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Silicon Particles May Help muscles to Flex and Hearts to Beat

Ultra-Fine Particles Will Use Light to Power Them

Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, USA

Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, USA

Researchers from three Midwest universities and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) have engineered silicon particles one-fiftieth the width of a human hair.

The teams say that the breakthrough may aid biomedicine and lead to the creation of biointerface systems “designed to make nerve cells fire and heart cells beat.”

The key

Unlike conventional biointerfaces, which need an external power source, the new biointerface just needs light applied to the silicon particles, and is wireless.

“Researchers can simply inject the particles in the right area and activate them through the skin, says ANL.

[See other STEMRules pieces on bioengineering and biotechnology.]

[A biointerface is where contact is made, between a biomolecule, cell, biological tissue, a living organism, or organic material considered living, with another biomaterial or inorganic/organic material.]

The academic research teams are at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

STEMRules students

Reporting the story, STEMRules found two interesting PhD students in the very selective University of Chicago Graduate Program in Biophysical Sciences.

8.1.silicon.ramya_parameswaran_sizedRamya Parameswaran received both her BS with Honors in chemical engineering and an MS in chemical engineering in 2011 from Stanford University.


8.1.silicon.guillermina-ramirezGuillermina Rimirez-San Juan is a physics graduate of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma De Mexico.

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