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Jochen Feldmann recognized for breakthrough of the year in nanotechnology

The German scientist has received the 2013 Nanonica Prize for his discovery of the first ‘nano-ear’ capable of detecting sounds made by bacteria and viruses on a microscopic scale.

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By Biocat

Physicist Jochen Feldmann has won the first edition of the Nanonica Prize for his development of a nano-ear device capable of detecting sound on microscopic length scales and which could open the doors to a new field, acoustic microscopy, to research organisms like bacteria and viruses. This €10,000- award from the Swiss company, which has a subsidiary in Barcelona, recognizes the most significant breakthrough of the year in nanotechnology. More detailed information on Feldmann’s work is available in this publication: Optically Trapped Gold Nanoparticle Enables Listening at the Microscale.

Feldmann is a professor of Physics at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universtität München and coordinator of Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM). The team of researchers he leads has created this technology that acts as a highly sensitive human ear capable of tracking the minute changes in position of a gold nanoparticle displaced by pressure waves. This way, they have been able to detect and visualize the vibrations produced by any molecular or cell movement.

Feldmann’s research is funded through the 7th Framework Program and the European Research Council (ERC).

Approximately one hundred breakthroughs in nanotechnology were submitted to the Nanonica Prize call. The panel of judges featured renowned scientists in their field including Víctor Puntes of the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, Wolfgang J. Parak of the University of Marburg (Germany), Günter Oberdörster of the University of Rochester (USA), Mathias Brust of the University of Liverpool (United Kingdom) and Andrey Rogach of the City University of Hong Kong. Víctor Puntes is one of the scientific leaders of the upcoming B·Debate scientific symposium Nanotechnologies in Health: Current Challenges and Future Prospects, which will be held in Barcelona from 9 to 11 October 2013.

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Jochen Feldmann - Photo: © University of Munich.