Todd Loesch

Content by Todd Loesch


Potholes, rough roads and heel-catching cracks in the sidewalk may soon be a thing of the past, as researchers at Northwestern University apply nanotechnology to create relatively crack-proof concrete.

Northwestern engineer Surendra Shahand and his team are adapting cutting-edge technology to improve a decidedly low-tech substance by infusing concrete with carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes are strong, flexible pipe-like arrangements of carbon atoms too small to be seen by most microscopes.


Season-ending injuries. Chronic joint pain. Debilitating osteoarthritis. Costly knee replacements.

What do these all have in common? Damaged cartilage.

Cartilage is the softer-than-bone fibrous material that’s found in your nose and around joints. It provides vital cushioning. But when damaged, cartilage doesn’t grow back. That all may change thanks to pioneering research at Northwestern University.