You are here Biopharmaceutical/ Genomics Glossary homepage/Search > Technologies > Biopharmaceutical Nanoscience & Miniaturization

Biopharmaceutical Nanoscience & miniaturization glossary & taxonomy
Evolving terminology for emerging technologies

 Suggestions? Comments? Questions? Mary Chitty
Last revised November 14, 2013 


Nanotechnology offers the possibility of a device and a drug in one, with novel capabilities. 

Technologies map    Finding guide to terms in these glossaries  Site Map  Related glossaries include Technologies: Biomaterials & Bioengineering  Labels, signaling & detection glossary   Molecular Imaging   Microarrays & protein chips   Microscopy   Ultrasensitivity    

BioMEMS Biological MicroElectro Mechanical Systems: Highlights the technical advances in the field that are leading a revolution in medicine, and creating a new generation of analytical devices for medical diagnostics. The meeting will encompass technology developments in micro & nano drug delivery, interface of nanotech and tissue engineering, microfluidics, and miniaturized total analysis systems (microTAS), biosensors, innovations in mass spec, and nanoscale imaging  BioMEMS and Nanotech World, Aug. 16- 17, 2004, Washington DC  
Google = about 7,890 Aug. 8, 2002; about 14,400 Jan. 12, 2004, 91,100 Dec 26, 2007 Broader term: MEMs; Narrower term: NEMS

biomimetic synthesis: Bioengineering & Biomaterials glossary Google = about 705 Aug. 8, 2002; about 1,960 June 23, 2004

biomolecular nanoscale computing: Combinatorial libraries & synthesis glossary

bionanotechnology:  Wikipedia 
Includes molecular motors, biomaterials, single molecule manipulation technologies, biochip technologies, etc.  [Asia Pacific Nanotechnology Initiatives: Update Asian Technology Information Program, Japan April 10, 2001]  Google = about 489 July 17, 2002; about 4,970 Jan. 12, 2004, about 67,600 Dec. 26, 2007  Compare nanobiotechnology

bottom-up nanotechnology: Mostly chemists attempting to create structure by connecting molecules. [Noah Robischon "Nanotechnology and the battle to build smaller" Discovery Channel 1998]   Google = about 71 Aug. 8, 2002; about 10,100 June 23, 2004  Related term: quantum dots Compare top-down nanotechnology.

cantilever: A lever beam  held down at one end, with some support near the middle and which  supports a load on the other end. Diving boards and drawbridges are cantilevers. Google = about  135,000 Aug. 8, 2002; about 291, 000 June 23, 2004

carbon nanofoam: A new form of carbon: a spongy solid that is extremely lightweight and, unusually, attracted to magnets... John Giapintzakis of the University of Crete has used an electron microscope to study the structure of the nanofoam. He says it is the fifth form of carbon known after graphite, diamond and two recently discovered types: hollow spheres, known as buckminsterfullerenes or buckyballs, and nanotubes. Jim Giles, Scientists create fifth form of carbon, Nature 23 Mar. 2004

Electrically conductive carbon nanofoams are a new material with many of the properties of traditional aerogel material. These materials are available in the form of monoliths, granules, powders and papers. They are synthetic, lightweight foams in which the solid matrix and pore spaces have nanometer- scale dimensions. Prepared by sol- gel methods, nanofoams typically have low density, continuous porosity, high surface area, and fine cell/ pore sizes. The foams are also electrically conductive and have a high capacitance. MarketTech International Inc., Carbon Nanofoam     Are there any non-carbon nanofoams?

carbon nanotubes: Tiny tubes about 10,000 times thinner than a human hair -- consist of rolled up sheets of carbon hexagons. Discovered in 1991 by researchers at NEC, they have the potential for use as minuscule wires or in ultrasmall electronic devices. To build those devices, scientists must be able to manipulate the Nanotubes in a controlled way. [IBM Research Nanotechnology "Carbon nanotubes" 2001]

Carbon nanotube tips have several advantages [as atomic force microscopy tips] , including high aspect ratio for imaging deep and narrow crevices, low tip- sample adhesion for gentle imaging, the ability to elastically buckle rather than break when large forces are applied, and the potential to achieve resolutions in the range of 1.0 nm or less. In addition, carbon nanotubes have well defined molecular structures so that it is possible to control their synthesis to make every tip with an identical structure and resolution. Carbon nanotubes can be selectively modified at their ends with organic or biological molecules to allow functional sensitive imaging

As described and developed by Charles Lieber and colleagues, carbon nanotube tips can be 'grown' directly by a process called chemical vapor deposition (CVD), using a reaction of ethylene with an electrodeposited iron catalyst in etched pores on commercial silicon- cantilever- tip assemblies (10). The resulting nanotubes have radii of 3-8 nm if multiwalled; single- walled tubes have smaller radii, on the order of 1-2 nm or less, and potentially less than 0.5 nm if certain conditions are met. [NIGMS "Single Molecule Detection and Manipulation Workshop" Single Molecule Fluorescence of Biomolecules and Complexes Protein Folding April 17-18, 2000]   Google = about 35,500 Aug. 8, 2002; about 122,000 June 23, 2004  Broader terms: fullerenes, nanotubes

cascade molecules: See under dendrimers  Google = about  40 Aug. 8, 2002; about 149 June 23, 2004

Chemical Vapor Deposition CVD: See under carbon nanotubes   Google = about  46,600 Aug. 8, 2002; about 101,000 June 23, 2004

DNA computing: Computers & computing  Related terms: molecular computing, nanocomputer, quantum computing. Are any of these synonyms? 

DNA diagnostics - miniaturization of: In the areas of sample preparation and assay, it is clear that miniaturization is key. To reduce the size of samples by a factor of 10 or greater, barriers in microfluidics, micromachining, robotics, microchemistry, nucleic acid chemistry, and surface chemistry must be overcome. To implement miniaturized protocols accurately and efficiently, substantial automation of the process will be required. In the development of miniaturized systems, it is essential that the system can be adapted for high levels of parallelization.

Miniaturization poses significant technological risks. Currently, there exists no universally accepted precedent for the handling, replication, amplification, or cloning of DNA in nanoliter volumes. Due to the size and charge of the DNA molecule, and the relative instability of many of the enzymes involved in the sample preparation processes, nanoliter and less volumes may pose substantial challenges. In addition, interactions of the biological molecules with the surfaces of the reaction chambers must be minimized. For some methodologies, it is not clear what the optimal sample will be, so substantial improvement in DNA fragmentation technologies or DNA cloning vectors may be required for the ultimate efficient application to diagnostics. Improvements in any of these areas are likely to be of value to other non- DNA based diagnostic applications such as antibody screening protocols and enzyme based diagnostics, because miniaturized robotic or micro- electro mechanical systems developed for DNA could be modified to be used for these purposes. [NIST Advanced Technology Program "Tools for DNA Diagnostics" 1997]  How much progress has been made?  

dendrimer: A polymer having a regular branched structure; If suitably functionalized  may be used as a soluble support, in which case the desired, dendrimer- supported, material may be isolated by size- exclusion chromatography. Dendrimers may also be attached to a polymer and used as a solid support, with significantly increased loading over the initial resin. [IUPAC COMBINATORIAL CHEMISTRY]

Dendrimers consist of interconnected monomeric subunits that hybridize to form a tree- like structure. Each monomer is a double- stranded DNA molecule where the two strands share a region of sequence complementarity in the middle of molecule.  Also known as "cascade molecules"   Google = about  5,540 Aug. 8, 2002; about 17,800 June 23, 2004  Related term: Cell biology dendritic cells   glycodendrimers: Glycosciences glossary

Dip Pen Nanolithography DPN: New AFM- based soft- lithography technique which was invented in our labs.  Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN) is a scanning probe nanopatterning technique in which an AFM tip is used to deliver molecules to a surface via a solvent meniscus, which naturally forms in the ambient atmosphere. This direct- write technique offers high- resolution patterning capabilities for a number of molecular and biomolecular 'inks' on a variety of substrates  Chad Mirkin group, Dip Pen Nanolithography, Dept of Chemistry, Northwestern Univ., US   Google = about  614 Aug. 8, 2002; about 3,210 June 23, 2004

femtoengineering:  Will involve engineering using mechanisms within a quark.  Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil, Penguin paperback  Broader terms: microengineering, nanoengineering, picoengineering  femtomole: Ultrasensitivity glossary  Google = about 1,540  Aug. 8, 2002; about 4,290 June 23, 2004

fullerene: A new allotrope of carbon characterized by a closed cage structure consisting of an even number of three coordinate carbon atoms devoid of hydrogen atoms. This class was originally limited to closed-cage structures with twelve isolated five- membered rings, the rest being six- membered rings. [IUPAC Provisional Recommendations for the Nomenclature for the C60-Ih and C70-D5h(6) Fullerenes, 2001]  Google = about 73,100 Aug. 8, 2002; about 124,000 June 23, 2004

glyconanotechnology: Glycosciences glossary Google = about 15 June 23, 2004

Interagency Working Group  on Nanoscience, Engineering and Technology IWGN, National Science and Technology Council NSTC, US

MEMS MicroElectro Mechanical Systems: MEMS is less an application area in itself than a manufacturing or fabrication technique that enables other application areas. Many authors use MEMS as shorthand to imply a number of particular application areas. As it is used here, MEMS is a "top- down" fabrication technology that is especially useful for integrating mechanical and electrical systems together on the same chip. It is grouped in the category of integrated microsystems because these same MEMS techniques can be extended in the future to also help integrate biological and chemical components on the same chip, as discussed below. Thus far, MEMS techniques have been used to make some functional commercial devices such as sensors and single- chip measurement devices. Many researchers have used MEMS technologies as analytical tools in other areas of nanotechnology  [Central Intelligence Agency, US The Global Technology Revolution, Chapter Two Technology Trends, Genomics, 2001]  

Stood originally for Micro-ElectroMechanical System -- microscopic mechanical elements, fabricated on silicon chips by techniques similar to those used in integrated circuit manufacture, for use as sensors, actuators, and other devices. Today almost any miniaturized device (based on Si technology or traditional precision engineering, chemical or mechanical) is referred to as a MEMS device.   Google = about  19,000 Aug. 8, 2002  Related terms: micromachining. Narrower terms BioMEMS, NEMS

MEMs based Microelectrode arrays: Microarrays categories

MOEMS MicroOpticalElectroMechanical systems: In addition to mechanical and electrical components, integrate waveguides or other optical features into the body of the silicon chip. Intellisense Corp. MEMS The Next Small Thing  Google = about  10 Aug. 8, 2002; about 12 June 23, 2004; about 10 May 2, 2005

metal nanoshells: A new type of nanoparticle composed of a semiconductor or dielectric core coated with an ultrathin conductive layer.. By adjusting the relative core and shell thicknesses, metal nanoshells can be fabricated that will absorb or scatter light at any wavelength across the entire visible and infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. [Halas Nanoengineering Group, Rice Univ. US, 2000] Google = about 171 Aug. 8, 2002, about 3,400 Dec. 26 2007  Broader terms: nanoparticle, nanoshells

microbubbles: Very small encapsulated gas bubbles (diameters of micrometers) that can be used in diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Upon exposure to sufficiently intense ultrasound, microbubbles will cavitate, rupture, disappear, release gas content, etc. Such characteristics of the microbubbles can be used to enhance diagnostic tests, dissolve blood clots, and deliver drugs or genes for therapy. MeSH 2004

microchemistry: The development and use of techniques and equipment to study or perform chemical reactions, with small quantities of materials, frequently less than a milligram or a milliliter. MeSH 2003  Google = about 5,050 Aug. 8, 2002; about 13,700 June 23, 2004  Related term: micro- TAS

microchip: Microarray categories  Google = about 373,000 Aug. 8, 2002; about 647,000 June 23, 2004
microchip electrophoresis: Chromatography & electrophoresis glossary 
Google = about  307 Aug. 8, 2002; about 818 June 23, 2004

microdevices: Narrower terms: integrated microdevices, nanodevices, SED Single Electron Devices. Related terms microelectronics, microfluidics, micro- TAS.  Google = about 23,600 Aug. 8, 2002; about 124,000 June 23, 2004; about 976,000 Dec 26, 2007

MicroElectro Mechanical Systems: See MEMS.

microelectronics: Wikipedia   Google = about  423,000 Aug. 8, 2002; about 978,000 June 23, 2004, about 5,650,000 Dec 26, 2007 
Narrower terms: MEMS, nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, SED Single Electron Devices. Related terms: molecular electronics, semiconductors, supramolecular electronics

microengineering: Related terms include MEMS, microfabrication, microfluidics, micromachining, NEMS, nanoengineering  Google = about 10,100 Aug. 8, 2002; about 240,000 June 23, 2004, about 762,000 Dec 26, 2007

microfabrication: Wikipedia 

This technology includes techniques used to manufacture integrated circuits (ICs), discrete microelectronic devices, MEMS devices such as sensors and actuators, and various  electro-optic devices.  [University of Louisville Microfabrication Lab] is currently serving as a  center for research activity in the areas of micromachined sensors and actuators, electro- optic devices, special- purpose microelectronic devices, planar waveguides, chemical transducers,  microstrip and microgap radiation detectors, micromachined nozzles, and micromachined ink- jet printheads. [Lutz Microfabrication Lab, Univ. of Louisville, US, 2000]  

Google = about  42,100 Aug. 8, 2002; about 67,300 June 23, 2004, about 301,000 Dec 26k 2007  Related terms: microelectronics, nanofabrication; Assays, labels, signaling & detection single molecule detection 
Microfabrication Glossary 
MEMsNet, about 350 terms 

microfluidics: Wikipedia 

The study of fluid channels and chambers of tiny dimensions of tens to hundreds of micrometers and volumes of nanoliters or picoliters. This is of interest in biological MICROCIRCULATION and used in MICROCHEMISTRY and INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUES  MeSH 2004

Enables the fabrication of networks of channels, chambers, and valves for the flow of liquids as minute as one picoliter. These systems have no moving parts and require little assembly. [Coventor "About Coventor" 2002]

Within the microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and biological and chemical detection communities, microfluidics refers to the research and development of microscale devices that handle very small volumes of fluids (nano- and picoliter volumes).  These devices may perform tasks such as DNA analysis or the separation of human blood cells. [Josh Molho "What is microfluidics?" Stanford Univ., US, 2000]  
Google = about  13,500 Aug. 8, 2002; about 51,300 June 23, 2004, about 418,000 Dec 26, 2007 Narrower term: nanofluidics; Related term: Microarrays categories lab- on -a- chip

microinjection: Wikipedia 

The insertion of a substance into a cell through a microelectrode. Typical applications include the injection of drugs, histochemical markers (such as horseradish peroxidase or lucifer yellow) and RNA or DNA in molecular biological studies. To extrude the substances through the very fine electrode tips, either hydrostatic pressure (pressure injection) or electric currents (ionophoresis) is employed. [OMD]

A technique for introducing a solution of DNA, protein, or other soluble material into a cell using a fine microcapillary pipet. [Life Sciences Dictionary]  Google = about 18,700 Aug. 8, 2002; about 96,300 June 23, 2004

micromachines:  Wikipedia Micromachinery, Google = about 25,900 Aug. 8, 2002; about 128,000 June 23, 2004; about 157,000 May 2, 2005, 490,000 Dec 26, 2007  Related terms: Labels, signaling & detection glossary actuators, sensors, transducers

micromachining: Techniques for fabricating MEMSNarrower terms: bulk micromachining  surface micromaching  Broader term: microengineering  Google = about 28,200 Aug. 8, 2002; about 81,000 June 23, 2004; about 365,000 Dec 26, 2007

micromanipulation:  laser tweezers, optical tweezers; Ultrasensitivity glossary single molecule detection and manipulation  Google = about  8,140 Aug. 8, 2002; about 25,800 June 23, 2004, about 141,000 Dec 26, 2007

micromaterials: Narrower term: nanomaterials Related terms: Bioengineering & Biomaterials glossary  Google = about  1,850 Aug. 8, 2002; about 1,720 June 23, 2004, about 6,940 Dec 26, 2007

micron: 10 -6     Symbol is u.

microparticles: Applications include calibration of flow cytometers, particle and hematology analyzers, confocal laser scanning microscopes and zetapotential measuring instruments; flow measurements in gases and liquids like Laser Doppler Anemometry (LDA);  Particle Dynamics Analysis (PDA), and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV); medical diagnostics; separation phases for chromatography; support for immobilized enzymes; spacer in liquid crystal displays (LCD's); peptide synthesis; cell separation; tracers in environmental science; model systems in medicine, biochemistry, colloid chemistry, and aerosol research. [Microparticles GmbH, Berlin Germany]   

Can be used for drug delivery  Google = about  8,980 Aug. 8, 2002; about 33,000 June 23, 2004, about 386,000 Dec 26, 2007 Narrower term: nanoparticles

micro-PET: Molecular Imaging glossary
microspheres: Drug delivery

microstructures: The last decade has seen rapid developments in the fabrication, characterization and conceptual understanding of synthetic microstructures in many different material systems including silicon, III-V and II-VI semiconductors, metals, ceramics and organics. The objective of this journal [Superlattices and Microstructures] is to provide a common interdisciplinary platform for the publication of the latest research results on all such "nanostructures" with dimensions in the range of 1 - 100 nm; the unifying theme here being the dimensions of these artificial structures rather than the material system in which they are fabricated. [Superlattices & Microstructures, Elsevier  Google = about  71,900 Aug. 8, 2002; about 92,400 Aug. 26, 2003

microsystem: A microscale machine that can sense information from the environment and act accordingly. Outside the U.S., it can also refer to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). [smalltimes glossary, 2002]  Google = about 2,200,000 Aug. 9, 2002; about 3,050,000 Aug. 26, 2003 
Related term: wireless microsystems

microTas, micro Total Analysis Systems, uTAS: Although initial research dates back to the early 1970’s, the field of micro- TAS formally started in 1990, when Manz et al described the possibility of creating microsystems that would take care of many or all the traditional analytical steps involved in a biochemical analysis (sample introduction, handling, extraction, purification, concentration, filtration, analysis, detection) .... Micro- TAS offer many advantages over traditional analysis systems. Low power consumption and small reaction volumes, faster analysis, ultrasensitive detection, and minimal human intervention are key parameters in the development of micro- TAS. Most biochemical reactions take place in liquid environments. Hence, the development of MicroTAS is intrinsically linked to the design of liquid handling micro- devices. [Biomedical Applications Group (GAB) Centro Nacional de Microelectronica (CNM- IMB) Bellaterra, Spain, 2000]    Related term: microchemistry  Google = microTAS about 401;  "microTotal Analysis systems" about 953  Aug. 8, 2002  Broader term: Assays & screening glossary analysis - molecular

microtransponder: Labels, signaling & detection glossary  Google = about 148 Aug. 9, 2002; about 244 June 23, 2004

miniaturization: Desirable for many technologies for overall cost reduction (including reduction in the amount of reagents and analytes). Important to remember that building space is often the least available and most expensive component of an overall laboratory budget.  Google = about  52,800 Aug. 8, 2002; about 120,000 June 23, 2004

mole: Biomolecules glossary
molecular computing: Computers & computing 
Google = about  5,210 Aug. 8, 2002; about 12,100 June 23, 2004

molecular electronics: Molecular electronics offers the tantalizing prospect of eventually building circuits with critical dimensions of a few nanometers. Some basic devices utilizing molecules have been demonstrated, including tunnel junctions with negative differential resistance, rectifiers and electrically configurable switches that have been used in simple electronic memory and logic circuits. A major challenge that remains is to show that such devices can be fabricated economically using a process that will scale to circuits with large numbers of elements while maintaining their desired electronic properties. Yong Chen et. al, Nanoscale molecular-switch devices fabricated by imprint lithography, Applied Physics Letters, (82: 10): 1610- 1612 March 10, 2003 , Hewlett Packard Labs Research  

Seeks to use individual molecules to perform functions in electronic circuitry now performed by semiconductor devices.  Individual molecules are hundreds of times smaller than the smallest features conceivably attainable by semiconductor technology.  Because it is the area taken up by each electronic element that matters, electronic devices constructed from molecules will be hundreds of times smaller than their semiconductor-based counterparts.  Moreover, individual molecules are easily made exactly the same by the billions and trillions.  The dramatic reduction in size, and the sheer enormity of numbers in manufacture, are the principle benefits promised by the field of molecular electronics. California Molecular Electronics Corp. 2005 

Google = about 15,600 Aug. 8, 2002; about 63,500 June 23, 2004, about 402,000 Dec. 15, 2005, about 326,000 Dec 26, 2007  Related terms: Ultrasensitivity glossary single molecule ...
Molecular electronics,

molecular nanoscience: An emerging interdisciplinary field that combines the study of molecular/ biomolecular systems with the science and technology of nanoscale structures and systems. The potential applications for this research are very broad and include such possibilities as 1) the use of biomolecules and cellular systems to self- assemble nanoelectronic circuitry and other nanoscale structures and 2) the use of lamellar host frameworks containing  nano pores that can be tailored to include guest molecules for separation of chemicals for pharmaceutical and other applications.  Molecular Nanoscience Alliance for Interdisciplinary Studies and Activities, Univ. of Minnesota, US, 

Google = about 38 Aug. 8, 2002; about 162 June 23, 2004, about 2,270 Dec 26, 2007  Narrower terms: nanobiology, nanochemistry, nanoengineering, nanophysics, nanostructures.

molecular nanotechnology: See molecular nanoscience, nanotechnology.  Google = about 7,300 Aug. 8, 2002; about 18,600 June 23, 2004, about 112, 000 Dec 26, 2007

molecular robotics: Ralph Merkle, A New Family of Six Degree of Freedom Positional Devices, Zyvex, 1994

NEMS Nano ElectroMechanical Systems: Wikipedia 

The time is ripe for a concerted exploration of nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) ­ i.e. machines, sensors, computers and electronics that are on the nanoscale. Such efforts are under way in my group at Caltech, and in several others around the world. The potential payoffs are likely to be enormous and could benefit a diverse range of fields, from medicine and biotechnology to the foundations of quantum mechanics. [Michael Roukes "Nanoelectromechanical systems face the future" Physics World 14 (2) Feb. 2001] Google nanoelectromechanical = about 2,980 Jan. 12, 2004, about 38,000 Dec 26, 2007 

nano: 10 -9  Ultrasensitivity glossary
nanoarray: Microarrays categories 
Google = about  211 Aug. 8, 2002; about 755 June 23, 2004
nanobarcodes: Labels, signaling & detection glossary
Google = about  148 Aug. 8, 2002; about 364 June 23, 2004

nanobiology: Many fundamental biological functions are carried out by molecular machineries that have the sizes of 1-100 nm. You find many examples in molecular biology and cell biology: single enzymes, transcription complex, ribosome, transport complex, nuclear pore, and so on. To understand the functions of  these machineries, one has to describe their movements, changes in their shapes, and their localization. This means the mechanistic study is equivalent to dynamic morphology at this level of size, making a new field that merges mechanistic biology and morphology. The emergence of nanobiology depended on the invention of nano- technology: scanning probe microscopy, modern optical techniques, and micro- manipulating techniques. This concept of nanobiology was first proposed in a group study named "Biological Nano- Mechanisms", which was supported by Japanese Agency of Science and Technology (1992-1997). [National Institute of Genetics, Japan]

Google = about  1,380 Aug. 8, 2002; about 2,910 Jan. 12, 2004; about 3,300 June 23, 2004, about 37,300 Dec 26, 2007

nanobioprocessors: Implantable nano scale processors that can integrate with biological pathways and modify biological processes. Trans- NIH Bioengineering Nanotechnology Initiative, SBIR, PA Number 02- 125:  Google = about 2  Aug. 8, 2002; about 5 June 23, 2004

nanobiotechnology: An emerging area of scientific and technological opportunity. Nanobiotechnology applies the tools and processes of nano/ microfabrication to build devices for studying biosystems. Researchers also learn from biology how to create better micro- nanoscale devices. The Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC), a National Science Foundation, Science and Technology Center is characterized by its highly interdisciplinary nature and features a close collaboration between life scientists, physical scientists, and engineers. NBTC, NanoBiotechnology Center, Cornell Univ. US

Use of nanotechnology[ies] in the life sciences. These may include, but are not limited to, therapeutics, medical devices/implants, biosensors, and tools for the development of drugs. NanoBioNexus News, 1[1]: 2 July 8, 2004

Google = about 3620 July 17, 2002; about 13,600 Jan. 12, 2004; about 19,800 June 23, 2004, about 263,000 Dec 26, 2007  Compare bionanotechnology

nanochemistry: Wikipedia 

The last few years have observed a wide proliferation of the terminology related to nanotechnology and nanoscience in chemistry. Today, all high impact chemistry journals contain a large number of papers devoted to this growing area, as many conferences include specific sessions on nanotechnology. The scope of this project is to study the use of "nano-" terminology in chemistry, analyzing its evolution with time, by country, and its penetration among various chemical disciplines. The aim of this project is not to make any formal definition or recommendation of the use of "nano-" in chemistry, but first to determine what is the current situation regarding the use of "nano-" in chemistry terminology through a detailed analysis of peer-reviewed papers, patents, and books. This project will deliver a guideline for IUPAC to assess the use of "nano-" in chemistry as a first step in proposing recommendations and suggested terminology. IUPAC Analysis of the usage of nanoscience and technology in chemistry 2008    Google = about  2,350 Aug. 8, 2002; about 5,270 June 23, 2004; about 20,200 May 2, 2005  

nanochip: In Friday's issue [Aug. 1, 2001] of the journal Science, physicists from IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center [Philip G. Collins, Michael S. Arnold and Phaedon Avouris] announce their fabrication of the world's first array of transistors made from carbon nanotube.  [Mark Anderson "Mega Steps toward the Nanochip" Wired News Aug. 1, 2001],1286,43324,00.html  Google = about  1,940 Aug. 8, 2002; about 10,100 June 23, 2004

nanocircles:  Stanford scientists have synthesized a molecule of DNA that is capable of shutting off specific genes in living bacteria. Dubbed the "nanocircle," the new nanometer- size molecule might one day give researchers the ability to target harmful genes that cause cancer and other diseases in humans.  Stanford Report,  Stanford Univ, US,  Jan. 25, 2002  Google = about 280 Jan. 14, 2003

nanoclusters: A nanocluster or nanocrystal is a fragment of solid comprising somewhere between a few atoms to a few tens of thousands of atoms. Nanoclusters are therefore a novel state of matter with properties that are neither those of a bulk crystal nor those of individual atoms and molecules.  Over the past 10 years huge advances have been made both in the synthesis of size- tunable, monodisperse (i.e. size- selected) nanoclusters of various chemical compositions and in the development of techniques for their assembly into nanostructured solids (facilitating the synthesis of what have been termed "designer materials"). Nanoparticles, Nanoclusters, Nanoscience Group, Nottingham Univ., UK, 2002  Google = about 5,910 Aug. 8, 2002; about 34,000 June 23, 2004; about 102,000 May 2, 2005

nanocomposites: The definition of nano-composite material has broadened significantly to encompass a large variety of systems such as one-dimensional, two-dimensional, three-dimensional and amorphous materials, made of distinctly dissimilar components and mixed at the nanometer scale.

The general class of nanocomposite organic/ inorganic materials is a fast growing area of research. Significant effort is focused on the ability to obtain control of the nanoscale structures via innovative synthetic approaches. The properties of nano-composite materials depend not only on the properties of their individual parents but also on their morphology and interfacial characteristics. Nanocomposites, Mercouri G Kanatzidis Research Group, Michigan State University
Wikipedia Wikipedia 

nanocomputer: A computer whose fundamental components measure only a few nanometers in size. State of the art current computer components are no smaller than about 350 nm. [Mnemosyne Mnews 21 (3)  January 2001 " The Nanotechnology Initiative and Future Electronics" Presentation by Gail J. Brown, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright- Patterson Air Force Base,  November 16, 2000]   

Google = about  8,170 Aug. 8, 2002; about 8,260 June 23, 2004; about 13,800 Nov 27, 2006, about 26,000 Dec 26, 2007 Related terms: DNA computing, molecular computing, quantum computing, others?  

nanocrystals: A nanocrystal typically has a diameter of between 1 and 10 nm and may contain as few as a hundred or as many as tens of thousands of atoms. Many fundamental properties of nanocrystals depend strongly on their size in smooth and predictable ways. Examples include the external field required to switch a magnetized particle of great importance in magnetotactic bacteria and in hard disk drives and the color of light emission from a semiconductor used for the fluorescent labeling of cells and in lasers. This facile tuning of properties by size variation is one reason why nanocrystals are widely viewed as promising components for new artificial optical and electrical materials. ["Enhanced: Naturally Aligned Nanocrystals" A. P. Alivisatos Science 289 (5480): 736-7 Aug. 4, 2000 ]  Google = about 13,700 Aug. 8, 2002; about 94,600 June 23, 2004; about 1,120,000 Nov 27, 2006  Related term: quantum dots

nanodetectors: Molecular imaging glossary Google = about 21 Aug. 8, 2002; about 83 June 23, 2004; about 690 Nov 27, 2006, about 567 Dec 26, 2007

nanodevices: Scientists believe nanoscale devices may lead to computer chips with billions of transistors, instead of millions - which is the typical range in today's semiconductor technology. The more transistors crammed on a chip, the more powerful it is. "This technology has the potential to replace existing manufacturing methods for integrated circuits, which may reach their practical limits within the next decade when Moore's Law eventually hits a brick wall," said physicist Bernard Yurke of Bell Labs. DNA, which provides the molecular blueprints for all living cells, is an ideal tool for making nanoscale devices. "We took advantage of how pieces of DNA - with its billions of possible variations - lock together in only one particular way, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle," Yurke said. ["Researchers from Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs and University of Oxford create first DNA motors" Lucent Technologies press release, Aug. 9, 2000]

Google = about 4,870  Aug. 8, 2002; about 21,800 June 23, 2004, about 174,000 Dec 26, 2007 Broader term: microdevices

nanoelectronics: Mitre Corp., Nanoelectronics Home Page

Nanoelectronics in Japan and Korea tends to focus on next generation semiconductor devices and single electron devices (SED). [Asia Pacific Nanotechnology Initiatives: Update Asian Technology Information Program, Japan April 10, 2001] 

Google = about 13,100 Aug. 8, 2002; about 86,100 June 23, 2004, about 374,000 Dec 26, 2007  Broader term: microelectronics

nanoelectrospray MS/MS: Mass spectrometry glossary  Google = about 22 Aug. 8, 2002; about 119 June 23, 2004

nanoengineering: We use chemistry to construct nanostructures and their composites, then focus our attention on the electronic, optical, and transport properties of these nanostructures and the macroscopic films and materials that can be constructed from them. This research lies at the common frontier of chemistry, condensed matter physics, optics, and bioengineering. [Halas Nanoengineering Group, Rice Univ. US, 2000]   Google = about 2,340 Aug. 8, 2002; about 10,700 June 23, 2004, about 67,800 Dec 26, 2007  Narrower terms: femtoengineering, picoengineering; Related terms: microengineering, nanoscience, self-assembly.

nanofabrication: Nanofabrication methods can be divided into two categories: top- down methods, which carve out or add aggregates of molecules to a surface, and bottom- up methods, which assemble atoms or molecules into nanostructures. [George M. Whitesides and J. Christopher Love "The art of building small" Scientific American 285 (3): 39- 47, Sept. 2001]

Fabrication on the nanotechnology scale. Google = about  15,100 Aug. 8, 2002; about 47,900 June 23, 2004; about 761,000 Nov 27, 2006, about 284,000  Broader term: microfabrication

nanofibers, nanofibres:  Using a proprietary process, eSpin is able to produce minute fibers which are 10 to 100 times smaller in diameter than what is possible with conventional textile technology.  For comparison, eSpin nanofibers are about 100 times smaller than a human hair. These nanofibers provide a very large surface area for a given weight of fibers. High surface area is at the heart of many envisioned products. Used for clean room products, nanocomposites, filtration, surgical gowns, biomedical devices, and specialty fabrics. [eSpin Technologies,  "Products"]  Google = nanofibers about 2,540 Aug. 8 2002; about 12,100 June 23, 2004; nanofibres about 508  Aug. 8, 2002; about 5,730 June 23, 2004

nanofiltration:  A pressure driven separation process. The filtration process takes place on a selective separation layer formed by an organic semipermeable membrane. The driving force of the separation process is the pressure difference between the feed (retentate) and the filtrate (permeate) side at the separation layer of the membrane. However, because of its selectivity, one or several components of a dissolved mixture are retained by the membrane despite the driving force, while water and substances with a molecular weight < 200 D are able to permeate the semipermeable separation layer. Eurodia, "Nanofiltration"  Google = about 306,000 Nov 27, 2006

nanofluidics: Researchers at Cornell University are using nanotechnology to build microscopic silicon devices with features comparable in size to DNA, proteins and other biological molecules -- to count molecules, analyze them, separate them, perhaps even work with them one at a time. [Cornell Univ. "Tiny silicon devices measure, sort and count biomolecules" Feb. 16, 2001] Newswise]  

Google = about 365 Aug. 8, 2002; about 15,400 June 23, 2004; about 865,500 Nov 27, 2006, about 83,200 Dec 26, 2007 Related terms: microfluidics, nanoplumbing   Broader term: microfluidics

nanofoam: See under carbon nanofoam

nanoharvesting:   Nanoharvesting agents are being designed to act as molecular mops for these [cancer] biomarkers and can be directly queried by mass spectrometry. Dr. Emanuel F. Petricoin, Co-Director, NCI-FDA Clinical Proteomics Program, Senior Principal Investigator, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, U. S. Food and Drug Administration, Use of the Serum Fragmentome for Clinical Diagnostics,  Cancer Biomarkers, May 4-5, 2004 Philadelphia  Google = about 6 May 28, 2004; about 4 June 23, 2004, about 41 Dec 26, 2007

nanoimaging: Molecular imaging glossary  Google = about 32  Aug. 8, 2002; about 923 June 23, 2004

nanoimprinting: Using an imprinting technique to create nanostructures. With photolithography successfully producing sub-100-nm structures, attention has now turned to 50-nm structures. UCI Division Director Yee Discusses Nanoimprinting at UCSD 

Sometimes called soft lithography. A technique that is very simple in concept, and totally analogous to traditional mould- or form-based printing technology, but that uses moulds (masters) with nanoscale features. As with the printing press, the potential for mass production is clear. There are two forms of nanoimprinting, one that uses pressure to make indentations in the form of the mould on a surface, the other, more akin to the printing press, that relies on the application of "ink" applied to the mould to stamp a pattern on a surface. Other techniques such as etching may then follow Nanotechnology Glossary Google = about  191 Aug. 8, 2002; about 13,800 June 23, 2004

nanolabels: Labels, signaling & detection glossary Google = about 32 Aug. 8, 2002; about 52 June 23, 2004

nanomachines:  One approach to manufacturing nanomachines involves using biological molecules -- such as DNA, RNA, enzymes and proteins -- to synthesize and duplicate useful devices (this might be termed the bottom-up approach). The other major approach involves miniaturizing today's microfabrication tools by stages, ultimately to work at the nanoscale (the top- down approach). Each approach has strengths and limitations, and the first nanofactories capable of molecular manufacturing will likely use some combination of both.  David B. Hughes, Nanoassemblers to Nanofactories, Nanobiology, 2005 

Google = about 7,080 Aug. 8, 2002; about 45,600 June 23, 2004; about 92,900 May 2, 2005 

nanomanufacturing:  Is expected to be high- volume, high- rate, integrated assembly of nano- elements into commercial products. This involves controlling position, orientation, and interconnectivity of the nano- elements. Increases in worldwide investments over the past few years have propelled nanoscience research scientific breakthroughs to a new level. To ensure that these discoveries lead to commercially viable products, it is important to address fundamental scientific barriers to nanomanufacturing, in parallel with the ongoing nanoscience research.  New England International Nanomanufacturing Workshop, 2003   

Google = about  648 Aug. 8, 2002; about 17,300 June 23, 2004; about 46,500 May 2, 2005

nanomaterials: Nanomaterials are materials possessing grain sizes on the order of a billionth of a meter.  They manifest extremely fascinating and useful properties, which can be exploited for a variety of structured and non-structured applications.  Nano particles are generally described as a minute particle of a few nanometers in size (one nanometer is one-billionth of a meter). Nanotechnology, Canano Technologies LLC 

This area combines nanotechnology and many applications of nanostructured materials. One important research area is the formation of semiconductor "quantum dots" (i.e., several nanometer- size, faceted crystals) by injecting precursor materials conventionally used for chemical- vapor deposition of semiconductors into a hot liquid surfactant. This "quantum dot" is in reality a macromolecule because it is coated with a monolayer of the surfactant, preventing agglomeration. These materials photoluminesce at different frequencies (colors) depending upon their size, allowing optical multiplexing in biological labeling.{12}

In Asia includes nanopowder, nanoparticles, metal, biomaterials, carbon materials, etc.  [Asia Pacific Nanotechnology Initiatives: Update Asian Technology Information Program, Japan April 10, 2001]

Materials at the nanometer scale.  Google = about  20,300 Aug. 8, 2002; about 135,000 June 23, 2004; about 551,000 May 2, 2005 Narrower terms: nanoclusters, nanocrystals, nanoparticles, nanowires, quantum dots. Broader term: micromaterials; Related terms: Bioengineering & biomaterials glossary

nanomedicine:  Molecular Medicine

nanometals: Metal particles of diameter in the range of a few nanometers or thin films in the same thickness range, are interesting not only because of their special mechanic properties but also because of other physical and chemical properties, sometimes totally different from those of coarse-grained metals. Metal based magnetic materials are of great interest for the field of information storage. Encapsulated (for example in a carbon matrix) metals are protected against oxidation, without loosing their magnetic properties. Encapsulated or supported nanometals are more resistant against sintering at elevated temperatures. Metallic thin films may find their application in electronic industry, for example as interconnect lines or magnetic or electric layers. Metal Based Nanomaterials, E-MRS European Materials Research Society, Fall 2004 meeting 

Have a wide variety of uses including energetics (rocket propulsion and pyrotechnics), in microelectronic films and coatings, super conducting alloys and for high strength powder metallurgical metals and alloys. Any metal that is available as a continuous ductile wire can be converted by our process into nano metal spheres. Nanomaterial Technologies, Argonide  Google = about 907 June 23, 2004, about 11,800 Dec 26, 2007

nanomotors: A University of Florida chemistry professor has made a "nanomotor" from a single DNA molecule. The motor, so small that hundreds of thousands could fit on the head of a pin, curls up and extends like an inchworm, said Weihong Tan, the principal investigator and lead author of an article about the motor in the April edition of the journal Nano Letters [Daily University Science News, May 16, 2002]  Google = about  405 Aug. 8, 2002; about 4,120 June 23, 2004, about 10,300 Dec 26, 2007

nanonewtons: Forces 1 billion times smaller than the force required to hold an apple against Earth’s gravity. Nanonewton forces are estimated with atomic force microscopes and instruments that measure the properties of ultrathin coatings like those used on computer hard drives or turbine blades. Nanotechnology: Cracking the nanonewton force barrier  NIST, US, 2003 Google = about 415 June 23, 2004, about 2,900 Dec 26, 2007  Narrower term: piconewtons

nanoparticles: The use of commercially available nanoparticle constructs for both imaging and drug delivery in humans is not novel. However, the current enthusiasm for nanotech-based solutions extends far beyond simple particles to multi-modal platforms that involve multiple active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). These new constructs present a higher level of complexity not only in manufacturing but also in predicting their behavior in the human including such fundamental information as bio- distribution and biocompatibility. Thus go/ no-go decision points are less well defined and decisions such as committing resources for scale up of GLP product for pre-clinical testing must be made on limited data. "The Bio-Legal Complexity of Nanoparticle Development" Dr. James L. Tatum, Special Assistant, Cancer Imaging Program, National Cancer Institute Nanotechnology for Targeted Therapeutics and Molecular Imaging, Aug. 22-23, 2005, Washington DC 

Nanoparticles, including nano- clusters, [nano]- layers, [nano]- tubes, and two- and three- dimensional structures in the size range between the dimensions of molecules and 50 nm (or in a broader sense, submicron sizes as a function of materials and targeted phenomena), are seen as tailored precursors for building up functional nanostructures. [R&D Status and Trends in Nanoparticles, Nanostructured Materials, and Nanodevices in the US, Proceedings of the May 8-9 , 1997 Workshop, Jan. 1998 Richard W. Siegel, WTEC Panel Chair]

Narrower term: gold nanoparticles   Related terms: nanocrystals, quantum dots, others?  Google = about 42,500 Aug. 8, 2002; about 255,000 June 23, 2004, about 1,450,000 Dec 26, 2007  Related terms: carbon nanotubes, nanocrystals, quantum dots Labels, signaling & detection glossary, others? Narrower term: nanoprism
nano-PET: Molecular Imaging glossary

nanophotonics: Nanophotonics can provide high bandwidth, high speed and ultra-small optoelectronic components. This technology has the potential to revolutionize telecommunications, computation and sensing. Cornell Nanophotonics Group, College of Engineering, Cornell University, 2004  Google = about 8,440 June 23, 2004, about 108,000 Dec 26, 2007

nanophysics: The nanoscale physics group uses various experimental techniques to examine the physical properties of objects in the nanoscale size range, that is, a little bit larger than the size of atoms. Some interesting physical properties at this range include conductivity of small numbers of atoms and molecules, forces arising between objects on this scale, and the transition between the quantum nature of a few atoms and a large number of atoms. [Nanoscale Physics, Purdue Univ., 2000]  Google = about 2,050 Aug. 8, 2002; about 6,940 June 23, 2004; about 468,000 Oct 22, 2007  Related term: quantum physics

nanoplumbing: Stretching of DNA inside nanofluidic channels with a diameter of about 100 nm is a promising new technique for the analysis of genomic DNA. However, in order to go beyond applications based on simple sizing, multiple nanofluidic components have to be integrated – we call that “nanoplumbing”. Functional Nanoplumbing for DNA analysis, R. Riehn, R. Staunton, S.F. Lim, W.W. Reisner and R.H. Austin, 2007 Google = about  17 Aug. 8, 2002; about 29 June 23, 2004; about 36 May 2, 2005, about 91 Dec 26, 2007  Related terms: microfluidics, nanofluidics

nanopore: Nanopore technology is an elegant concept. A membrane with very small channels (a few nanometers in diameter), called nanopores, separates two solutions. When a voltage is applied across the membrane, charged biomolecules migrate through the pores in a controlled manner. ... As each nucleotide passes through the nanopore, an electronic signature is produced that can be used to characterize it. The nanopore's size is such that it permits only a single nucleic acid strand to pass through it at any one time. Therefore the technology can be used to sequentially measure a biopolymer's properties along its length.

Research in the field of computational biology will play a significant role in the development of nanopore technology. It will be used to help optimize experimental strategies and designs, and to create the mathematical methods needed to interpret the data generated.

The potential capabilities of nanopore technology are very broad. Nanopore technology can distinguish between and count a variety of different molecules in a complex mixture. For example, nanopores could discriminate between hybridized or unhybridized unknown RNA and DNA molecules that differ by a single nucleotide only. Compared to existing techniques, nanopore technology is expected to provide direct characterization of individual nucleic acid and protein molecules directly derived from biological samples, thereby making it applicable to a wide set of analyses. Because nanopore technology is in the very early stages of its development, its advantages are not fully characterized. [Agilent Laboratories "Threading a needle with DNA, June 1, 2001]  Google = about 1,820 Aug. 8, 2002; about 5,670 June 23, 2004  Related term: Sequencing glossary: nanopore sequencing:

nanopositioning:  The means of controlling motion on the nanometre scale - is now a key enabling technology in high- tech fields such as semiconductor test and measurement, photonics alignment, scanning microscopy and microlithography. Stefan Vorndran, Nanopositioning: Fighting the Myths, Opto and Laser Europe, Nov. 2004 
Google = about 14,400 Mar. 1, 2005

nanoprism:  Scientists at Northwestern University have created a nanoparticle with a new shape that could be a useful tool in the race to detect biological threats. The nanoprism, which resembles a tiny Dorito, exhibits unusual optical properties that could be used to improve biodetectors, allowing them to test for a far greater number of biological warfare agents or diseases at one time. [Northwestern Univ. Media Relations press release, Dec. 3, 2001, updated 3/21/2002, article in Science 294: 1901-1903, Nov. 30, 2001]

Google = about  35 Aug. 8, 2002; about 155 June 23, 2004

nanoscale: 1 to 100 billionths of a meter. At the nanoscale, physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, and engineering converge toward the same principles and tools. The nanoscale is not just another step toward miniaturization, but a qualitatively new scale. The new behavior is dominated by quantum mechanics, material confinement in small structures, large interfacial volume fraction, and other unique properties, phenomena and processes. Many current theories of matter at the microscale have critical lengths of nanometer dimensions. These theories will be inadequate to describe the new phenomena at the nanoscale. ... Innovative nanoscale properties and functions will be achieved through the control of matter at its building blocks: atom- by- atom, molecule- by- molecule, and nanostructure- by- nanostructure. Nanotechnology will include the integration of these nanoscale structures into larger material components, systems, and architectures. However, within these larger scale systems the control and construction will remain at the nanoscale.  [National Science Foundation, Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Report of Sept 28- 29 2000 workshop, Mar. 2001]

Google = about 151,000 Aug. 8, 2002; about 299,000 June 23, 2004

nanoscience: The study of phenomena and manipulation of materials at atomic, molecular and macromolecular scales, where properties differ significantly from those at a larger scale. Draft definitions, Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering  Nanotechnology and Nanoscience, 2003 

Nanoscience is primarily the extension of existing sciences into the realms of the extremely small (nanomaterials, nanochemistry, nanobio, nanophysics, etc.) while nanoengineering represents the extension of the engineering fields into the nano- scale realm (nanofabrication, nanodevices, etc.). [Mnemosyne Mnews 21 (3)  January 2001 " The Nanotechnology Initiative and Future Electronics" Presentation by Gail J. Brown, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,  Nov.16, 2000]

The exponential growth of nanoscience is largely due to the development of new instruments and related techniques that are used to "routinely" probe and manipulate material at the atomic and molecular level. Scanning probe microscopies, analytical electron- beam techniques, epitaxial growth facilities, and synchrotron radiation sources are all opening huge opportunities. [Univ. of British Columbia, Canada "The U.B.C. Quantum Structures and Information Cluster under the Canadian Research Chairs Initiative" Nov. 2000]
Google = about 23,000 Aug. 8, 2002; about 101,000 Jan. 12, 2004; about 133,000 June 23, 2004  Narrower terms: nanobiology, nanobiotechnology, nanochemistry, nanoengineering, nanophysics, nanotechnology, quantum physics. Related term: nanotechnology

nanosensors: Labels, signaling & detection glossary  Google = about 22,700 June 23, 2004

nanoshells:  Procedures that target cancer cells while leaving normal cells untouched, patients controlling the release of medicine in their bodies with an infrared light, and medical test results produced in seconds rather than days – these are three new medical technologies currently being tested by nanotechnology researchers at Rice University. ... The research focuses on nanoshells, a new type of nanoparticle invented by Naomi Halas, Rice professor of electrical and computer engineering and chemistry. Nanoshells are layered nanoparticles whose ability to manipulate light and color can be designed into the nanoparticle by varying the thickness of the nanoparticle’s layers.  [Rice Univ. Media Release "New nanotechnology has medical applications" April 12, 2001]  Google = about 463 Aug. 8, 2002; about 3,760 June 23, 2004  
Related terms: metal nanoshells
Many nanoshells are gold or silver.  There are also silica or carbon nanoshells, other types? Is there a hierarchy of nanocrystals, nanoparticles, nanospheres ?  Narrower term: nanoprism

nanospheres: Self-assembling nanospheres that fit inside each other like Russian dolls are one form of a broad range of submicroscopic spheres ... The durable silica spheres, which range in size from 2 to 50 nanometers, form in a few seconds, are small enough to be introduced into the body, and have uniform pores that could enable controlled release of drugs. The spheres can absorb organic and inorganic substances including small particles of iron, which means they can be controlled by magnets and the contents released as needed. [Sandia National Labs news release "Self- assembled spheres may be helpful against disease or terrorism" Mar. 19, 1999]  Google = about 2,010 Aug. 8, 2002; about 8,120 June 23, 2004  See also Microarrays glossary under microspheres

nanostructures: Nanometer sized objects. MeSH 2005

Nanostructures may be considered as small, familiar, or large, depending on the view point of the disciplines concerned. To chemists, nanostructures are molecular assemblies of atoms numbering from 103 to 109 and of molecular weights of 104 to 1010 Daltons. Thus, they are chemically large supramolecules. To molecular biologists, nanostructures have the size of familiar objects from proteins to viruses and cellular organelles. But to material scientists and electrical engineers, nanostructures are the current limit of microfabrication and thus are rather small. Nanostructures are complex systems which evidently lie at the interface between solid- state physics, supramolecular chemistry, and molecular biology (Mainzer et al. 1997) Klaus Mainzer, Symmetry and Complexity -- Fundamental Concepts of Research in Chemistry, HYLE International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, Vol. 3 (1997), pp. 29-49   Google = about 63,800  Aug. 8, 2002; about 214,000 June 23, 2004; about 455,000 March 22, 2005  Narrower terms: dendrimers, fullerenes, nanoclusters, nanotubes, quantum dots.

nanosystems:  Google = about  14,700 Aug. 8, 2002; about 37,100 June 23, 2004; about 117,000 May 2, 2005
nanosystems - cancer cells: Cancer genomics glossary

nanotechnology: Wikipedia 

Nanotechnology is the science and technology of precisely structuring and controlling matter on the nanometer scale. Advancements in nanotechnology can be classified in three categories: * Information Technology or Molecular Electronics; * Life/ Health sciences or Nanobiotechnology; * Material Science/ Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology, Canano Technologies LLC 

Nanotechnology promises to create a new class of imaging agents that offer distinct advantages and can be used for the early detection and diagnosis of disease.  Diagnostic molecules have the potential to act as biomarkers in drug development and diagnostics, and can be used in the imaging of cancer in living subjects. This meeting will address the challenges in implementing nanotechnology for drug delivery systems and imaging agents, and promote dialogue between diagnostic and therapeutic development. Nanotechnology for Targeted Therapeutics and Molecular Imaging, Aug. 22-23, 2005, Washington DC   

The production and application of structures, devices and systems by controlling shape and size at nanometre scale. Draft definitions, Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering  Nanotechnology and Nanoscience, 2003 

The development and use of techniques to study physical phenomena and construct structures in the nanoscale size range or smaller. MeSH 2002

The creation of functional materials, devices and systems through control of matter at the scale of 1 to 100 nanometers, and the exploitation of novel properties and phenomena at the same scale. Nanotechnology is emerging as a field critical for enabling essential breakthroughs that may have tremendous potential for affecting biomedicine. Moreover, nanotechnologies developed in the next several years may well form the foundation of significant commercial platforms. [BIOENGINEERING NANOTECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE, PA-02-125, NIH, US, July 2, 2002]

Emerging as a new field enabling the creation and application of materials, devices, and systems at atomic and molecular levels and the exploitation of novel properties that emerge at the nanometer scale. Many areas of biomedicine are expected to benefit from nanotechnology including sensors for use in the laboratory, the clinic, and within the human body; new formulations and routes for drug delivery; and biocompatible, high- performance materials for use in implants.  Examples of  potential uses of nanotechnology in biomedicine include the early detection and treatment of disease and  the development of “smart”, rejection- resistant implants that will respond appropriately as the body’s needs change. [NIH, Nanoscience and nanotechnology grant applications,  January 20, 2000]  

Although research in this field dates back to Richard P. Feynman's classic talk in 1959, the term nanotechnology was first coined by K. Eric Drexler in 1986 in the book Engines of Creation. In the popular press, the term nanotechnology is sometimes used to refer to any sub- micron process, including lithography. Because of this, many scientists are beginning to use the term molecular nanotechnology when talking about true nanotechnology at the molecular level. [ZD Webopedia]  Google = about 411,000 Aug. 8, 2002; about 1,570,000 June 23, 2004, about 12, 000,000 Dec 26, 2007  Related terms:  Interagency Working Group on Nanoscience, Engineering and Technology IWGN, molecular manufacturing, nanoscience
Narrower terms: bionanotechnology, nanobiotechnology

nanotoxicology: Drug safety, pharmacovigilance and toxicology

nanotubes: Nanometer-sized tubes composed of various substances including carbon ( CARBON NANOTUBES), boron nitride, or nickel vanadate.  [MeSH 2004]

A one dimensional fullerene (a convex cage of atoms with only hexagonal and/ or pentagonal faces) with a cylindrical shape. Carbon nanotubes discovered in 1991 by Sumio Iijima resemble rolled up graphite, although they can not really be made that way. Depending on the direction that the tubes appear to have been rolled (quantified by the 'chiral vector'), they are known to act as conductors or semiconductors. Nanotubes are a proving to be useful as molecular components for nanotechnology. [] Narrower terms: carbon nanotubes, peptide nanotubes.  Many nanotubes are carbon, but some are based on other elements.   Broader term: fullerenes  Google = about  76,600 Aug. 8, 2002; about 332,000 June 23, 2004
Nanotube Site

nanowires: Molecular wires millions of times smaller in diameter than a human hair. Described in a paper appearing in the February 23, 2001 issue of the journal Science, these "nanowires," so called because they have dimensions on the order of a nanometer (a billionth of a meter), have high rates of electron transfer with very low resistance. "That means less impedance to the flow of current, with little or no loss of energy," says chemist John Smalley, the lead Brookhaven researcher on the study. [News release Brookhaven National Lab (US) "Scientists Investigate "Nanowires" With Very Low Resistance" Feb. 22, 2001]  Google = about 10,600 Aug. 8, 2002; about 78,800 June 23, 2004

National Nanotechnology Initiative: US federal government agencies participating include the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the National Institute of Health, NASA, and NIST. National Nanotechnology Initiative website 

OEIS OptoElectronic Integrated Systems: research is currently focused on the development of methodologies for self-assembly of micron scale objects with the objective of fabricating optoelectronic integrated systems (OEIS) [RP25].   In an extension of our integrated microarray research, electronically addressable test chips, comprising n x n matrices of microelectrodes each bearing photolithographically defined oligonucleotides of programmed base sequence, have been developed as experimental platforms for the self- assembly and interconnection of oligonucleotide modified optoelectronic components, e.g., LEDs and photodetectors. In this process, DNA- modified optoelectronic components may be transported to the surface of a microelectrode using electrophoresis whereupon sequence specific oligonucleotide interactions direct component localisation and binding. [NMRC (Ireland) Nanotechnology Research, Scientific Report 1999]  Google = "OptoElectronic Integrated Systems" about 28 Aug. 8, 2002; about 59 June 23, 2004

optical trapping, optical tweezers: Cell & tissue technologies

organic electronics: Chemistry & biology glossary

peptide nanotubes: NANOTUBES formed from cyclic peptides ( PEPTIDES, CYCLIC). Alternating D and L linkages create planar rings that self assemble by stacking into nanotubes. They can form pores through CELL MEMBRANE causing damage. MeSH 2004

picoengineering: Involves engineering at the level of subatomic particles (e.g., electrons).  Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil, Penguin paperback  Broader terms: microengineering, nanoengineering; Narrower term: femtoengineering

picomole: Ultrasensitivity glossary  Google = about 1,870  Aug. 8, 2002; about 6,060 June 23, 2004

piconewtons: Trillionths of a newton. Nanotechnology: Cracking the nanonewton force barrier  NIST, US, 2003 Google = about 955 June 23, 2004  Related/broader?  term: nanonewtons

positional assembly:  Ralph Merkle, Molecular Manufacturing, Adding Positional Control to Chemical Synthesis, Zyvex, 1993

quantum computing: Computers & computing

quantum dots: Nanometer sized fragments (the dots) of semiconductor crystalline material which emits PHOTONS. The wavelength is based on the quantum confinement size of the dot. They are brighter and more persistent than organic chemical INDICATORS. They can be embedded in MICROBEADS for high throughput ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY. Do not confuse with microscopic fluorescent bar codes which are micrometer sized. MeSH 2004

An important strategy for nonisotopic labeling of single molecules is the use of highly luminescent semiconductor nanocrystals, or 'quantum dots,' that can be covalently linked to biological molecules. This class of detectors, which range in size from 1- 5 nm, have been exploited for biological labeling by a number of laboratories, particularly those of Shimon Weiss, Paul Alivisatos and Shuming Nie (4, 5). Quantum dots offer several advantages over organic dyes, including increased brightness, stability against photobleaching, a broad continuous excitation spectrum, and a narrow, tunable, symmetric emission spectrum. Because quantum dots are nontoxic and can be made to dissolve in water, efforts are underway to explore their use in labeling single molecules in living cells.  [NIGMS  Single Molecule Detection and Manipulation Workshop" Single Molecule Fluorescence of Biomolecules and Complexes Protein Folding April 17- 18, 2000]  Google = about  37,800 Aug. 8, 2002; about 151,000 June 23, 2004

quantum nanophysics: See under quantum physics  Google = about  4 Aug. 8, 2002; about 572, 000 June 23, 2004, about 463 Dec 26, 2007

quantum physics: Describes fundamental electronic and optical properties of matter at microscopic level and wave and interference phenomena in particular . Quantum electronics, quantum optics and optoelectronics are important areas of application - atomic clocks, lasers, light emitting diodes, optical fibers, tunnel diodes and superconducting systems are important and well-known examples. The trend towards faster  and more  complicated microprocessors and microelectronics has resulted in electronic components now approaching the domains of quantum physics at research level. In about 20 years time, miniaturization will also be halted in commercial applications. It will then probably utilize electronic wave phenomena and single- electron effects in semiconductor components and systems and also to create more complicated transistor components connected in more complicated ways where quantum phenomena, cooperative phenomena and even superconductivity may be important for function. "QNANO" - quantum nanophysics - will probably provide a target for research and development in semiconductor physics, molecular electronics and bioelectronics in the foreseeable future  [Applied Quantum Physics at the School of Physics and Engineering Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, 1998]

Google = about 148,000  Aug. 8, 2002

rapid prototyper:  a machine that can manufacture objects directly (usually, though not necessarily, in plastic) under the control of a computer.   Centre for Biomimetic and Natural Technology, Bath University, UK   Google = about 6,780 July 11, 2005  Related terms: self-replication, universal constructor

self-assembly: Biomaterials & bioengineering glossary  Google = about 55,800  Aug. 8, 2002; about 255,000 June 23, 2004

self-replication: Self replication is an effective route to truly low cost manufacturing. Our intuitions about self replicating systems, learned from the biological systems that surround us, are likely to seriously mislead us about the properties and characteristics of artificial self replicating systems designed for manufacturing purposes. Artificial systems able to make a wide range of non- biological products (like diamond) under programmatic control are likely to be more brittle and less adaptable in their response to changes in their environment than biological systems. At the same time, they should be simpler and easier to design. The complexity of such systems need not be excessive by present engineering standards. [Ralph Merkle, Self replication and nanotechnology, Zyvex, US, 2000 ]

semiconductor: Material whose conductivity, due to charges of both signs, is normally in the range between that of metals and insulators and in which the electric charge carrier density can be changed by external means. [IUPAC Compendium]

Strictly speaking, a semiconductor is a material with an electrical conductivity between that of an insulator and that of a conductor. Semiconductors can be single elements such as silicon or germanium or compounds such as gallium arsenide or indium phosphide. In day to day usage, however, the term "semiconductor" more frequently refers to the components manufactured from semiconductor materials. STMicroelectronics glossary 
Semiconductor glossary
, Jerzy Ruzyllo,

single beam gradient trap: See under optical tweezers 
Google = about  31 Aug. 8, 2002; about 73 June 23, 2004

Single Electron Devices SED: Nanoscale devices that control the movement of individual electrons, may one day make it possible for integrated circuits to have as many as 10 billion electronic devices in a square centimeter, a density 1000 times greater than that believed feasible for conventional integrated circuits. In development since the mid- 1980s, these devices consist of two electrodes (typically 30 nm wide) separated by a 1 nm- deep insulating layer through which single electrons can tunnel. These devices have many potential applications, from building more sensitive measurement devices to understanding fundamental problems in physics. In the last several years, researchers have built two- junction devices that share a middle electrode. These devices are called "single- electron transistors," because, like conventional transistors, their current can be controlled by modifying the surface charge on the middle electrode, making it an ideal element for an integrated circuit. A circuit made of single- electron devices, however, would have to be operated at a temperature of 4 K or below to reduce thermal effects which disturb the movements of single electrons in the solid. (Scientific American, June 1992.) [American Institute of Physics  Bulletin of Physics News June 19, 1992]   Google = about  1,810 Aug. 8, 2002; about 4,100 June 23, 2004  Broader terms: microdevices, microelectronics, nanodevices.

single electron transistors: See under SED Single Electron Devices

smart matter: See under MEMS
Google = about  947 Aug. 8, 2002; about 885 June 23, 2004

supramolecular electronics:  Wikipedia  Google = about 338 Dec. 15, 2005, about 1,670 Dec 26, 2007

top- down nanotechnology: Engineers taking existing devices, such as transistors, and making them smaller. Top- down or mechanical nanotechnology will have the greatest impact on our everyday lives in the near future. [Noah Robischon "Nanotechnology and the battle to build smaller" Discovery Channel 1998]  Google = about  48  Aug. 8, 2002; about 109 June 23, 2004 Related term: soft lithography  Compare bottom- up nanotechnology

transducers: Labels, signaling & detection glossary

universal constructor: A machine that can replicate itself and - in addition - make other industrial products. Centre for Biomimetic and Natural Technology, Bath University, UK  Google = about 1,650
Wikipedia   Related term: rapid prototyper

uTAS: See microTAS

yoctomole, zeptomole: Ultrasensitivity glossary  Google = yoctomole about 36 Aug. 8, 2002; about 73 June 23, 2004, about 795 Dec 26, 2007 Google = zeptomole about 254  Aug. 8, 2002; about 561 June 23, 2004, about 6,550 Dec 26, 2007

Drexler, K. Eric, Glossary, Nanosystems, Foresight Institute 
IBM Research: Nanotechnology:
Nanotechnology Glossary, Nanotechnology Now, 2004 
smalltimes glossary, 2002, 30 + definitions.
STMicroelectronics glossary 

Alpha glossary index

How to look for other unfamiliar  terms

IUPAC definitions are reprinted with the permission of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Contact | Privacy Statement | Alphabetical Glossary List | Tips & glossary FAQs | Site Map