Large surface area lends superpowers to ultra-porous materials

Metal-organic frameworks as seen under an electron microscope are made up of crystals that together shape multi-dimensional structures with vast surface areas. Image credit - CSIRO/ Dr Paolo Falcaro, Dr Dario Buso, licensed under CC BY 3.0 (color changed)

Some materials are special not for what they contain, but for what they don’t contain. Such is the case with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) – ultra-porous structures that are being developed for a variety of future applications from fire-proofing to drug-delivery. MOFs are, in fact, the most porous materials known to humankind. One metal-organic framework, so-called NU-110, has … Read more

Fighting cancer with nanobodies and computer simulations

Researchers in the Netherlands are hoping to move vaccine therapy from the lab to inside the body.

Stimulating or enhancing someone’s own immune system to fight cancer is not a new concept but scientists are taking it one step further by using nanoscience and computer simulations to improve existing treatments. Immunotherapy drugs are specifically designed to help the immune system respond to cancerous cells, something that it doesn’t naturally do. That’s because cancer cells … Read more