Around since the 1960s, ferrofluids have been used as audio speaker coolants and high-end engineering seals. Dynamic rotary shaft seals are an example of high-end sealing technologies that are typically implemented by mechanical engineers in an industrial plant setting. Recently, this technology has been a topic of research involving nanoparticle suspensions and engineering design so they have greater magnetic properties under moderate magnetic fields. Materials engineers have developed new nanomaterials for medical applications targeted towards localized drug delivery systems by induced magnetic fields. Materials engineers use basic chemistry and physics fundamentals as well as newly acquired nanoscience concepts to introduce particles small enough to transport through capillary systems and organs and have sufficient magnetization. Additionally, materials and biochemical engineers design biocompatible and biodegradable organic coatings that reduce toxicity levels and biochemical reactions that may occur with magnetic nanomaterials inside human or animal bodies. Most importantly, the fluid must behave like a fluid until a magnetic field is applied.
NGSS AlignmentThis lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
Area of Science
nanotechnology, ferrofluids, magnetism, colloid
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