Smart stretch expands hip implant performance

Article written by Simon Neil

Material designed to get thicker as it bends

Scientists in the Netherlands have designed a material that offers to lengthen the lifetime of hip implants using an unprecedented property: the material gets thicker when compressed and when stretched.


Source: Eline Kolken
The new material could improve implant longevity

The average owner of an artificial hip is no lazy bones. Each year, they take around four million steps. All this movement takes its toll, though. After around 15 years, implants tend to work loose from the femur bone and need replacing.

To read the full article visit Chemistry World.

Rationally designed meta-implants: a combination of auxetic and conventional meta-biomaterials
Helena M. A. Kolken, Shahram Janbaz, Sander M. A. Leeflang, Karel Lietaert, Harrie H. Weinans and Amir A. Zadpoor
Mater. Horiz., 2017, Advance Article
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C7MH00699C

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Deep sight into the brain: organic nanoparticles for imaging in the second near-infrared window

Article written by Ester Kwon

Researchers have long been interested in peering into the brain. Added to the inherent challenge of imaging through biological medium, the skull presents a major barrier that highly attenuates light.

To overcome this barrier, in a recent communication in Materials Horizons, Guo et al. have synthesized an organic nanoparticle for photoacoustic imaging with absorbance in the second near-infrared window. At this wavelength, there is relatively low scattering from tissue allowing for deeper penetration of light.

Photoacoustic images of a brain tumor after nanoparticle injection. The grey ultrasound image shows the skin and the skull margin, and the green signal indicates the nanoparticle distribution. Image adapted from Guo et al., Mater. Horiz., 2017, Advance Article with permission from The Royal Society of Chemistry. 

Nanoparticles were made from benzodithiophene-benzobithiadiazole donor-acceptor pairs co-polymerized and nanoprecipitated using biocompatible materials. When these imaging nanoparticles were applied to mice with orthotopic brain tumors, tumors 3.4 nm below the skull were resolved with a nearly 100-fold increase in photoacoustic signal compared to before intravenous administration of nanoparticles. The stable, high contrast photoacoustic imaging nanoparticle presented in this work offers a versatile platform for simple chemical modifications such as ligand targeting or drug loading.

Future work remains on the horizon to advance these materials for imaging through the ~5 mm thickness of human skulls.

 

Read the full article here:
Bing Guo, Zonghai Sheng, Kenry, Dehong Hu, Xiangwei Lin, Shidang Xu, Chengbo Liu, Hairong Zheng and Bin Liu

 

Ester Kwon is a member of the Community Board for Materials Horizons. Currently, she works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at University of California San Diego, USA. Check out her personal website here.

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Prize winners at chem2Dmat

Congratulations to the poster prize winners at chem2Dmat, which took place in Strasbourg on 22 – 26 August 2017. Both prize winners received a signed certificate and a free online subscription to the sponsor journal for a year.

 

First Poster Session AWARDS

KEMPT Roman

Title: Intercalation of 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenides: from Bulk to Monolayer Stacks

One year online subscription to RSC Materials Horizons delivered by Paolo Samori

Second Poster Session AWARDS

Elaheh MOHEBBI

Title: Bottom-up synthesized covalent organic nanowires by halogen-based molecules on Ag (110) surface

One year online subscription to RSC Journal of Materials Chemistry C delivered by Paolo Samori

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A simple gradient makes biomimetic surfaces extremely durable

Article written by Mengye Wang

A new and highly controllable technique to manufacture functional gradient nanocomposites has been reported in a recent article, published in Materials Horizons. The technique enables smooth and programmable stiff-to-compliant (or compliant-to-stiff) transitions within micro-scale regions.

This technique, developed by Dr. Zhengzhi Wang and colleagues at Wuhan University, is based on a typical two-step process:

  1. Use a magnetic field to generate a desired concentration gradient of magnetic-responsive nano-reinforcements inside a polymer matrix in liquid state.
  2. Polymerize and solidify the redistributed polymer nanocomposites.

Using this technique, Wang et al. fabricated various biomimetic interfaces and surfaces and found that the functional gradient designs, with reduced stress concentrations, simultaneously improved the mechanical strength and durability over an order of magnitude compared with the traditional homogeneous counterparts.

The magnetically-actuated functional gradient nanocomposites can be further integrated into advanced additive manufacturing techniques to create a wide range of functional heterogeneous materials with unprecedented combinations of mechanical properties.

TEM image of functional gradient nanocomposites for compliant-stiff-compliant transitions

Read the full article here:
Zhengzhi Wang,* Xiaoming Shi, Houbing Huang,* Chenmin Yao, Wen Xie, Cui Huang, Ping Gu, Xingqiao Ma, Zuoqi Zhang and LongQing Chen
DOI: 10.1039/c7mh00223h

 

Mengye Wang is a member of the Community Board for Materials Horizons. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Applied Physics at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has a keen interest in advanced materials for environmental and energy applications, including photocatalysis and electrocatalysis.

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Conference Promotion – Solid State Chemistry Group Christmas Meeting 2017

The 37th annual Christmas Meeting of the Royal Society of Chemistry Solid State Chemistry Group is hosted by the University of Reading and will run from lunchtime on Monday 18th December to lunchtime on Tuesday 19th December. Further details about the venue and how to get there can be found here.

Confirmed plenary speakers:
Prof. Peter Bruce (University of Oxford)
Prof. Paul Wright (University of St Andrews)
Prof. Nora de Leeuw (University of Cardiff)
Prof. Antoine Maignan (CRISMAT, Caen, France)

Important deadlines:
Submissions for oral presentations 1st November
Submissions for poster presentations 15th November
Registration 15th November

Submit a poster to be in with a chance of winning one of three poster prizes sponsored by Materials Horizons, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, and Journal of Materials Chemistry C!

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Conference Promotion – RPGR 2017

The 9thannual Recent Progress in Graphene and Two-dimensional Materials Research Conference (RPGR2017) is taking place between the 19th to the 22nd of September 2017 in Singapore. (www.rpgr2017.com)

RPGRis the premier conference focused on graphene and other novel two-dimensional materials in the Asia-Pacific region. This year the conference is jointly organized by National University of Singapore – Centre for Advanced 2D Materials and Phantoms Foundation.

Poster prizes available from Materials Horizons!

Latest Speakers announced– 42 in total (as of 25/07/2017):

Li-Xian Sun (Guilin Univ. of Electronic Technology, China) / Mark Thompson (Talga, Australia) / Rezal Khairi Ahmad (NanoMalaysia Berhad, Malaysia) / Norbert Fabricius (KIT & ISC, Germany) / Ahmed Elmarakbi (University of Sunderland, UK)

Check the full list here: www.rpgr2017.com/2017/speakerski.php

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Congratulations to the poster prize winners at MC13

Congratulations to the winners of the Materials Horizons poster prize at the 13th International Conference on Materials Chemistry (MC13). The poster prize was awarded to Abbas, Sara; Buchaca-Domingo, Ester; El-Tall, Omar; Kim, Taesoo; Caraveo, Alfonso; Stingelin, Natalie; and Amassian Aram from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia for their poster entitled Solution-Processed Smart Window Platform Based on Plasmonic Electrochromic and Photonic Coatings.

 

Other prizes were awarded from  Journal of Materials Chemistry B , Molecular Systems Design & Engineering, Soft MatterBiomaterials, and more!

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The pursuit of solid-state electrolytes for lithium batteries: from comprehensive insight to emerging horizons

Article written by Dr Mengye Wang

Conventional lithium rechargeable batteries contain solid electrodes and liquid electrolytes, which can have potential security risks concerning volatilization, flammability and explosion. Because of the widely acknowledged safety benefits of solid electrolytes over their liquid counterparts, the application of solid-state batteries has been widely envisioned. Recently, a review of solid-state electrolytes for lithium batteries has been published in Materials Horizons, by Renjie Chen’s group at Beijing Institute of Technology.
They discuss existing solid electrolytes including inorganic solid electrolytes, solid polymer electrolytes, and composite solid electrolytes, and present conductive mechanisms of these conductors in detail. However, large-scale implementation of all-solid-state batteries is still some way off because unsolved severe limitations have been encountered. This review systematically summarizes and visually displays the current limitations of solid electrolytes and efforts to overcome them with the objective of large-scale development. Given that the issues limiting solid electrolytes mainly derive from their structure activity relationships, so the main part has been divided into four sections: bulk, surface, interface and grain boundary.
Though this review, Professor Renjie Chen intends to convey the messages that the field of solid-state lithium batteries is multidisciplinary and joint experimental, computational and practical investigations could provide comprehensive insight into solid electrolytes. If the current limitations are broken though, it is hoped that this field will advance to large-scale development in the near future.

Categories of the existing solid electrolytes

Read the full article here:
The pursuit of solid-state electrolytes for lithium batteries: from comprehensive insight to emerging horizons
Renjie Chen, Wenjie Qu, Xing Guo, Li Li and Feng Wu
Mater. Horiz., 2016, 3, 487-516

 

Mengye Wang is a member of the Community Board for Materials Horizons. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Applied Physics at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has a keen interest in advanced materials for environmental and energy applications, including photocatalysis and electrocatalysis.

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A skin-like sensor based on a stimuli-responsive hydrogel

Article written by Dr Mengye Wang

A novel type of multifunctional skin-like sensor based on a 3D printed thermo-responsive hydrogel has been reported in a new article, published in Materials Horizons. This study presents a simple strategy to transduce the volume phase transition behaviors of stimuli-responsive hydrogels into reliable electrical signals, which might be helpful to develop biocompatible skin-like sensors based on hydrogels with a wide range of sensory capabilities.

 

The strategy, developed by Professor Peiyi Wu and colleagues at Fudan University,  is based on two key points:

  1. Capacitive sensors in a parallel-plate configuration are sensitive to changes of the conductive area, thus allowing area changes (corresponding to volume phase transition behaviors) of stimuli-responsive ion-conducting hydrogels to be transduced into capacitance signals.
  2. Microstructuring the conductive layers with a sub-millimeter resolution enhances the relative area changes upon stimulation, thereby magnifying the capacitive response signals.

A thermo-responsive hydrogel was used in this work and the microstructure was fabricated by an advanced 3D printing technique. Wu’s group demonstrated that the microstructured hydrogel effectively magnified the capacitive area changes upon external stimuli (i.e., temperature and pressure). The prepared skin-like sensor could sense body temperatures, gentle finger touches and finger bending motion.

 

This work not only indicates that stimuli-responsive hydrogels are promising candidates for artificially intelligent skins, but might also enrich the design of skin-like sensors for future artificial intelligence, wearable devices and human/machine inter-action applications.

 

A 3D printed thermo-responsive hydrogel is designed as a novel multifunctional skin-like sensor, which could sense body temperature, gentle finger touches and finger bending motion.

 

Read the full article here:
Zhouyue Lei, Quankang Wang and Peiyi Wu
Mater. Horiz., 2017, Advance Article

 

Mengye Wang is a member of the Community Board for Materials Horizons. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Applied Physics at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has a keen interest in advanced materials for environmental and energy applications, including photocatalysis and electrocatalysis.

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Conference Promotion – GRAPCHINA 2017

Materials Horizons and Nanoscale Horizons are proud to be partnering with GRAPCHINA 2017, which takes place on 24 – 26 September 2017 at Nanjing International Exhibition Centre, China.

 

This International Graphene Global Innovation Conference has become a significant commercial and academic event that gathers approximately 2000 representatives for all stakeholders involved in graphene technologies, bringing top level speakers and delegates from the industries, NGOs and academia together with senior policy makers from the EU’s flagship program and national government.

Key speakers include:

  • Sir Andre Geim, Nobel Prize winner
  • Professor Yong Gan, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering
  • Professor Andrea C. Ferrari, Founding Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre (and Associate Editor for Nanoscale)
  • and many more!

The conference will be divided into three parallel symposia, focusing on different topics like graphene and 2D materials frontier research, graphene-related emerging industries, graphene application in traditional industries. The symposia cover areas of fundamental research, graphene manufacturing, energy application, health and environment, sensors and communication, composites application, etc. There will also be three special forums, aiming to push international collaboration, accelerate characterization and standardization method, and promote national graphene industry bases. The topics center on promising commercial projects, graphene characterization method, graphene standardization, and local supports for graphene industry bases.

Important Dates:

  • Early Registration 12 July 2017
  • Poster Submission 15 August 2017

 

 

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