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Volume 16 Issue 4, April 2021

Volume 16 Issue 4

Nanotechnology and global health

Nanotechnology offers a wide range of possible solutions to global health threats, from diagnostic devices, to innovative strategies for drug delivery, to vaccine design. These innovations have the potential to overcome basic biological challenges related to the immune response to pathogens in the case of vaccines, for example, or low on-target drug bioavailability. At the same time, they could also provide solutions to issues of a more practical nature, such as poor health infrastructures and lack of trained personnel in remote areas, or low adherence to therapeutic treatment regimen. However, despite the promises, nanotechnology-based solutions have so far struggled to have a direct and sustained impact on global health. Our Focus issue this month aims to describe the most recent nano-enabled solutions against infectious diseases, and discusses the existing challenges and possibilities associated with their implementation.

The cover is an artistic rendering of the concept of nanotechnology for global health. The background picture is a scanning electron microscopy image of PLGA-based nanoparticles.

See Kirtane et al.

Image: Paramesh Karandikar and David Mankus of the Langer Lab and Nanotechnology Materials Core, respectively. Image created using elements sourced from NASA; CDC/Sarah Bailey Cutchin; CDC/Jessica A. Allen; CDC/Alissa Eckert (MSMI), Dan Higgins (MAMs)



News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Targeting of the peptide hormone relaxin to injured mouse liver, via a nanoparticle/gene therapy approach, switches pro-fibrotic hepatic macrophages to a restorative phenotype that orchestrates tissue repair.

    • Jonathan A. Fallowfield
    • Prakash Ramachandran
  • News & Views |

    The careful optimization of all components of a quantum emitter single photon source yields over 50% end-to-end efficiency, a benchmark for optical quantum technologies.

    • Sarah Thomas
    • Pascale Senellart

Review Articles


  • Letter |

    High efficiency, coherence and indistinguishability are key requirements for the application of single-photon sources for quantum technologies, but hard to achieve concurrently. A gated quantum dot in an open, tunable microcavity now can create single photons on-demand with an end-to-end efficiency of 57%, preserving coherence over microsecond-long trains of single photons.

    • Natasha Tomm
    • Alisa Javadi
    • Richard John Warburton
  • Letter |

    Typically, quasiparticles are injected into superconductors at energies comparable to the pairing energy in order to gain insights into quasiparticle dynamics. Tunnelling spectroscopy of a mesoscopic superconductor under high electric field now provides insights into a regime where electrons impinge with 106 times the pairing energy.

    • Loren D. Alegria
    • Charlotte G. L. Bøttcher
    • Amir Yacoby
  • Letter |

    Increasing the fatigue life of shape memory alloys often compromises other mechanical properties such as yield strength and plastic deformation behaviour. Introducing a mixed nanostructure of crystalline and amorphous phases can enable superelasticity in NiTi micropillars with recoverable strain of 4.3%, yield strength of 2.3 GPa and 108 reversible-phase transition cycles under a stress of 1.8 GPa.

    • Peng Hua
    • Minglu Xia
    • Qingping Sun
  • Letter |

    Stochastic orbital dynamics of individually coupled Co atoms on black phosphorus enables the realization of a Boltzmann machine capable of self-adaption.

    • Brian Kiraly
    • Elze J. Knol
    • Alexander A. Khajetoorians


Amendments & Corrections

Find nanotechnology articles, nanomaterial data and patents all in one place. Visit Nano by Nature Research


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