The Latest Advances in Nanotechnology at Pittcon 2018


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Nanotechnology has become an increasingly important area of science with many applications. The 2018 Pittcon Conference & Expo is the ideal place to learn about the latest trends in nanotechnology and nanomaterial characterization.

This year, the Pittcon Conference will host a symposium dedicated to nanotechnology, and this article outlines some of the areas that will be covered.

The Challenges Facing Nanotechnology - Detection, Analysis, and Regulation

The widespread application of nanomaterials presents new challenges for regulatory authorities and analytical chemists. The qualities that make nanotechnology so powerful, such as their small size and high active surface areas, can also create risks to human health and the environment. Pittcon 2018 is the ideal place to learn about nanomaterial characterization techniques, testing methodologies, and mapping protocols for nanotechnology regulation.

Diane Beauchemin from Queens University will give a talk at Pittcon 2018’s nanotechnology symposium on the latest advances in single particle ICPMS, while advances in Raman spectroscopy will be discussed in talks by Eric Potma of the University of California and Bin Ren of Xiamen University.The toxicity of nanomaterials depends on a number of factors including chemical composition, shape, size, crystallinity, and particle age. To enable effective monitoring and regulation of nanomaterials, it is important that we understand the physical and chemical properties of each nanomaterial, and how they can impact human health.

Nanoparticle Behavior in Biological Environments is Complex

To fully understand both the efficacy and potential toxicity of nanoparticles, we must understand how they behave in complex biological solutions, tissues, organs, and bodily systems.

Selecting appropriate characterization techniques for analyzing nanomaterials in biological environments depends on the nanomaterial, the biological systems involved, and the information required; multiple techniques are often required.

Elemental analysis can be used to detect the presence and distribution of nanoparticles. Calorimetry, dynamic light scattering, and nanoparticle tracking analysis can also provide valuable information about the properties of nanoparticles in solutions. Imaging techniques including super-resolution optical imaging, magnetic particle imaging, and nuclear imaging can be used to track the biodistribution of nanoparticles in tissues and organs.

The Pittcon Expo will feature nanoparticle analysis technology from a number of leading suppliers including Bruker, Thermo Fischer Scientific, Malvern Instruments, and PerkinElmer.

Nanotechnology has found a vast array of applications in biological systems

Applications of nanotechnology in biological systems include nanoscopy, subcellular fractionation, drug delivery, biosensors, cancer therapy, tissue engineering, artificial organ generation, cell tracking, bioimaging, and ‘omics’ data generation. A wide range of nanobiotechnology applications will be discussed at Pittcon 2018.

The field of ‘omics, which involves characterizing cells at a molecular level, has benefitted from the development of advanced nanomaterials. Examples include the use of spherical nucleic acids to characterize the genetic content of single cells, and using superparamagnetic nanoparticles for subcellular compartment isolation and analysis. The 2018 Pittcon Expo will feature Bruker, who offer a range of unique analytical solutions for ‘omics’ applications.

Molecular imaging of cells and tissues using nanotechnology techniques create opportunities for non-invasive diagnosis of various diseases including cancer. Raol Kopelman of the University of Michigan will give a talk at the Pittcon 2018 nanotechnology symposium on the use of nanoprobes for tumor photoacoustic imaging.

Nanoscale optical imaging is a rapidly developing area of analytical science

Nanoscale optical imaging will be heavily featured at Pittcon 2018. The resolution of optical techniques has previously been limited by the ‘diffraction limit.’ Bin Ren of Xiamen University will speak at the Pittcon nanotechnology symposium tip-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS), a near-field technique, to achieve resolutions beyond the traditional far-field diffraction limit. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) will be the subject of a talk at Pittcon 2018 by Eric Potma of the University of California, Irvine.

Recently-developed super-resolution microscopy techniques, such as stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, can break the ‘diffraction barrier.’ 2014 Nobel Laureate Dr Stefan W. Hell will give the Plenary lecture at Pittcon 2018 on breaking the diffraction limit and the ‘resolution revolution’ in optical microscopy.

The Pittcon 2018 Expo will feature a number of leading companies providing cutting-edge nanoscale imaging equipment including Bruker, Olympus, Thermo Fischer Scientific, Keysight, Horiba Scientific, and Andor Technology.

Nanosensors offer increased specificity and sensitivity compared with traditional sensors

The tunability, high surface area to volume ratios, and nanostructured surfaces of nanomaterials enhances the sensitivity of nanosensors compared with traditional sensors. As a result, they have found applications in disease testing, biomarker detection, contaminant detection, pollution monitoring, and manufacturing monitoring.

The 2018 Pittcon nanotechnology symposium will feature a talk by Heather Clark of Northeastern University on using an array of tunable nanosensors to detect small molecules and build images of neurotransmitter release in the brain.

Pittcon 2018 is a must-attend event for scientists who want to learn more about nanotechnology and nanomaterial analysis

Nanomaterials have found applications in a vast array of fields including medicine, food technology, cell biology, and analytical chemistry. At the 2018 Pittcon nanotechnology symposium, delegates can learn about the applications of nanotechnology from the experts.

The Pittcon Expo will feature many companies that supply cutting-edge nanomaterial analysis solutions.

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References and Further Reading

  1. ‘Test strategy for assessing the risks of nanomaterials in the environment considering general regulatory procedures’ - Kerstin Hund-Rinke, Monika Herrchen, Karsten Schlich, Kathrin Schwirn, Doris Völker, Environmental Sciences Europe, 2015.
  2. ‘Nanomaterials and nanoparticles: Sources and toxicity - methods to evaluate the toxicity of nanomaterials’ - Cristina Buzea, Ivan I. Pacheco, Kevin Robbie, Biointerphases, 2007.
  3. ‘An assessment by the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR)- Nanotechnology’ gies/index.htm#6
  4. ‘Analysis of engineered nanomaterials in complex matrices (environment and biota): General considerations and conceptual case studies’ - Frank von der Kammer, P. Lee Ferguson, Patricia A. Holden, Armand Masion, Kim R. Rogers, Stephen J. Klaine, Albert A. Koelmans, Nina Horne, Jason M. Unrine, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2011.
  5. In situ characterization of nanoparticle biomolecular interactions in complex biological media by flow cytometry’ - Maria Cristina Lo Giudice, Luciana M. Herda, Ester Polo, Kenneth A. Dawson, Nature Communications, 2016.
  6. ‘Using spherical nucleic acids to track and treat disease’
  7. ‘Nanotechnology: from In Vivo Imaging System to Controlled Drug Delivery’ - Maria Mir, Saba Ishtiaq, Samreen Rabia, Maryam Khatoon, Ahmad Zeb, Gul Majid Khan, Asim ur Rehman, Fakhar ud Din, Nanoscale Research Letters, 2017.
  8. ‘Designer nanoparticle: nanobiotechnology tool for cell biology’ - Deepak B. Thimiri Govinda Raj, Niamat Ali Khan, Nano Convergence, 2016.
  9. ‘Single cell analysis: the new frontier in ‘Omics’’ Daojing Wang, Steven Bodovitz, Trends in Biotechnology, 2010.
  10. ‘Current achievements of nanoparticle applications in developing optical sensing and imaging techniques’ - Jong-ryul Choi, Dong-Myeong Shin, Hyerin Song, Donghoon Lee, Kyujung Kim, Nano Convergence, 2016.
  11. ‘Pittcon Adds Plenary Lecture to 2018 Program Presented by the 2014 Nobel Laureate, Stefan W. Hell’
  12. Optical microscopy resolution revolution
  13. ‘Nanosensors, A Definition, Applications and How Nanosensors Work’

About Pittcon


Pittcon® is a registered trademark of The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, a Pennsylvania non-profit organization. Co-sponsored by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh, Pittcon is the premier annual conference and exposition on laboratory science.

Proceeds from Pittcon fund science education and outreach at all levels, kindergarten through adult. Pittcon donates more than a million dollars a year to provide financial and administrative support for various science outreach activities including science equipment grants, research grants, scholarships and internships for students, awards to teachers and professors, and grants to public science centers, libraries and museums.

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