Polymer chemistry and materials research provide opportunities to explore structures that harmonize phenomena unique to nanoscale technology, the role of mechanical forces generated at interfaces, and the responses of biological systems to mechanical stresses.
New families of protein structures, barrel proteins for positioning small molecules, self-assembling protein arrays, and precision sculpting of protein architectures highlight de novo protein design advances.
A fully automated design protocol generates dozens of designs for proteins based on helix-loop-helix-loop repeat units that are very stable, have crystal structures that match the design, have very different overall shapes, and are unrelated to any natural protein.
Prof. William Goddard presented four advances from his research group that enable going from first principles quantum mechanics calculations to realistic nanosystems of interest with millions or billions of atoms.
A molecular robotic arm synthesized from small synthetic organic molecules uses cyclic changes in pH and other reaction conditions to grab and release a cargo molecule, and swing the cargo back and forth between the two ends of the molecular platform.
The positions of 3769 tungsten atoms in a tungsten needle segment were determined to a precision of 19 pm (0.019 nm), including the position of a single atom defect in the interior of the sample, by using aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and computerized tomography.
Electrochemically modifying individual metallic nanoparticles and pairs of such nanoparticles enabled reversible tuning of their optical properties, including charge transfer plasmon formation in nanoparticle pairs.
Coating micrometer-sized glass spheres with hundreds of DNA strands complementary to an RNA covering a glass slide enables the sphere to move, with the help of an enzyme that digests RNA bound to complementary DNA, a thousand times faster than conventional DNA-walkers.
Eight-armed nanoparticles of gold coated with a gold-palladium alloy proved to be both efficient plasmonic sensors and efficient catalysts, even though gold alone is not normally a good catalyst and palladium is a poor plasmonic material.
Two microRNAs with synergistic effects, one that suppresses tumor growth and another than inhibits tumor promotion, are combined in an RNA triple helix, complexed with a dendrimer to form nanoparticles, which are incorporated with a polymer to form a hydrogel that inhibits tumor growth when applied to the tumor.
German researchers have used scaffolded DNA origami to adjust the angle of a DNA hinge joint by altering the length of special "adjuster helices", causing molecules attached to the sides of the hinge to be displaced by as little as 0.04 nm.
Building on previous work on single atom transistors and single atom qubits, Australian researchers have incorporated a quantum error correction code to make possible a scalable 3D silicon chip architecture that could lead to operational quantum computers.