Tech

Researchers program biomaterials with 'logic gates' that release therapeutics in response to environmental triggers

Drug treatments can save lives, but sometimes they also carry unintended costs. After all, the same therapeutics that target pathogens and tumors can also harm healthy cells.

To reduce this collateral damage, scientists have long sought specificity in drug delivery systems: A package that can encase a therapeutic and will not disgorge its toxic cargo until it reaches the site of treatment -- be it a tumor, a diseased organ or a site of infection.

[CAMBRIDGE, Mass.] Immunologists and oncologists are harnessing the body's immune system to fight cancers and other diseases with adoptive cell transfer techniques. In a normal immune response, a type of white blood cell known as T cells are instructed by another kind of immune cell called an antigen-presenting cell (APC) to expand their numbers and stay alive.

Conjugated tetraenes are important key substructures in electronic materials, natural products and pharmaceutical molecules. However, they are difficult to synthesize. They are conventionally prepared by repetitions of the stoichiometric reactions using phosphorus reagents and subsequent reduction and partial oxidation. For making one C=C double bond, one needs to conduct 3 step reactions by this procedure. Each process produces wastes of phosphorus oxides and metal compounds such as lithium, aluminum and manganese.

Nearly one-quarter of children and teens who had their blood pressure screened at a primary care appointment showed a reading in the hypertensive range, but less than half of those readings could be confirmed after the blood pressure was repeated, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study released today in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension. The research shows the importance of taking a second blood pressure reading for those ages 3 to 17 years when the first reading is elevated.

PHILADELPHIA - Acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI) are the leading global cause of death in early childhood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Lower respiratory tract infections, including bronchiolitis and viral and bacterial pneumonia, take a toll on children's health, too, causing the majority of pediatric hospital admissions for infectious diseases.

A nanostructured gate dielectric may have addressed the most significant obstacle to expanding the use of organic semiconductors for thin-film transistors. The structure, composed of a fluoropolymer layer followed by a nanolaminate made from two metal oxide materials, serves as gate dielectric and simultaneously protects the organic semiconductor - which had previously been vulnerable to damage from the ambient environment - and enables the transistors to operate with unprecedented stability.

UCLA bioengineering professor Ali Khademhosseini has led the development of a tissue-based soft robot that mimics the biomechanics of a stingray. The new technology could lead to advances in bio-inspired robotics, regenerative medicine and medical diagnostics.

The study was published in Advanced Materials.

The impression that foreign-born women in Sweden more often are excluded from gynecological cancer screening needs to be reconsidered. A study from Sahlgrenska Academy, published in the journal PLOS One, makes it clear that foreign-born women participate to the same extent as women born in Sweden with a corresponding educational level and income.

Can a "thermometer" consist of a thin film or tiny (micrometer or even nanometer scale) particles, operate in real time and in very well-defined regions with a spatial resolution ranging from a centimeter to a micrometer, and be capable of measuring temperatures with exceptional sensitivity in a wide band between 80 kelvin (minus 193 °C) and 750 kelvin (476 °C)? The answer is yes.

Researchers at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linköping University, have developed the world's first complementary electrochemical logic circuits that can function stably for long periods in water. This is a highly significant breakthrough in the development of bioelectronics.

The first printable organic electrochemical transistors were presented by researchers at LiU as early as 2002, and research since then has progressed rapidly. Several organic electronic components, such as light-emitting diodes and electrochromic displays, are already commercially available.