Friday, October 11, 2013

Carbon nanotubes



These 'poppies' are carbon nanotubes (CNTs), bundled together and pulled inwards into tiny pillars. Researchers have proposed the use of CNTs in numerous applications because of their remarkable properties. In biomedical settings, they could be used for a novel transdermal drug delivery system, acting as the scaffolds for microneedles. 

These have the potential to provide a rapid, self-administered and painless alternative to hypodermic needles. A technique called capillography makes the CNT pillars collapse inwards, increasing their packing density. The greater the packing density, the less pain patients will feel when the needle penetrates their skin
Photograph: Adrianus Aria/California Institute of Technology/Materials Research Society/Science as Art Competition