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Northwestern University has received a five-year, $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish, in collaboration with the University of Chicago, a new national resource that provides academic, small business and industry researchers access to cutting-edge nanotechnology facilities and expertise.

In addition to traditional nanotechnology tools, the Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental (SHyNE) Resource enables the hybridization of soft (biological) nanostructures with rigid nanoparticles, for applications such as microfluidic modules for bio-sensors and synthetic scaffolds for tissue regeneration, among others.

“SHyNE Resource streamlines our nanotechnology facilities, providing unique and integrated capabilities for internal Northwestern and UChicago researchers as well as external users, especially small and medium enterprises and startup companies,” said Northwestern’s Vinayak P. Dravid, SHyNE director. “This award further cements our leadership in nanotechnology and related advanced materials research, education and outreach.”

Dravid is the Abraham Harris Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering. He also is founding director of the Northwestern University Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center (NUANCE), one of six Northwestern shared facilities in SHyNE.

The new resource deepens existing collaborations between Northwestern and UChicago and is expected to draw a variety of researchers from the Chicago area, the greater Midwest and nationally. SHyNE also offers regional colleges and public institutions, including museums, the opportunity to access research and training instrumentation under one umbrella.

SHyNE coordinates the extensive cryogenics, characterization and soft-nanopatterning capabilities found in Northwestern’s core facilities.

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