nano·​par·​ti·​cle | \ ˈna-nə-ˌpär-ti-kəl How to pronounce nanoparticle (audio) , ˈna-nō- \

Definition of nanoparticle

: a microscopic particle whose size is measured in nanometers

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Nanoparticles of a material usually have very different qualities from those that the material has at its ordinary scale, which is one reason why there's such excitement about the possibilities for how they might be used in future technologies. Many uses have already been developed. Aluminum nanoparticles added to rocket fuel can make the fuel burn twice as fast and release much more energy. Silicon nanoparticles are increasing the energy efficiency of solar cells by allowing the energy from ultraviolet light to be captured for the first time. Other nanoparticles are now helping prevent rust in metals, produce stronger batteries, enhance the diagnosis of cancer, and improve the filtering of water, and the number of other applications is growing fast.

Examples of nanoparticle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In May, for instance, Duke scientists who had previously been working on a vaccine for HIV adapted a nanoparticle from that research and studded it with multiple copies of the Covid virus’s receptor binding domain, a component of the spike protein. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, 1 Nov. 2021 Holding a nanoparticle this tightly in a single spot is just the start. Quanta Magazine, 18 Aug. 2021 Many powerful new diagnostic tools have been developed and commercialized based upon nanoparticle probes. Chad Mirkin, Scientific American, 9 Oct. 2021 Moderna’s vaccine relies on a lipid nanoparticle that can deliver the larger dose. Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2021 The lipid nanoparticle protects the mRNA outside the cell because, in the blood and everywhere, there is a lot of human RNA. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 15 Sep. 2021 Moderna uses a lipid nanoparticle that can deliver a larger dose, according to the Times. Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Sep. 2021 But making the nanoparticle to deliver the mRNA is kind of challenging. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 15 Sep. 2021 Their vaccine presents many different RBD fragments, from a variety of animal coronaviruses, grafted onto small proteins attached to a nanoparticle scaffolding. Lara Marks, Quartz, 1 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nanoparticle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nanoparticle

1983, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of nanoparticle was in 1983

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nanoparticle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for nanoparticle


nano·​par·​ti·​cle | \ -ˌpärt-i-kəl How to pronounce nanoparticle (audio) \

Medical Definition of nanoparticle

: a microscopic particle whose size is measured in nanometers drugs bound to biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles

More from Merriam-Webster on nanoparticle Encyclopedia article about nanoparticle


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