Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Advanced materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.)


Biomaterial scaffolds that are designed to incorporate dynamic, spatiotemporal information have the potential to interface with cells and tissues to direct behavior. Here, a bioinspired, programmable nanotechnology-based platform is described that harnesses cellular traction forces to activate growth factors, eliminating the need for exogenous triggers (e.g., light), spatially diffuse triggers (e.g., enzymes, pH changes), or passive activation (e.g., hydrolysis). Flexible aptamer technology is used to create modular, synthetic mimics of the Large Latent Complex that restrains transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). This flexible nanotechnology-based approach is shown here to work with both platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-165), integrate with glass coverslips, polyacrylamide gels, and collagen scaffolds, enable activation by various cells (e.g., primary human dermal fibroblasts, HMEC-1 endothelial cells), and unlock fundamentally new capabilities such as selective activation of growth factors by differing cell types (e.g., activation by smooth muscle cells but not fibroblasts) within clinically relevant collagen sponges.


Wearable devices have emerged as powerful tools for personalized healthcare in spite of some challenges that limit their widespread applicability as continuous monitors of physiological information. Here, a materials-based strategy to add utility to traditional dielectric sensors by developing a conformal radiofrequency (RF) construct composed of an active layer encapsulated between two reverse-facing split ring resonators is applied. These small (down to 2 mm × 2 mm) passive dielectric sensors possess enhanced sensitivity and can be further augmented by functionalization of this interlayer material. Demonstrator devices are shown where the interlayer is: (i) a porous silk film, and (ii) a modified PNIPAM hydrogel that swells with pH or temperature. In vivo use is demonstrated by adhesion of the device on tooth enamel to detect foods during human ingestion. Such sensors can be easily multiplexed and yield data-rich temporal information during the diffusion of analytes within the trilayer structure. This format could be extended to a suite of interlayer materials for sensing devices of added use and specificity.

Concepts: Sensitivity and specificity, Food


It is demonstrated that metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) can be replicated in a biomimetic fashion from protein patterns. Bendable, fluorescent MOF patterns are formed with micrometer resolution under ambient conditions. Furthermore, this technique is used to grow MOF patterns from fingerprint residue in 30 s with high fidelity. This technique is not only relevant for crime-scene investigation, but also for biomedical applications.

Concepts: Protein, Replication, Metal-organic framework


A new bioprinting method is reported for fabricating 3D tissue constructs replete with vasculature, multiple types of cells, and extracellular matrix. These intricate, heterogeneous structures are created by precisely co-printing multiple materials, known as bioinks, in three dimensions. These 3D micro-engineered environments open new -avenues for drug screening and fundamental studies of wound healing, angiogenesis, and stem-cell niches.

Concepts: Wound healing, Extracellular matrix, Healing, Angiogenesis, Dimension, Euclidean space, Abstract algebra, Method


Fabricated adhesives are demonstrated to support high loads while maintaining easy release on a variety of “real world” surfaces. These adhesives consist of simple elastomers and fabrics without nano or micron scale features, yet they surpass the adhesive force capacity of live Tokay geckos and can be scaled to large sizes.

Concepts: 2002 albums, Gecko, Polyurethane, Elastomer, Universe, Adhesion, Adhesive, Tokay gecko


A method to produce highly efficient and long range vertical charge transport is demonstrated in an undoped polythiophene thin film, with average mobilities above 3.1 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) . These record high mobilities are achieved by controlled orientation of the polymer crystallites enabling the most efficient and fastest charge transport along the chain backbones and across multiple chains. The significant increase in mobility shown here may present a new route to producing faster and more efficient optoelectronic devices based on organic materials.

Concepts: Semiconductor, Optoelectronics, George Harrison, Organic semiconductors


Smart Morphable Surfaces enable switchable and tunable aerodynamic drag reduction of bluff bodies. Their topography, resembling the morphology of golf balls, can be custom-generated through a wrinkling instability on a curved surface. Pneumatic actuation of these patterns results in the control of the drag coefficient of spherical samples by up to a factor of two, over a range of flow conditions.

Concepts: Fluid dynamics, Aerodynamics, Differential geometry, Reynolds number, Drag, Aerospace engineering


An entire 1-kilobit crossbar device based upon SiOx resistive memories with integrated diodes has been made. The SiOx -based one diode-one resistor device system has promise to satisfy the prerequisite conditions for next generation non-volatile memory applications.

Concepts: Memory, Array, Computer storage, Non-volatile memory, Computer data storage


Carbon nanotubes are used as the smallest possible scattering element for diffracting light in a highly controlled manner to produce a 2D image. An array of carbon nanotubes is elegantly patterned to produce a high resolution hologram. In response to incident light on the hologram, a high contrast and wide field of view CAMBRIDGE image is produced.

Concepts: Diffraction, Optics, Carbon, Vision, Computer graphics, Carbon nanotube, Allotropes of carbon, Graphite


Trialkylgermyl functionalization allows development of high-performance soluble small-molecule organic semiconductors with mobilities greater than 5 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) . Spray-deposited organic thin-film transistors show a record mobility of 2.2 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) and demonstrate the potential for incorporation in large-area, low-cost electronic applications.

Concepts: Integrated circuit, Semiconductor, Transistor, Germanium, Diode, Thin-film transistor, Organic semiconductor, Organic semiconductors