Shining a light on molecules: L-shaped metamaterials can control light direction

Polarized light waves spin clockwise or counterclockwise as they travel, with one direction behaving differently than the other as it interacts with molecules. This directionality, called chirality or handedness, could provide a way to identify and sort specific molecules for use in biomedicine applications, but researchers have had limited control over the direction of the waves — until now.

Method for producing sulfur compounds in cells shows promise for tissue repair

lab image showing a needle dropping a sample into a structure

Sulfur-based compounds produced in our bodies help fight inflammation and create new blood vessels, among other responsibilities, but the compounds are delicate and break down easily, making them difficult to study. A team led by Penn State scientists have developed a new method to generate the compounds — called polysulfides — inside of cells, and the work could potentially lead to advances in wound treatment and tissue repair.

Dipanjan Pan

Dipanjan Pan

Dorothy Foehr Huck & J. Lloyd Huck Chair Professor in Nanomedicine
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Professor of Nuclear Engineering

205 Hallowell Building

Mauricio Terrones named head of the Department of Physics

Department Head of Physics

By Sam Sholtis

Mauricio Terrones, Evan Pugh University Professor and Verne M. Willaman Professor of Physics, and professor of chemistry and of material science and engineering, has been named the new George A. and Margaret M. Downsbrough Head of the Department of Physics at Penn State, effective July 1. Terrones succeeds Nitin Samarth, who has served as head of the department since 2011.

Researchers uncover mechanisms to easily dry, redisperse cellulose nanocrystals

Man and two women in a lab readying a sample of cellulose

By Maria R. Lucas

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Cellulose nanocrystals — bio-based nanomaterials derived from natural resources such as plant cellulose — are valuable for their use in water treatment, packaging, tissue engineering, electronics, antibacterial coatings and much more. Though the materials provide a sustainable alternative to non-bio-based materials, transporting them in liquid taxes industrial infrastructures and leads to environmental impacts.