the user is a health care worker who routinely deals with many different types of tests.

         rapid diagnostic test imaging and processing workflow done by the Google Glass application

Block diagram of the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) imaging and processing workflow (a, c) done by the Google Glass application (red dashed frame) and server processes (green dashed frame). In this case, a single RDT is analyzed. (Reprinted with permission from American Chemical Society) (click image to enlarge)

The team tested their Google Glass-based RDT reader platform through commercially available human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) rapid tests. The researchers took images of tests under normal, indoor, fluorescent-lit room conditions. They submitted more than 400 images of the two tests, and the RDT reader and server platform were able to read the images 99.6 percent of the time. Ozcan notes that, for wide-scale deployment and use of this Google Glass application, the sales price of Glass should be cost-effective enough to compete with mobile phones and low enough to enter developing markets.

“We are quite hopeful on this end as Google is very well aware of all these emerging opportunities.”

Read more: A Google Glass app for instant medical diagnostics (w/video) http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=34615.php#ixzz2vIsTVapx

ACS Nano article:    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/n…
Created by Ozcan Research Lab at UCLA:

NanoHybrids Inc. Launches its First Product Line of Imaging Contrast Agents

1x2 logo sm(Nanowerk News) NanoHybrids Corporation, a provider of nanotechnology-based contrast agents announced the launch of its new website and premium product line of gold nanoparticles specially designed to improve imaging results. The company’s initial technology platform was developed in collaboration with researchers from the Biomedical Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.                     
“Frustrated by inconsistent imaging results due to highly variable shape, size and other properties of commercially available gold nanoparticle contrast agents, our team has developed highly monodisperse gold nanorods and nanospheres that will help scientists obtain consistent and better quality data. We also have a policy of ‘no proprietary coatings’ which means that unlike some companies in this space, we offer full transparency on surface chemistry, making it easier for our customers to modify and use these particles depending on their application,” says Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Kimberly Homan.
NanoHybrids’ offerings include an exclusive line of silica-coated gold nanorods that are quickly gaining popularity as contrast agents in photoacoustic (optoacoustic) imaging. As opposed to current preclinical imaging contrast agents on the market, NanoHybrids’ silica-coated nanorods resist melting and shape distortion even when subjected to extreme heat via focused laser beams. In addition to providing this enhanced thermodynamic stability, the silica-coating also facilitates better heat transfer to the surrounding fluid, thus dramatically increasing signal strength. Overall, these benefits make the company’s silica-coated gold nanorods an excellent contrast agent for not only in vitro and in vivo photoacoustic imaging but also many other applications involving continuous or pulsed lasers.
The founders at NanoHybrids have decades of experience in biomedical imaging and have been pioneering the development of contrast agents alongside custom designed imaging systems. “Our products have been developed by imaging researchers, for researchers. As scientists ourselves, we understand the challenges involved when working with gold nanoparticles in imaging and strive to provide the highest possible level of quality and technical support,” says Homan.
About NanoHybrids
NanoHybrids Inc. is an Austin-based company focused on commercializing nanotechnology solutions that can enhance the non-invasive detection and molecular profiling of cancer, atherosclerosis and other diseases. The company’s current product line comprises of nano-sized agents that enhance contrast in pre-clinical biomedical imaging techniques by interacting specifically with diseased cells and allowing for selective real-time imaging of functional biology.
Website: http://www.nanohybrids.net
Product Applications: nanohybrids.net/pages/applications
Products: nanohybrids.net/collections/all-products
Source: NanoHybrids (press release)

Read more: NanoHybrids Inc. Launches its First Product Line of Imaging Contrast Agents