Category Archives: Nano

Chinese scientists to speak on magnesium alloys and their biodegradability in biomedical devices

Two scientists from the Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, will visit the NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials at N.C. A&T on Wednesday.  Drs. Jian Xu and Ling-ling Shi will give a presentation followed by discussion and a lab tour. The research institute is one of the leading research centers for biomedical magnesium alloy research in China.

Their talk will begin at 10 a.m. in the Fort Interdisciplinary Research Center, Room 328.

Topic: Biodegradable Mg-Zn-Y alloys with long-period stacking ordered structure for orthopedic applications

Abstract: Due to their degradability in physiological environments, magnesium alloys exhibit significant advantages in promoting bone growth and avoiding secondary surgery. Thus, they are highly expected as new generation of biodegradable orthopedic devices. However, fast degradable rate, hydrogen release and lower strength remain current challenges. Mg-Zn-Y alloys with long period stacking ordered (LPSO) phase were claimed to have high yield strength. Their potential for orthopedic application is investigated from the perspective of mechanical properties and in vitro assessment of biodegradable rate. Ternary Mg100-3x(Zn1Y2)x (x=1, 2, 3) alloys were studied to evaluate the effect of volume fraction of LPSO phase on mechanical properties and degradability. As indicated, volume fraction of the LPSO structure increases with increasing the Zn/Y concentration. It results in an increase of yield strength and decrease in plasticity, together with the promoted degrading in physiological condition. Minor addition of Zr plays a role of grain size refinement. The alloy with Zr exhibits not only higher strength (~165 MPa) but also mitigates the degradable rate.  Half-life time of alloy corrosion measured by in vitro assessment can be used as a parameter to evaluate the degradability of alloy, which scales with electrochemical passivity behavior.

A&T partnering on nano conference in India

Logo for Nanocon 012 conference in Pune, IndiaN.C. A&T and the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering are among the partners for the international Nanocon 012 conference in Pune, India, this fall. The host institution is Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University. The conference will be held October 18 and 19.

Tuskegee University and the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology of India are also partners.

The theme of the conference is, “NanoTechnology – Innovative Materials, Processes, Products, and Applications.”  Deadline for submission of papers in May 31.  Registration is under way through September 30. Details are in the conference brochure.

Anatomy of an elevator pitch to the NSF

Chart: "Anatomy of an Elevator Pitch"Last fall, the National Science Foundation introduced a new competition for its Engineering Research Centers:

“The ERC Elevator Pitch Competition was inaugurated as as a means to embed entrepreneurial thinking within the centers, a task that represents a cultural shift within academia, where startup activity is usually not part of the tenure process. The competition featured undergraduates, Masters students, PhDs and post-docs all competing for the Innovation Accelerator-sponsored $5,000 prize. Though the contestants were all technology students, they had to speak in business terms, some of them for the first time.”

The ERC for Revolutionizing Biometallic Materials, led by N.C. A&T, won the competition.  Da-Tren Chou, a PhD student in bioengineering from ERC partner the University of Pittsburgh, was the designated pitcher. Here are the details, as reported by the New Venturist website.

“The US needs more Da-Trens – researchers who cross the chasm from the lab to the marketplace by morphing basic research into products and services that can change the world.

Local manufacturing rises, aided by A&T, JSNN

Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

The News & Record editorializes about the Greensboro Partnership’s 2012 State of the City Report:

“Manufacturing increased its share of Greensboro’s workforce from 11.1 percent in 2009 to 11.5 percent in 2010. At the same time, average pay in that sector rose by 5.3 percent to $54,017.

“This is one of the industry segments economic development leaders have focused on for years, with considerable help from the education community. Programs at GTCC, the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, even Guilford County Schools’ recent decision to place a STEM school — science, technology, engineering and math — at N.C. A&T, are critical efforts to provide skilled workers for a rejuvenated manufacturing sector.”

Advaero: Trial of carbon composite successful

Advaero Technologies logoAdvaero Technologies, a nanotechnology spin-off of the N.C. A&T College of Engineering, has successfully completed initial trials of “a revolutionary carbon composite product,” the company has announced. The product is designed to make aircraft components lighter and less expensive.  It uses a new fabric technology and a new resin infusion process from Advaero.

“Utilizing Advaero’s novel resin infusion process, the higher strength-to-weight performance of this new composite and the projected lower processing costs are significant – making it particularly attractive and potentially a ‘game changer’ in the manufacture of commercial aircraft components,” the company said.

Advaero is working on the project with Stanford University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Chomarat Textile Industries.  Dr. Ajit Kelkar, an A&T engineering professor and chairman of the Department of Nanoengineering at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, was a founder of Advaero.  The company is located at the Gateway University Research Park, South Campus.

The complete announcement is here.

$3.5 million for nanoengineering research

Three A&T nanoengineering professors at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) have been awarded research grants totaling $3.5 million.

“The Department of Nanoengineering is off to a fast start in research,” said Dr. James Ryan, dean of the JSNN.  “Competing successfully for $3.5 million in research funding in the department’s first year and a half of operation is a tribute to both the quality of these researchers and the value of their work.”

The awards are:

  • “Computational Modeling and Enabling Technologies for Nano and Bio Systems and Interfaces,” $1.2 million from the Army Research Office. Dr. Ajit Kelkar, professor and chairman of the Department of Nanoengineering, is the principal investigator. This research will focus on the computational modeling of nano and bio systems and interfaces. It will explore the molecular-level interaction of material systems and biological constituents through molecular nano modeling.
  •  “Nano to Continuum Multi-Scale Modeling of Cementitious Materials under Dynamic Loading,” $1.8 million from the Army Research Office.  Dr. Ram Mohan, associate professor of nanoengineering, is the principal investigator. This project will focus on the nano-to-continuum modeling of hierarchical and nanoengineered cementitious materials. Project research efforts will enable the better understanding of the performance of cementitious-based protection materials for defense and civilian uses and will help to develop advanced cementitious concrete panels. For more on Mohan’s research, see the coverage inThe Business Journal.
  •  “A Study of GaAsSb (gallium arsenide antimonide) Nanowires by Molecular Beam Epitaxy for Near Infrared Applications,” $563,497, from the Army Research Office.  Dr. Shanti Iyer, professor of nanoengineering and electrical engineering, is the principal investigator.  This research will focus on semiconductor nanowires, the building blocks for next-generation integrated nanosystems. The project will focus on the synthesis of GaAsSb-based heterostructure nanowires on silicon by molecular beam epitaxy for the fabrication of infrared lasers and photodetectors.  The research will potentially lead to efficient, inexpensive, flexible, portable, and tunable lasers for infrared countermeasures, integrated sensor/detection systems, and other areas of photonics.

A quick weekend read: ERC wins SBIR grant

Front page of The Business Journal, December 9, 2011, editionThe NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials is starting the commercialization process for its biodegradable implant technology for reconstruction and regeneration.  A front-page story in today’s edition of The Business Journal details the work now being funded by an SBIR grant to develop a magnesium-alloy device that aims to make spinal fusion easier and less painful.

JSNN grand opening, tours tomorrow (December 8)

One last reminder and we’ll stop talking about it: The open house at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering will be held Thursday, December 8, 9 am to 3 pm. The school is located at 2907 East Lee Street in Greensboro, just north of Interstate 40.  Your personal invitation is on the JSNN website:

JSNN students move into the new building

Dean Ryan and students on move-in day at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, December 2, 2011

Dean Ryan fires up his students as they get ready to move into the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering building on Friday. More photos are on the JSNN Facebook page.  For more photos of the building, see this photo album, also on the Facebook page.


JSNN building complete; tours to be given Dec. 8

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) building at Gateway University Research Park
The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) building at Gateway University Research Park south campus.

Construction of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering building has been completed (on time and on budget!). The building is located in the Gateway University Research Park south campus at 2907 East Lee Street.

A public open house is scheduled for Thursday December 8, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will include tours of the facility.  Visitors will be able to get a look at several labs, including the CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment, the cleanroom, the Genomics Lab, the Nuclear Magentic Resonance Lab, and the Thermochemistry Lab.

The grand opening and ribbon-cutting for the building will be held on Wednesday December 7.  Speakers at the invitation-only event will include state government and academic leaders, including Gov. Bev Perdue, UNC President Tom Ross and the chancellors of N.C. A&T and UNC, Dr. Harold Martin and Dr. Linda Brady, respectively.  The school is operated by the two universities.