Eventually they’re hoping this work will lead to insights about diabetes and cancer. In the meantime, researchers at RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies (Japan) have developed a new imaging technique that allows them to observe metal molecules interacting with biomolecules in real-time. From the May 2, 2013 news release on EurekAlert,
Metal elements and molecules interact in the body but visualizing them together has always been a challenge. Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies in Japan have developed a new molecular imaging technology that enables them to visualize bio-metals and bio-molecules simultaneously in a live mouse. This new technology will enable researchers to study the complex interactions between metal elements and molecules in living organisms.
It’s well known we need zinc, iron, and copper in our bodies for proper functioning. Until now, no one has been able to observe the interaction in real-time, from the RIKEN May 2, 2013 press release (which originated the EurekAlert news release),
In the study, the researchers were able to visualise two radioactive agents injected in a tumor-bearing mouse, as well as an anti-tumor antibody labelled with a PET molecular probe agent, simultaneously in the live mouse.
This new revolutionary technology is expected to offer new insights into the relationships between bio-metal elements and associated bio-molecules, and the roles they play in diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
The researchers had to create a camera capable of visualizing the interactions (from the RIKEN press release),
Dr. Shuichi Enomoto, Dr. Shinji Motomura and colleagues, from the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies have developed a gamma-ray imaging camera enabling them to detect the gamma-rays emitted by multiple bio-metal elements in the body and study their behavior.
Their second prototype of the system, called GREI–II and presented today in the Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, enables them to visualize multiple bio-metal elements more than 10 times faster than before, and to do so simultaneously with positron emission tomography (PET).
RIKEN is Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution renowned for high-quality research in a diverse range of scientific disciplines. Founded in 1917 as a private research foundation in Tokyo, RIKEN has grown rapidly in size and scope, today encompassing a network of world-class research centers and institutes across Japan.
A Feb. 8, 2013 news item on Nanowerk features an announcement of an international spintronics project, SpinNet, being funded by the federal government of Germany,
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is sponsoring a joint project involving Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Mainz, Tohoku University in Japan, Stanford University, and IBM Research. The project will be focusing on the field of spintronics, a key technology that enables the creation of new energy-efficient IT devices. At Mainz researchers from JGU’s Institute of Physics and the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry participate with many of the activities taking place under the Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ) Graduate School of Excellence. Over the next four years, the SpinNet network will be funded with about EUR 1 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). SpinNet is one of the 21 projects that the German Academic Exchange Service approved from the total of 120 proposals submitted in the first round and from the 40 entries that made it to the second round.
Under the aegis of the MAINZ Graduate School, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz had submitted a proposal for financial support as a so-called “Thematic Network”. With this program, the German Academic Exchange Service aims to provide support to research-based multilateral and international networks with leading partners from abroad. The inclusion of non-university research facilities, such as IBM Research, was encouraged and the program is intended to help create attractive conditions that will help attract excellent international young researchers from partner universities to Germany. Another purpose is to enable the participating German universities to work at the cutting edge of international research by creating centers of competence. The MAINZ Graduate School has been closely cooperating with the partners for years and SpinNet will help to further this cooperation and fund complementary activities.
SpinNet will concentrate on the development of energy-saving information technology using the potential provided by spintronics. The current semiconductor-based systems will reach their limits in the foreseeable future, meaning that innovative technologies need to be developed if components are to be miniaturized further and energy consumption is reduced. In this context, spintronics is a highly promising approach. While conventional electronic systems in IT components employ only the charge of electrons, spintronics also involves the intrinsic angular momentum or spin of electrons for information processing. Using this technology, it should be possible to develop non-volatile storage and logic systems and these would then reduce energy consumption while also radically simplifying systems architecture. The new research network will be officially launched on April 1, 2013; with the inaugural meeting of the partners taking place at the Newspin3 Conference that is to be held on April 2-4, 2013 in Mainz.
You can find more information and videos about this initiative and/or spintronics by clicking the news item link or news release link. There does not seem to be a SpinNet website. NewsSpin3 conference information can be found here along with details about the NewSpin3 summer school which takes place immediately following the conference. Spintronics was last mentioned here in a Jan. 31, 2013 posting about a 3-D microchip developed from a spintronics chip.
The big news is that a multinational team has managed to spin carbon nanotubes (after 10 years of work) into threads that look like black cotton and display both the properties of metal wires and of carbon fibers. Here’s more from the Jan. 10, 2013 news item on ScienceDaily,
“We finally have a nanotube fiber with properties that don’t exist in any other material,” said lead researcher Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry at Rice. “It looks like black cotton thread but behaves like both metal wires and strong carbon fibers.”
The research team includes academic, government and industrial scientists from Rice; Teijin Aramid’s headquarters in Arnhem, the Netherlands; the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel; and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Dayton, Ohio.
The phenomenal properties of carbon nanotubes have enthralled scientists from the moment of their discovery in 1991. The hollow tubes of pure carbon, which are nearly as wide as a strand of DNA, are about 100 times stronger than steel at one-sixth the weight. Nanotubes’ conductive properties — for both electricity and heat — rival the best metal conductors. They also can serve as light-activated semiconductors, drug-delivery devices and even sponges to soak up oil.
Unfortunately, carbon nanotubes are also the prima donna of nanomaterials [emphasis mine]; they are difficult to work with, despite their exquisite potential. For starters, finding the means to produce bulk quantities of nanotubes took almost a decade. Scientists also learned early on that there were several dozen types of nanotubes — each with unique material and electrical properties; and engineers have yet to find a way to produce just one type. Instead, all production methods yield a hodgepodge of types, often in hairball-like clumps.
Creating large-scale objects from these clumps of nanotubes has been a challenge. A threadlike fiber that is less than one-quarter the thickness of a human hair will contain tens of millions of nanotubes packed side by side. Ideally, these nanotubes will be perfectly aligned — like pencils in a box — and tightly packed. Some labs have explored means of growing such fibers whole, but the production rates for these “solid-state” fibers have proven quite slow compared with fiber-production methods that rely on a chemical process called “wet spinning.” In this process, clumps of raw nanotubes are dissolved in a liquid and squirted through tiny holes to form long strands.
Thank you to the writer of the Rice University news release for giving me the phrase “prima donna of nanomaterials.”
The news release goes on to describe the years of work and collaboration needed to arrive at this point,
Shortly after arriving at Rice in 2000, Pasquali began studying CNT wet-spinning methods with the late Richard Smalley, a nanotechnology pioneer and the namesake of Rice’s Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology. In 2003, two years before his untimely death, Smalley worked with Pasquali and colleagues to create the first pure nanotube fibers. The work established an industrially relevant wet-spinning process for nanotubes that was analogous to the methods used to create high-performance aramid fibers — like Teijin’s Twaron — which are used in bulletproof vests and other products. But the process needed to be refined. The fibers weren’t very strong or conductive, due partly to gaps and misalignment of the millions of nanotubes inside them.
“Achieving very high packing and alignment of the carbon nanotubes in the fibers is critical,” said study co-author Yeshayahu Talmon, director of Technion’s Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, who began collaborating with Pasquali about five years ago.
The next big breakthrough came in 2009, when Talmon, Pasquali and colleagues discovered the first true solvent for nanotubes — chlorosulfonic acid. For the first time, scientists had a way to create highly concentrated solutions of nanotubes, a development that led to improved alignment and packing.
“Until that time, no one thought that spinning out of chlorosulfonic acid was possible because it reacts with water,” Pasquali said. “A graduate student in my lab, Natnael Bahabtu, found simple ways to show that CNT fibers could be spun from chlorosulfonic acid solutions. That was critical for this new process.”
Pasquali said other labs had found that the strength and conductivity of spun fibers could also be improved if the starting material — the clumps of raw nanotubes — contained long nanotubes with few atomic defects. In 2010, Pasquali and Talmon began experimenting with nanotubes from different suppliers and working with AFRL scientists to measure the precise electrical and thermal properties of the improved fibers.
During the same period, Otto [Marcin Otto, Business Development Manager at Teijin Aramid] was evaluating methods that different research centers had proposed for making CNT fibers. He envisaged combining Pasquali’s discoveries, Teijin Aramid’s know-how and the use of long CNTs to further the development of high performance CNT fibers. In 2010, Teijin Aramid set up and funded a project with Rice, and the company’s fiber-spinning experts have collaborated with Rice scientists throughout the project.
“The Teijin scientific and technical help led to immediate improvements in strength and conductivity,” Pasquali said.
Study co-author Junichiro Kono, a Rice professor of electrical and computer engineering, said, “The research showed that the electrical conductivity of the fibers could be tuned and optimized with techniques that were applied after initial production. This led to the highest conductivity ever reported for a macroscopic CNT fiber.”
The fibers reported in Science have about 10 times the tensile strength and electrical and thermal conductivity of the best previously reported wet-spun CNT fibers, Pasquali said. The specific electrical conductivity of the new fibers is on par with copper, gold and aluminum wires, but the new material has advantages over metal wires.
Here’s an explanatory video the researchers have provided,
“Our carbon nanotube fibers combine high thermal and electrical conductivity, like that seen in metals, with the flexibility, robust handling and strength of textile fibers”, explained Marcin Otto, Business Development Manager at Teijin Aramid. “With that novel combination of properties it is possible to use CNT fibers in many applications in the aerospace, automotive, medical and (smart) clothing industries.”
Teijin’s cooperation and involvement was crucial to the project. Twaron technology enabled improved performance, and an industrially scalable production method. That makes it possible to find applications for CNT fibers in a range of commercial or industrial products. “This research and ongoing tests offer us a glimpse into the potential future possibilities of this new fiber. For example, we have been very excited by the interest of innovative medical doctors and scientists exploring the possibilities to use CNT fiber in surgical operations and other applications in the medical field”, says Marcin Otto. Teijin Aramid expects to replace the copper in data cables and light power cables used in the aerospace and automotive industries, to make aircraft and high end cars lighter and more robust at the same time. Other applications could include integrating light weight electronic components, such as antennas, into composites, or replacing cooling systems in electronics where the high thermal conductivity of carbon nanotube fiber can help to dissipate heat.
Teijin Aramid is currently trialing samples of CNT fiber on a small scale with the most active prospective customers. Building up a robust supply chain is high on the project team’s list of priorities. As well as their carbon fiber, aramid fiber and polyethylene tape, this new carbon nanotube fiber is expected to allow Teijin to offer customers an even broader portfolio of high performance materials.
Teijin Group (which is headquartered in Japan) has been mentioned here before notably in a July 19, 2010 posting about a textile inspired by a butterfly’s wing (Morphotex) which, sadly, is no longer being produced as noted in a more recent April 12, 2012 posting about Teijin’s then new fiber ‘Nanofront™’ for use in sports socks.
I usually mention International Nanotechnology Exhibition and Conference held in Tokyo as it is one of the larger nanotechnology shows in the world. Last year, over they recorded over 45,000 visits, 649 exhibitors, and 802 booths during the three day show which was held Feb. 14 – 17, 2012 according to the report on 2012 show.
This year’s nano tech 2013 will run from Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, 2013 and thanks to the folks at NanoInk for reminding me of the show in their Jan. 10,2013 news release,
NanoInk, Inc.® is pleased to announce that its NanoFabrication Systems and NanoProfessor® Divisions will be exhibiting and making presentations at the 12th International Nanotechnology Exhibition and Conference, from Wednesday, January 30 through Friday, February 1 in Tokyo, Japan. The conference will be held at the East Exhibition Hall 4, 5, 6 & Conference Tower at Tokyo Big Sight. NanoInk’s NanoFabrication Systems and NanoProfessor Divisions will be at booth number 5F-15. Technical staff will be available to provide demonstrations of the NLP 2000 System, and answer questions about NanoInk’s Dip Pen Nanolithography® (DPN®) technology, applications, and products for both research and education.
On Friday, February 1, at 11:30, Dean Hart, chief commercial officer for NanoInk, will be making a presentation in the Main Theater (East Hall 5) titled, “Meeting the Nanotech Workforce Needs Through Hands-On Education.” Following that, Saju Nettikadan, applications director for NanoInk, will be making a presentation at 13:00 in the same location titled, “New Advances in Applications Using Dip-Pen Nanolithography.”
The NLP 2000 is also the cornerstone of NanoInk’s NanoProfessor Division, which is the global leader in handson undergraduate nanotechnology education. In just over 24 months, the NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program has been chosen to serve as the foundation for hands-on undergraduate nanotechnology education by over 20 institutions in five countries. It alternates between classroom lectures and engaging, handson nanoscale lab work. The NanoProfessor curriculum includes a textbook authored by leading nanotechnology experts, covering the topics of Nanotechnology Instrumentation, Imaging and Nanofabrication Techniques, Nanophysics, Nanochemistry, Nanobiology, and Perspectives on Environmental, Health, and Safety within Nanotechnology. In conducting the hands-on lab experiments, students work with state-of-the-art, nano-centric instrumentation including NanoInk’s NLP 2000 Desktop NanoFabrication System.
’tis the season for recycling news; this research about making biomolecular movies was published in Nature Protocols in June 2012 according to the Jan. 4, 2013 news item on phys.org (Note: Links have been removed),
Toshio Ando and co-workers at Kanazawa University [Japan] have developed and used HS-AFM [high-speed atomic force microscopy] to increase our understanding of several protein systems through microscopic movies of unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. The team have now published a guide to video recording these important cell components, so that other researchers can benefit from this unique technology.
To produce an image, HS-AFM acquires information on sample height at many points by tapping the sample with the sharp tip of a tiny cantilever. Depending on the application, this might involve recording the amplitude and phase of oscillations, or the resonant frequency of the cantilever.
Ando and co-workers use very small cantilevers that afford 10 to 20 times the sensitivity of larger, conventional cantilevers. Copies of their home-made apparatus are now commercially available through the manufacturer Research Institute of Biomolecule Metrology Co., Ltd. (RIBM) in Tsukuba, and record images at least ten times more quickly than their competitors.
There are more details in the news item or for those who want to read the guide, here’s a citation and a link,
Lastly, should anyone wish to purchase the apparatus developed at Kanazawa University from the Research Institute of Biomolecule Metrology Co., Ltd., here’s more about it from the company’s home page,
Dynamic Visualization of nano-scale world
HS-AFM*1.0 – Ando model – is the High-Speed Atomic Force Microscope which was developed based on the research achievements accomplished by Prof. Ando in Kanazawa University. This is the world’s first instrument that broke through the weak point of conventional AFM “low-speed”, and realized the video rate scan. The high-speed scan enables us to capture swinging molecules in solution clearly without blurring. Consequently, the strong anchoring of a sample to the substrate is unnecessary and a dynamic observation is achieved without losing the activities of soft biomolecules.
There’s been a lot about the memristor, being developed at HP Labs, at the University of Michigan, and elsewhere, on this blog and significantly less on other approaches to creating nanodevices with neuromorphic properties by researchers in Japan and in the US. The Dec. 20, 2012 news item on ScienceDaily notes,
Researchers in Japan and the US propose a nanoionic device with a range of neuromorphic and electrical multifunctions that may allow the fabrication of on-demand configurable circuits, analog memories and digital-neural fused networks in one device architecture.
… Now Rui Yang, Kazuya Terabe and colleagues at the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan and the University of California, Los Angeles, in the US have developed two-, three-terminal WO3-x-based nanoionic devices capable of a broad range of neuromorphic and electrical functions.
The researchers draw similarities between the device properties — volatile and non-volatile states and the current fading process following positive voltage pulses — with models for neural behaviour —that is, short- and long-term memory and forgetting processes. They explain the behaviour as the result of oxygen ions migrating within the device in response to the voltage sweeps. Accumulation of the oxygen ions at the electrode leads to Schottky-like potential barriers and the resulting changes in resistance and rectifying characteristics. The stable bipolar switching behaviour at the Pt/WO3-x interface is attributed to the formation of the electric conductive filament and oxygen absorbability of the Pt electrode.
As the researchers conclude, “These capabilities open a new avenue for circuits, analog memories, and artificially fused digital neural networks using on-demand programming by input pulse polarity, magnitude, and repetition history.”
For those who wish to delve more deeply, here’s the citation (from the ScienceDaily news item),
The news release does not state explicitly why this would be considered an on-demand device. The article is behind a paywall.
There was a recent attempt to mimic brain processing not based in nanoelectronics but on mimicking brain activity by creating virtual neurons. A Canadian team at the University of Waterloo led by Chris Eliasmith made a sensation with SPAUN (Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network) in late Nov. 2012 (mentioned in my Nov. 29, 2012 posting).
Alex Bellos in an Oct. 16, 2012 article for the UK’s Guardian newspaper discusses a unique practice combining spirituality and mathematics (Note: I have removed a link),
… one of the most intriguing practices in the history of mathematics.
Between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, the Japanese used to hang up pictures of maths theorems at their shrines.
Called “sangaku”, the pictures were both religious offerings and public announcements of the latest discoveries.
It’s a little like as if Isaac Newton had decided to hang up his monographs at the local church instead of publishing them in books.
More than 700 sangaku are known to have survived, and the above shape is a detail from the oldest one that exists in its complete form.
Here’s a picture of a sangaku that Bellos took while in Japan to make a documentary on numeracy for BBC Radio 4,
Picture: Alex Bellos
The purpose of a sangaku was threefold: to show off mathematical accomplishment, to thank Buddha and to pray for more mathematical knowledge.
There are more images and details in Bellos article about this intriguing practice. I look forward to hearing more about Bellos’ documentary, Land of the Rising Sums, due to be broadcast Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 on BBC Radio 4 from 11 – 11:30 am GMT.
In reading the Oct. 14, 2012 news release from CelluForce about its presence at conferences in Japan and in the UK, I was interested to note the terminology being used,
CelluForce, the world leader in the commercial development of NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC), also referred to as Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNC),[emphases mine] is participating in two upcoming industry conferences: the ‘Nanocellulose Summit 2012’ in Kyoto, Japan on October 15, 2012, and ‘Investing in Cellulose 2012’, in London, UK, on November 5, 2012.
All of the materials from Canadian companies and not-for-profits have used the term nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) exclusively, until now. I gather there’ve been some international discussions regarding terminology and that the term cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) is, at the least, a synonym if not the preferred term.
Here’s more about the conference in Japan (from the CelluForce news release),
The 209th Symposium on Sustainable Humanosphere: Nanocellulose Summit 2012’welcomes the world’s top scientists and large research project leaders involved with nanocellulose to present on each country’s current status and prospects concerning nanocellulose research and industrialization.
What: CelluForce – What do we do?
Who: Richard Berry, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, CelluForce
The world’s top scientists and large research project leaders involved with nanocellulose (cellulose nanofiber (CNF) [sic] and cellulose nanocrystal (CNC or NCC) ) brought together. They will talk about each country’s current status and prospects concerning nanocellulose research and industrialization.
You can find more details, including the agenda, on the conference webpage.
Here’s more about the investment-oriented conference taking place in the UK,
In its second edition, ‘Investing in Cellulose 2012’ is a global conference on specialty cellulose, organized by CelCo. The company focuses primarily on the specialty cellulose business including the organization of cellulose training courses as wellasadvisory and consultancy to the industry.
What:Nanocrystalline technologies: Bringing Innovation to the Market
Who: Jean Moreau, President and CEO, CelluForce
When: Monday, November 5, 2012, 2:30 p.m. BST
Where: The Royal Horseguards Hotel, 2 Whitehall Court Whitehall, London SW1A 2EJ, United Kingdom
I have found an ‘Investing in Cellulose 2012‘ conference webpage (of sorts) on the CelCo website (Note: I have removed some of the formatting),
Based on the success of 2011 specialty cellulose conference and encouraged by a 92% return intention response we are pleased to announce that Investing in Cellulose -2012 Conference will take place in London on November 5th.
A cocktail will kick off the event the preceding night and close around 18:00 of November 5th.
So please SAVE THE DATE in your calendar and contact us HERE
We have taken into account your wishes and suggestions for this second year event and some of the changes will include:
Antitrust lawyer attending meeting allowing larger participation esp. from USA.
New topics to allow ether and viscose market to be better covered. Technology section during the day.
Seat in lunch accommodations and air condition.
Larger china representation.
More downstream value chain participation.
We will share later this year the Agenda but feel free to let us know if there were any particular topics you would like us to cover or you would like to present.
The most I could find out about the UK conference organizer is that Celco Cellulose Consulting is a Swiss company founded by two partners.
“We started with a paste of pre-existing fullerene molecules mixed with carbon and helium, shot it with a laser, and instead of destroying the fullerenes we were surprised to find they’d actually grown,” they wrote. The fullerenes were able to absorb and incorporate carbon from the surrounding gas.
By using fullenes that contained heavy metal atoms in their centers, the scientists showed that the carbon cages remained closed throughout the process.
“If the cages grew by splitting open, we would have lost the metal atoms, but they always stayed locked inside,” Dunk [Paul Dunk, a doctoral student in chemistry and biochemistry at Florida State and lead author of the study published in Nature Communications] noted.
The researchers worked with a team of MagLab chemists using the lab’s 9.4-tesla Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer to analyze the dozens of molecular species produced when they shot the fullerene paste with the laser. The instrument works by separating molecules according to their masses, allowing the researchers to identify the types and numbers of atoms in each molecule. The process is used for applications as diverse as identifying oil spills, biomarkers and protein structures.
Dexter Johnson in his Aug. 6, 2012 posting on the Nanoclast blog on the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) provides some context and commentary (Note: I have removed a link),
When Richard Smalley, Robert Curl, James Heath, Sean O’Brien, and Harold Kroto prepared the first buckminsterfullerene (C60) (or buckyball), they kicked off the next 25 years of nanomaterial science.
Here’s an artist’s illustration of what these scientists have achieved, fullerene cage growth,
An artist’s representation of fullerene cage growth via carbon absorption from surrounding hot gases. Some of the cages contain lanthanum metal atoms. (Image courtesy National Science Foundation) [downloaded from Florida State University website]
As I noted earlier I’m not alone in my fascination (from the news release),
Many people know the buckyball, also known by scientists as buckminsterfullerene, carbon 60 or C60, from the covers of their school chemistry textbooks. Indeed, the molecule represents the iconic image of “chemistry.” But how these often highly symmetrical, beautiful molecules with fascinating properties form in the first place has been a mystery for a quarter-century. Despite worldwide investigation since the 1985 discovery of C60, buckminsterfullerene and other, non-spherical C60 molecules — known collectively as fullerenes — have kept their secrets. How? They’re born under highly energetic conditions and grow ultra-fast, making them difficult to analyze.
“The difficulty with fullerene formation is that the process is literally over in a flash — it’s next to impossible to see how the magic trick of their growth was performed,” said Paul Dunk, a doctoral student in chemistry and biochemistry at Florida State and lead author of the work.
There’s more than just idle curiosity at work (from the news release),
The buckyball research results will be important for understanding fullerene formation in extraterrestrial environments. Recent reports by NASA showed that crystals of C60 are in orbit around distant suns. This suggests that fullerenes may be more common in the universe than previously thought.
“The results of our study will surely be extremely valuable in deciphering fullerene formation in extraterrestrial environments,” said Florida State’s Harry Kroto, a Nobel Prize winner for the discovery of C60 and co-author of the current study.
The results also provide fundamental insight into self-assembly of other technologically important carbon nanomaterials such as nanotubes and the new wunderkind of the carbon family, graphene.
H/T to Nanowerk’s July 31, 2012 news item titled, Decades-old mystery how buckyballs form has been solved. In addition to Florida State University, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (or MagLab), the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)Institute of Materials in France and Nagoya University in Japan were also involved in the research.
Teijin Fibers was the first company to create a product based on the nanostructures seen on a Morpho butterfly’s wing. The textile was featured in my July 19, 2010 posting about an Australian designer, Donna Sgro, who created a dress made from the company’s Morphotex product. Sadly, the textile is no longer in production as of this April 5, 2012 notice on the AskNature.org website,
Teijin Fibers Limited of Japan produces Morphotex® fibers. No dyes or pigments are used. Rather, color is created based on the varying thickness and structure of the fibers. Energy consumption and industrial waste are reduced because no dye process must be used.
In 2011, Teijin Fibers Limited stopped manufacturing Morphotex.
Teijin Fibers, a company of Teijin Group, has revealed that Srixon is fabricating its new Pro Tour golf gloves called Srixon GGG-S005 using Teijin Fibers’ Nanofront high-strength polyester nanofiber.
The Srixon GGG-S005 gloves deliver remarkable grip performance, enabled by Nanofront’s soft texture and superior frictional properties. The high-strength polyester nanofiber also provides remarkable moisture diffusion and absorption for improved comfort, making the fiber a suitable material for golf gloves.
I went to the Teijin Fibers website to find more information about their Nanofront product,
Here comes the world’s first 700 nanometer ultra fine polyester nanofiber “Nanofront™”. The new “island-in-sea” composite spinning technology has solved the problem of unstable quality associated with conventional mass-production nanofibers. The surface area woven in long fibers structure could be tens of times greater than conventional fibers. This enhances water absorption, absorbability of particulates, and anti-translucency. The texture feels soft to the skin, and reduces irritation drastically. Suitable for a variety of applications, including functional sportswear, innerwear, skin care products, antibacterial filter, precision grinding cloth, etc. Teijin “Nanofront™” opens the future for fibers at last.
Teijin Fibers Limited, the core company of the Teijin Group’s polyester fibers business, announced today that it is supplying its high-strength polyester nanofiber Nanofront for use in running socks made by New Balance. The socks are being marketed by New Balance Japan and sold in its directly owned shops in Tokyo and Osaka, as well as other sports retail stores nationwide from this month.
Teijin's NanoFront New Balance Japan sock (http://www.teijin.co.jp/english/news/2012/ebd120110.html)
Teijin Fibers is striving to be friendly to the global environment, humans and various other creatures to make our society sustainable. We taking initiatives to manufacture environmentally-friendly materials such as using recycled polyester materials which turn garbage into resources, and employing recycling systems for polyester products. Furthermore, we are developing synthetic fibers derived from plants based on the concept of carbon neutral materials that do not use hazardous Substances [sic] as much as possible, and materials that create color without dyestuff.
I assume that there wasn’t enough demand for a product which achieved its colour, like the Morpho butterfly, due to the properties of its structure at the nanoscale.
The company seems to be having better luck with some of their other ‘eco products’. Note: Nanofront does not appear to be one of the company’s ‘eco’ products.