7 talks on how nanotechnology is changing medicine, science, fashion and more

A piece from TEDxBermuda speaker Lauren Bowker's "Seeing the Unseen" collection of nanoparticle-inspired fashion (Photo: Lauren Bowker)

A piece from TEDxBermuda speaker Lauren Bowker’s “Seeing the Unseen” collection of nanoparticle-inspired fashion (Photo: Lauren Bowker)

Today, scientists Jean-Pierre Sauvage, J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work developing nanomachines powered by the molecular motor. To celebrate this milestone in science, seven talks on the field of nanotechnology:

Nanoparticles in the fight against cancer

Sabine Hauert works to manipulate the behaviors of cancer-fighting nanoparticles. These specialized, tiny particles — about a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair — are designed to swarm and infiltrate cancerous tumors and deliver drugs. But designing these particles isn’t easy — so researchers like Hauert have turned to the crowd to help create particles that complete specific tasks. Her website — NanoDoc — lets users run simulations of custom-designed nanoparticles — allowing users to manipulate particles’ size, shape, coating, cargo, and materials to try and get the result they want.

Nanostructures to fight climate change

Chemist Beatriz Seoane de la Cuesta is dedicated to finding new ways to capture CO2 from the atmosphere. Currently, she is working on building a sort of sieve to filter CO2 molecules out of air using porous nanostructures. She likens her filter to a sponge with different-sized pores to fit different-sized molecules. At TEDxDelft, she explains how this works.

Super strong and super light nano

Imagine being able to hold all the material it took to build an airplane in the palm of your hand. Julia Greer combines different design structures at varying nano-scales to create super strong and super light materials. Her research is changing the landscape of materials available today. At TEDxCERN, she explains how.

Dye that reacts to the nanoparticles around you

Lauren Bowker works at the intersection of science and design. The “textile alchemist” has used nano structures to create a dye that reacts to chemicals in the atmosphere and uses it to color her clothes — including a jacket that changes colors based on the levels of carbon emissions in the air around you.

How to build synthetic muscle from nanomaterials

Richard Spontak develops synthetic muscle that he hopes will someday help people recover from injury and gain a better range of motion. How? From super-stretchy, rubbery, recyclable material made from a network of nanoparticles.

Could you charge a phone with bacteria from mud?

Laurine Burdorf studies the bacteria in mud beneath the sea — specifically electrical cord bacteria. These organisms are named such for their remarkable ability to carry electrical currents and create natural electric grids on the seafloor. At TEDxGhent, Burdorf explains the power system behind the bacteria and hypothesizes how we could use this in combination with nanotechnology to create future electric tech.

A rapid-fire take on the potential of nano

At TEDxLund, professor of nanophysics Heiner Linke discusses how breakthroughs in nanotechnolgy — include molecular motors — could change the world.


Watch all the talks in the playlist below:

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