The Father of NIS’s unique nanotechnology, Prof. Reshef Tenne, along with his colleague from The Weizmann Institute, has received the prestigious EMET Prize. Prof. Emeritus Reshef Tenne in the exact sciences category, and Prof. Dan Tawfik in the life sciences category. The prize is awarded by the A.M.N. Foundation.
Original source: EMET Prize to Reshef Tenne, Dan Tawfik, Weizmann Institute of Science
Prof. Tenne, from the Department of Materials and Interfaces, discovered novel inorganic nanomaterials nicknamed inorganic fullerene-like structures (IF) with a quasi-spherical shape and inorganic nanotubes (INT). Following his discovery of these structures in 1992, he became a pioneer and world leader in this field. In recent years, he developed new synthetic strategies to obtain nanotubes from numerous unique materials called ternary and quaternary compounds.
Prof. Tenne’s discoveries have been a boon for the industry. The round, inert nanoparticles of tungsten disulfide, work like nano ball-bearings and have since become a product used in industrial machine lubrication. The nanotubes he discovered were shown to reinforce polymers and show large potential in a range of applications in medical technologies, like prostheses, cardiovascular and urological catheters, and in aerospace, sports technologies, and tissue engineering. His research led to the establishment of several companies, among them Nanotech Industrial Solutions, which holds an exclusive license for his nanotube structures.
“The driving force for my research is an infinite curiosity to discover new frontiers,” says Prof. Tenne.
Back to the future
Prof. Tawfik’s broad-sweeping research quests involve not only tracing back the way natural enzymes have evolved but also asking how this knowledge can lead to the creation of “designer” enzymes for a variety of applications. His research has helped open up the growing field of directed evolution of proteins.
A member of the Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Prof. Tawfik is an expert on enzymes—nature’s remarkable catalysts. In experimental work that lies at the interface of chemistry and biology, he has developed a range of experimental systems that can reproduce protein evolution in the laboratory and in real-time, including artificial cell-like droplets. His research moto echoes Darwin’s famous saying, “…from so a simple beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved”. Besides shedding light on evolutionary processes, including how the very first proteins emerged about 3.8 billion years ago, his research is leading to new, tailor-made proteins with potential uses such as degrading toxic chemicals.
“What we understand, we can make,” says Prof. Tawfik. Other potential applications of his laboratory evolved proteins include the detoxification of man-made chemicals including nerve agents.
About Nanotech Industrial Solutions
NIS is an exclusive manufacturer of multi-layered Tungsten Disulfide (WS2) nanoparticles. These structures have a near-spherical shape and submicron size. No other company in the world can replicate what we do: produce IF-WS2 powder, disperse it in various media (oil, grease, solvent, and water). IF-WS2 formulations demonstrate outstanding performance, reduce friction up to 35% and lower wear up to 37 %.