Turbine blade with a thin ceramic coating of yttrium-stabilized zirconium oxide (YSZ): such a thermal barrier coating allows a higher operating temperature in the turbine. © Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

Environmentally friendly: IWS Dresden ceramic coatings can reduce engine exhaust gases

To make aircrafts more economical, environmentally friendly and robust, Fraunhofer engineers from Dresden have developed a new ceramic heat shield technology. In this process, a powder of yttrium-stabilized zirconium oxide (YSZ) is added to water to form a suspension. Quickly and cost-effectively this liquid powder mixture can be sprayed onto turbine blades or other aircraft parts. Such and similar thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) facilitate aircraft engines, which consume less fuel and do not contaminate the atmosphere as much.

Scaled model of a gas turbine for power generation; completely manufactured with additive manufacturing technologies. Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden

Together with the H+E-Produktentwicklung GmbH in Moritzburg, Saxony, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has developed a true-to-scale gas turbine that impressively demonstrates the current potentials and limitations of powder bed-based additive technologies. The technology demonstrator "Siemens SGT6-8000 H", a scaled model of a gas turbine for power generation on a scale of 1:25, was completely manufactured with additive processes except for the shaft.

OLED luminous strips enable luminous surfaces with segmented control - stripe with segmented control. © Fraunhofer FEP

At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.

Time-lapse images show that the enzyme ‘breathes’ during turnover: it expands and contracts aligned with the catalytic sub-steps. Its two halves communicate via a string of water molecules. Jörg Harms / MPSD

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Potsdam (both in Germany) and the University of Toronto (Canada) have pieced together a detailed time-lapse movie revealing all the major steps during the catalytic cycle of an enzyme. Surprisingly, the communication between the protein units is accomplished via a water-network akin to a string telephone. This communication is aligned with a ‘breathing’ motion, that is the expansion and contraction of the protein.

Left: how the t-MALDI-2-MS imaging method works. Right: an example, in which the complex structure of a mouse’s cerebellum is shown by means of the superimposition of three ion signals. Nature Research/Marcel Niehaus

Scientists at Münster University investigate cells using dual-beam laser mass spectrometry:Cells are the basic building blocks of life. The chemical composition of cells can be determined by mass spectrometry. Scientists at the University of Münster present a method which has improved the spatial resolution of “MALDI” mass spectrometry by around one-thousandth of a millimetre. The results have been published in "Nature Methods".

Porous silicon layers for more efficient lithium-ion batteries. © Marynchenko Oleksandr / shutterstock, Photo montage: Fraunhofer FEP

Within the scope of the project PoSiBat (funding reference 100275833), Fraunhofer FEP scientists were able to develop a non-toxic and efficient manufacturing process for porous silicon layers. The results of the recently completed project will be presented at the Thin Film Technology for Energy Systems workshop at V 2019 and at the Fraunhofer FEP booth No. 22 (October 8 –10, 2019, in Dresden, Germany). Lithium-ion batteries are well established due to their good properties. They have a higher energy density than other batteries. Therefore, they are used in cameras, watches, mobile devices and especially for electric vehicles. However, from a technical point of view they still offer a high potential for improving and optimizing of battery cells.

At the interface between silicon dioxide and silicon carbide, irregular clusters of carbon rings occur, which disturb the electronic function. University of Basel, Departement Physik/Swiss Nanoscience Institute

In power electronics, semiconductors are based on the element silicon – but the energy efficiency of silicon carbide would be much higher. Physicists of the University of Basel, the Paul Scherrer Institute and ABB explain what exactly is preventing the use of this combination of silicon and carbon in the scientific journal Applied Physics Letters.

Albumin-coated nano-diamonds can cross the blood-brain barrier and be used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in the brain.

The recording of images of the human brain and its therapy in neurodegenerative diseases is still a major challenge in current medical research. The so-called blood-brain barrier, a kind of filter system of the body between the blood system and the central nervous system, constrains the supply of drugs or contrast media that would allow therapy and image acquisition. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have now produced tiny diamonds, so-called "nanodiamonds", which could serve as a platform for both the therapy and diagnosis of brain diseases.

Two CD34+ stem cells containing carbon nanoparticles (coloured magenta); the cell nuclei can be seen in blue. The researchers found that the nanoparticles are encapsulated in the cell lysosomes. HHU / Stefan Fasbender

Publication in Scientific Reports

Carbon nanoparticles are a promising tool for biomedical applications, for example for targeted transportation of biologically active compounds into cells. A team of researchers from the Physics, Medicine and Chemistry departments at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has now examined whether these particles are potentially dangerous for the organism and how cells cope with them once they have been incorporated. The findings of the interdisciplinary study have just been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Visional minimal invasive microsurgery - with the first-time real-time tracking of mobile micro-objects deep in the tissue, a decisive step has been taken. Picture Credit: Science Picture Co / Alamy Stock Photo

Due to modern advances in medicine ever smaller objects are moved through the human body: nanotherapeutics, micro-implants, mini-catheters and tiny medical instruments. The next generation of minimally invasive microsurgery will enable small micro robots to move with their own drive through the body and through the tissue to transport substances and micro-objects. Therefore, new methods must be developed to locate these micro-objects precisely and to monitor their movement. Conventional methods such as ultrasound, X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) fail either due to insufficient resolution or due to long-term damage from radioactivity or high magnetic fields.

Organ-on-a-chip system. Fraunhofer IGB

Impact statement: New technology that recreates some of the complexity of the human retina may help scientists study eye disease and screen for drug side effects that harm the eye. The development of a retina-on-a-chip, which combines living human cells with an artificial tissue-like system, has been described today in the open-access journal eLife. This cutting-edge tool may provide a useful alternative to existing models for studying eye disease and allow scientists to test the effects of drugs on the retina more efficiently.

Cryo-EM structure of the T. thermophilus V/A-type ATP synthase. The background shows wind-powered water pump. (c) by IST Austria, 2019

IST Austria scientists determine the first structure of a cell’s rotary engine using state-of-art microscopy. Cells rely on protein complexes known as ATP synthases or ATPases for their energy needs – adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules power most of the processes sustaining life. Structural biologist Professor Leonid Sazanov and his research group from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) in Klosterneuburg, Austria have now determined the first atomic structure of the representative of the V/A-ATPase family, filling in the gap in the evolutionary tree of these essential molecular machines. These results obtained using the latest cryo-electron microscopy methods revealed a turbine or water mill similar structure of the enzyme and have now been published in the journal Science.

Transparent nylon could be an important building block for the development of transparent electronic circuits in the future. © MPI-P

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) led by Dr. Kamal Asadi have solved a four decade long challenge of producing very thin nylon films that can be used for instance in electronic memory components. The thin nylon films are several 100 times thinner than human hair and could thus be attractive for applications in bendable electronic devices or for electronics in clothing.

Multi-Electrode Layout for Parallel Analysis of Multiple Cell Samples in Microfluic-Chips. Fraunhofer EMFT, Bernd Müller.

In the ViroSens project, researchers from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Sulzbach and Regensburg are working together with industrial partners on a novel analytical method to make the potency testing of vaccines more efficient and cost-effective. The method combines electrochemical sensor technology and biotechnology and, for the first time, enables a completely automated analysis of the infection status of test cells.

Defects in thin molybdenum sulfide layers, generated by bombardment with helium ions, can serve as nano-light sources for quantum technologies. Image: Christoph Hohmann / MCQST

An international team headed up by Alexander Holleitner and Jonathan Finley, physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has succeeded in placing light sources in atomically thin material layers with an accuracy of just a few nanometers. The new method allows for a multitude of applications in quantum technologies, from quantum sensors and transistors in smartphones through to new encryption technologies for data transmission.

Ribosome binding of NAC is mediated by a ribosome binding regulatory arm (N-αNAC, blue) and a translation sensor domain (N-βNAC, green). Martin Gamerdinger

In a stunning discovery, molecular biologists from the University of Konstanz and ETH Zurich have been able to demonstrate that the nascent polypeptide-associated complex (NAC) senses newly synthesized proteins upon birth inside the ribosomal tunnel. New research published in Molecular Cell on 31 July 2019 conducted by researchers from the University of Konstanz’s Collaborative Research Centre 969 “Chemical and Biological Principles of Cellular Proteostasis” shows that the nascent polypeptide-associated complex (NAC) acts as a major protein identifying and, possibly, sorting device inside the cell.