Now this is a nanotech development that can lead to real-world applications.
From the link:
In their latest series of experiments, Duke University engineers have developed a novel approach to synthesize these nano-brushes, which could improve their versatility in the future. These polymer brushes are currently being used in biologic sensors and microscopic devices, such as microcantilevers, and they will play an important role in the future drive to miniaturization, the researchers said.
Nano-brushes are typically made of polymer molecules grown on flat surfaces with strands of the molecules growing up and out from a surface, much like hairs on a brush. Polymers are large man-made molecules ubiquitous in the manufacture of everyday products.An atomic force microscopy topographic image of the nano-brushes. The relative heights of the brushes can be tailored by changing the substrate and initiators. Credit: Stefan Zauscher, Pratt School of Engineering