Glass Electrode Powers Smallest Pump

A team of engineers has created the world's smallest pump. The minute device, similar in size to a human red blood cell, is powered by an electrode made from something that doesn't usually conduct electricity — glass.  Applying an electrical current to nanodevices is inherently tricky.

Using non-conductive materials makes it even more difficult because they require wires inserted into them, yet they tend to be too small to make the integration of all these moving parts possible.
To solve this problem, Alan Hunt from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and his colleagues used a laser to hollow out a bent pipe inside a piece of glass. This resulted in a tiny tunnel with a thin glass wall at one end.
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600450 Glass Electrode Powers Smallest Pump
Date: 18 May 2010

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