It’s cleaning up space junk, and is giving us lab-on-chip biofilters for detecting contamination. Now nanotechnology has produced a coating for windows or solar panels that repels grime and dirt. Expanded battery storage capacities for the next electric car could be within reach too.
New Tel Aviv University research, just published in Nature Nanotechnology, details a breakthrough in assembling peptides at the nano-scale level that could make these futuristic visions come true in just a few years.
Operating in the range of 100 nanometers (roughly one-billionth of a meter) and even smaller, graduate student Lihi Adler-Abramovich and a team working under Prof. Ehud Gazit in TAU’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology have found a novel way to control the atoms and molecules of peptides so that they “grow” to resemble small forests of grass.