Minnesota companies are using nanotechnology to improve or create products. Here are a few examples:

•Medtronic Inc. uses nanomaterials to improve the lubricity of pacers and leads, making it easier to implant them in patients. The company is also developing targeted drug delivery devices.

•Vixar Inc. is developing a laser that can boost the performance of laser printers.

•BioCee Inc. is looking to convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into clean fuels by using microorganisms as a biocatalyst.

•Seagate Technology, which has major operations in Minnesota, makes disc drives and thin films that can record and store more data.

•Cima NanoTech Inc. manufactures nanomaterials that are used to make plasma television screens, solar cells and radio frequency identification tags in a way that's cheaper and greener.

•Rushford Hypersonic makes coatings that can strengthen industrial tools like drill bits and knives. It's also partnering with Mayo Clinic to develop coatings for knee implants.