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Rutgers Researchers Invent Sensor that Could Improve Treatment of … – TAPinto.net

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ Rutgers University-New Brunswick scientists have created a graphene-based sensor that could lead to earlier detection of looming asthma attacks and improve the management of asthma and other respiratory diseases, preventing hospitalizations and deaths.

The sensor paves the way for the development of devices possibly resembling fitness trackers like the Fitbit which people could wear and then know when and at what dosage to take their medication.

Our vision is to develop a device that someone with asthma or another respiratory disease can wear around their neck or on their wrist and blow into it periodically to predict the onset of an asthma attack or other problems, said Mehdi Javanmard, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. It advances the field of personalized and precision medicine.

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Javanmard and a diverse team of Rutgers-New Brunswick experts describe their invention in a study recently published online in the journal Microsystems & Nanoengineering.

Asthma, which causes inflammation of the airway and obstructs air flow, affects about 300 million people worldwide. About 17.7 million adults and 6.3 million children in the United States were diagnosed with asthma in 2014. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Other serious lung ailments include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which encompasses emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Todays noninvasive methods for diagnosing and monitoring asthma are limited in characterizing the nature and degree of airway inflammation, and require costly, bulky equipment that patients cannot easily keep with them. The methods include spirometry, which measures breathing capacity, and testing for exhaled nitric oxide, an indicator of airway inflammation. Theres an urgent need for improved, minimally invasive methods for the molecular diagnosis and monitoring of asthma, according to the study.

Measuring biomarkers in exhaled breath condensate tiny liquid droplets discharged during breathing can contribute to understanding asthma at the molecular level and lead to targeted treatment and better disease management.

The Rutgers researchers miniaturized electrochemical sensor accurately measures nitrite in exhaled breath condensate using reduced graphene oxide. Reduced graphene oxide resists corrosion, has superior electrical properties and is very accurate in detecting biomarkers. Graphene is a thin layer of the graphite used in pencils.

Nitrite level in breath condensate is a promising biomarker for inflammation in the respiratory tract. Having a rapid, easy method to measure it can help an asthmatic determine if air pollutants are affecting them so they can better manage use of medication and physical activity, said Clifford Weisel, study co-author and professor at Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI). It could also be used in a physicians office and emergency departments to monitor the effectiveness of various anti-inflammatory drugs to optimize treatment.

Increases in airway inflammation may be an early warning sign of increased risk of an asthma attack or exacerbation of COPD, allowing for earlier and more-effective preventive measures or treatment, said Robert Laumbach, study co-author and an occupational and environmental medicine physician at EOHSI.

Just looking at coughing, wheezing and other outward symptoms, diagnosis accuracy is often poor, so thats why this idea of monitoring biomarkers continuously can result in a paradigm shift, said Javanmard, who works in the School of Engineering. The ability to perform label-free quantification of nitrite content in exhaled breath condensate in a single step without any sample pre-treatment resolves a key bottleneck to enabling portable asthma management.

The next step is to develop a portable, wearable system, which could be commercially available within five years, he said. The researchers also envision expanding the number of inflammation biomarkers a device could detect and measure.

In the U.S. alone, allergy inflammation, asthma and various respiratory conditions are all on the rise, so devices that can help diagnose, monitor and manage these conditions will be in high demand, Javanmard said.

Todd B. Bates is a science communicator with Public and Media Relations at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

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Rutgers Researchers Invent Sensor that Could Improve Treatment of ... - TAPinto.net

Liquefied Gas Electrolytes Allow Lithium Batteries to Operate at Very Low Temperatures – AZoCleantech

Written by AZoCleantechJun 16 2017

It is well known that prevalent lithium-ion batteries do not operate at temperatures of -20 C and lower. At present, the Engineers of University of California San Diego have made an advancement in the field of electrolyte chemistry for enabling lithium batteries to operate at lower temperatures of -60 C with exceptional performance.

New electrolytes made from liquefied gas enable lithium batteries and electrochemical capacitors to run at extremely cold temperatures. CREDIT: David Baillot/UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

The innovative electrolytes also allow electrochemical capacitors to operate at temperatures of -80 C, which at present operate at low temperatures of -40 C. Apart from ensuring operation at very low temperatures, the technology also maintains greater performance at room temperature. The new electrolyte chemistry can enhance not only the energy density but also the safety of electrochemical capacitors and lithium batteries.

The research was published online in the Science journal on 15th June 2017.

The technology will enable electric vehicles in cold countries to cover greater distances on a single charge, thus eliminating range anxiety in winter months in cities such as Boston. The technology can also be applied to power crafts such as satellites, high atmosphere WiFi drones, interplanetary rovers, weather balloons and other aerospace applications under severe cold conditions.

The electrochemical capacitors and batteries created by the research team are specifically cold hardy as the electrolytes in them are formed of liquefied gas solvents (i.e. gases liquefied under moderate pressures) that are more resistant to freezing when compared to standard liquid electrolytes. Liquefied fluoromethane gas was used to synthesize electrolyte for the lithium battery. Liquefied difluoromethane gas was used to synthesize electrolyte for the electrochemical capacitor.

Deep de-carbonization hinges on the breakthroughs in energy storage technologies. Better batteries are needed to make electric cars with improved performance-to-cost ratios. And once the temperature range for batteries, ultra-capacitors and their hybrids is widened, these electrochemical energy storage technologies can be adopted in many more emerging markets. This work shows a promising pathway and I think the success of this unconventional approach can inspire more scientists and researchers to explore the unknown territories in this research area.

Shirley Meng, Senior Author and Nanoengineering Professor, Jacobs School of Engineering, UC San Diego.

Meng also heads the Laboratory for Energy Storage and Conversion and is the director of the Sustainable Power and Energy Center, both located at UC San Diego.

It is generally agreed upon that the electrolyte is the primary bottleneck to improve performance for next generation energy storage devices, stated Cyrus Rustomji, and first Author of the study and a Postdoctoral Researcher in Mengs group. Liquid-based electrolytes have been thoroughly researched and many are now turning their focus to solid state electrolytes. We have taken the opposite, albeit risky, approach and explored the use of gas based electrolytes.

The Researchers from UC San Diego are the pioneers in analyzing gas-based electrolytes for use in electrochemical energy storage devices. The futuristic application of this technology might be to power spacecraft for interplanetary exploration.

Mars rovers have a low temperature specification that most existing batteries cannot meet. Our new battery technology can meet these specs without adding expensive and heavy heating elements.

Cyrus Rustomji, first Author of the study and Postdoctoral Researcher in Mengs group

During the research, the Researchers found out that gases possess a characteristic namely, low viscosity. Enabling them to operate effectively at temperatures in which traditional liquid electrolytes get frozen, Low viscosity leads to high ion mobility, which means high conductivity for the battery or capacitor, even in the extreme cold, explained Rustomji.

Although the Researchers analyzed a wide array of prospective gas samples, they were interested in two particular new electrolytes: one made of liquefied difluoromethane, used for electrochemical capacitors and the other made of liquefied fluoromethane, used for lithium batteries.

Apart from the excellent performance at low temperature, the new electrolytes are highly safe to use. They eliminate the difficulty of thermal runaway, that is, a point at which the battery gets heated to a temperature that leads to a hazardous chain of chemical reactions that causes further heating of the battery. The new electrolytes restrict the ability of the battery to self-heat at temperatures considerably greater than ambient temperature because at higher temperatures, the ability of the electrolytes to dissolve salts is lost, resulting in the loss of conductivity of the battery and ultimately failure of the battery.

This is a natural shutdown mechanism that prevents the battery from overheating. As soon as the battery gets too hot, it shuts down. But as it cools back down, it starts working again. Thats uncommon in conventional batteries.

Cyrus Rustomji, first Author of the study and Postdoctoral Researcher in Mengs group

Rustomji further added that during more extreme situations, for example, an automobile accident, when the battery is damaged and gets shorted, the electrolyte gas escapes from the cell and as there is no electrolyte conductivity avoids the thermal runaway reaction which cannot be avoided when traditional liquid electrolytes are used.

Compatible electrolyte for lithium metal anodes

Meng, Rustomji, and their collaborators have come very close to achieving another long-time ambition of becoming battery researchers: synthesizing an electrolyte that operates well with the lithium metal anode. Lithium is perceived to be the best anode material due to its light weight and its ability to store more charge than prevalent anodes. However, one specific difficulty is that lithium reacts with traditional liquid electrolytes, resulting in the low Coulombic efficiency of the lithium metal, that is, it can go through only a lesser number of charge and discharge cycles before the operation of the battery stops.

Another difficulty encountered when using traditional liquid electrolytes with the lithium metal anode is that after repeated charge and discharge cycles, lithium can get accumulated at specific places on the electrode. Consequently, needle-like structures, or dendrites, are formed and can puncture portions of the battery, leading to short-circuit.

Applying high mechanical pressure on the electrode, using electrolytes with low viscosity, and using the so-called fluorinated electrolyte additives to produce an optimal chemical composition on the surface of the lithium metal electrode are the techniques employed earlier to overcome these difficulties. The innovative liquefied gas electrolytes synthesized by the UC San Diego Researchers integrate all the significant characteristics mentioned above into a single electrolyte system. The ensuing interphase formed on the electrode is an exceptionally uniform and dendrite-free surface that ensures enhanced battery conductivity and a high Coulombic efficiency of more than 97%. The Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that an electrolyte can exhibit high performance on lithium metal as well as classical cathode materials, thus considerably increasing the overall energy density of batteries.

Next steps

In the future, the goal of the research team is to enhance the cyclability and energy density of electrochemical capacitors as well as batteries and to ensure operations at even lower temperatures of less than -100 C. This research can open the door for developing innovative technology to power spacecraft used to investigate outer planets (e.g. Jupiter and Saturn).

Rustomji is the head of a UC San Diego-based team of Researchers working to commercialize the technology through a startup called South 8 Technologies.

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Liquefied Gas Electrolytes Allow Lithium Batteries to Operate at Very Low Temperatures - AZoCleantech

Changes at UC San Diego Emphasize New Role as Innovation Engine – Xconomy

A new program intended to teach engineering and business students how to drive innovations from concept to commercialization reflects a new imperative at UC San Diego. The business of tech transfer, which generates revenue by licensing technologies invented at UC San Diego, is giving way to a broader mission for the university as an engine of innovation and as a training ground for entrepreneurs and startup leaders.

One example of the changes underway can be found with the Institute of the Global Entrepreneur (IGE), a program UC San Diego created about a year ago, just as the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center was unwinding its longtime operation as a tech transfer hub for the Jacobs School of Engineering. But the IGE is only the latest in a series of recent initiatives that are focused on boosting innovation and entrepreneurship at UC San Diego, which sees itself increasingly as a kind of farm club feeding the regional startup ecosystem with people and ideas.

How well these changes play out remains to be seen. The IGE only recently enrolled its first five teams (including one team led by nanoengineering doctoral candidate Rajan Kumar, pictured above.) As part-incubator and part-accelerator, the institute provides each team with as much as $50,000 in financial support over the course of a 12-month program, which could eventually become the curriculum for a masters degree in entrepreneurship. The state of California provided $2.2 million last year to bankroll IGE programs throughout the University of California system, with funding for UC San Diego amounting to $300,000. The San Diego Legler Benbough Foundation provided an additional $500,000.

In some ways, the IGE represents a reboot of the von Liebig centers mission to help commercialize innovations conceived in the engineering school. But the new program is casting a broader net, according to Sujit Dey, a professor of computer science at UC San Diego who also serves as IGEs founding director.

For one thing, Dey said the IGE is seeking collaborators and innovations beyond the engineering school, particularly in health sciences and at the Rady School of Management, which oversees the IGE program in collaboration with the Jacobs School of Engineering. Dey, who founded the San Diego video technology company Ortiva Wireless, said he also wants IGE to encourage fundamental changes in the way scientists approach their research at UC San Diego by encouraging them to look at the market first, and to provide students with the kind of training in management, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills that startups require.

To avoid the trap of developing cool technology that has no market, Dey said IGE teams will be required to test their prototypes with would-be customers and potential strategic partners to make sure their innovations are relevant and have strong commercial appeal.

In this respect, the IGE and other recent programs at UC San Diego reflect a broader trend that has been under way for years at American research universities. As Xconomy Seattle Editor Benjamin Romano has explored in depth at the University of Washington, big research universities have been working to revamp their offices of technology transfer and moving to take a much more active role in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship beyond the traditional enclaves of engineering, computer science, and the life sciences.

At UC San Diego, this means being very much engaged in the economic development of this region, according to Paul Roben, who was named associate vice chancellor for innovation and commercialization at UC San Diego two years ago. To Roben, the university is an economic engine of talent and technologies, people and ideas.

Beyond the traditional academic mission of providing education and conducting basic research, Roben said UC San Diego has been expanding its mission to encompass innovation and entrepreneurship, primarily because so many people out there are creating their own jobs.

While UC San Diego has long served as a hotbed for local innovation and entrepreneurship (the Connect program in innovation and entrepreneurship started in 1985 as part of UCSD), Roben and Dey said many of the changes began after Pradeep Khosla was named Next Page

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788

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Changes at UC San Diego Emphasize New Role as Innovation Engine - Xconomy

Are Enterprises Ready to Take a Quantum Leap? – IT Business Edge

The exciting landscape of modern life has been built with the aid of powerful computers. They have done dazzling things, from making the trains run on time to helping to build skyscrapers. Now, imagine a discontinuity in computing in which these capabilities are suddenly expanded and enhanced by orders of magnitude.

You wont have to imagine too much longer. It is in the process of happening. The fascinating thing is that this change is based on quantum science, which is completely counter-intuitive and not fully understood, even by those who are harnessing it.

Todays computers are binary, meaning that they are based on bits that represent either a 1 or a 0. As fast as they go, this is a basic, physical gating factor that limits how much work they can do in a given amount of time. The next wave of computers uses quantum bits called qubits that can simultaneously represent a 1 and a 0. This root of the mysteries that even scientists refer to as quantum weirdness allows the computers to do computations in parallel instead of sequentially. Not surprisingly, this greatly expands the ability of this class of computers.

The details of how quantum computers operate are more or less impossible to understand. A couple of related points are clear, however: Harnessing the power of quantum mechanics to create incredibly powerful machines is not a pipe dream: Companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Google, as well as startups and universities, dont sink billions of dollars in flights of fancy.

The second point is that the payoff is here, or at least quite near. The world of computing wont instantaneously change once quantum actions are proven. It is still a long road to being fully commercialized, bypassing classical approaches and, finally, living up to the most extravagant promise.

In late May, Microsoft and Purdue University announced research on quantum computing that focuses on one of the key challenges, which is the extraordinarily fragile nature of the qubits. Indeed, the subject of the research is a good example of the amazing complexity of the field and how far it has to go.

In quantum mechanics, the mere act of looking at the system makes it choose between the 1 and the 0 and exit the quantum state. The task of the Microsoft/Purdue research is to develop topological qubits that are stable enough to function in the real world.

In essence, according to Professor Michael Manfra, the university's Bill and Dee O'Brien Chair Professor of Physics and Astronomy, stability increases as the quantum properties are spread out.

The quantum variable that houses information is really a property of the quantum system as [a] whole, he wrote to IT Business Edge in response to emailed questions. More particles may be needed to define the qubit, but this complexity has an advantage while a local disturbance or perturbation can flip an individual spin, it is much less likely to change the state of the entire quantum system that comprises a topological qubit.Therefore these topological qubits are expected to be more robust.They do not couple well to the commonly occurring noise in the environment.

Preparing for the Quantum Future

There is an angle to all of this that is refreshingly straightforward and accessible, however: Great change is coming and companies need to prepare for quantum computing. Indeed, even assuming that the high-profile changes are down the road a bit, they will be massive when they do arrive.

The bottom line is that planners need to think about quantum computing. A logical first step in assessing the impact is identifying the tasks it will most likely perform. In responses to emailed questions, Jerry Chow, the manager of Experimental Quantum Computing for IBM, told IT Business Edge that four areas likely to be affected are business optimization (in areas such as the supply chain, logistics, modeling financial data and risk analysis); materials and chemistry; artificial intelligence and cloud security.

Things may not be quite as clear cut, however. David Schatsky, the managing director of Deloitte LLP, told IT Business Edge, in response to emailed questions, that risk management, investment portfolio design, trading strategies, and the design of transportation and communications networks will be affected. Quantum computer, he wrote, could be disruptive in cryptography, drug design, energy, nano-engineering and research.

Thats an almost intimidating list. However, Schatsky prefaced it with a disclaimer: Quantum computing will entirely transform some kinds of work and have negligible impact on others. The truth is, researchers dont yet know all the types of problems quantum computing may be good for.

There Is Still Time to Prepare

Luckily, planners have time. Quantum computing will be a massive change, but one that will be gradual. It makes sense to think of quantum computing as a new segment of the supercomputer market, which is a small fraction of overall IT spending, Schatsky wrote. Annual supercomputer server sales total about $11 billion globally by some estimates. I suspect quantum computing revenues will be a very small fraction of that for years to come. So Im not sure its going to become common anytime soon.

Though it clearly will be quite a while before people are buying quantum computers on Amazon, organizations need to be thinking about quantum computing today. The power of quantum computing is so extreme, especially when coupled with artificial intelligence and other emerging techniques, it is clear that all of that time must be put to good use.

IBMs Chow said that quantum-driven platforms such as Watson will be able to find patterns that are buried too deeply for classical computers. This will open new frontiers for discovery, he wrote.

It is a new age, not a new computer.

Corporations should ask: How do I learn about quantum computing to get a feel for where it might make a difference? Now is the time to realize its enormous potential, and that this is a field ripe for innovation and exploration that goes beyond simply just an end application. Becoming quantum-ready is about participating in a revolution within computing. People need to learn the details enough to open their minds up about what could be possible.

And, eventually, quantum mechanics may go beyond computing.

In general terms, I believe the development of quantum technologies is inevitable quantum computing is perhaps just the most visible example, Manfra wrote. It is not hard to imagine that certain businesses in which innovation may be enhanced by dramatic improvement in computational capabilities will need to have long-term plans which exploit quantum machines once they become available.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

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Are Enterprises Ready to Take a Quantum Leap? - IT Business Edge

Nanomechanics to Host High-Speed Nanoindentation Webinar June 21 – PR Newswire (press release)

"Those interested in nanoindentation will quickly gain a comprehensive understanding of the test method and what it can do," said John Swindeman, CEO at Nanomechanics Inc. "Attendees will achieve theoretical and practical knowledge about contact mechanics."

Jennifer Hay of Nanomechanics Inc. holds a masters' degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston and has worked in the field of nano-indentation since 1996, advancing standardization and developing a methodology for new applications. She presently serves as the vice-chair for the MEMS/Nanomechanics technical division of the Society of Experimental Mechanics. In addition to many publications, she has written five invited journal articles on the theory and practice of instrumented indentation.

To register for the Session 12: High-Speed Nanoindentation webinar, hosted by Nanomechanics Inc., click here.

About Nanomechanics Inc.Nanomechanics Inc. designs and produces advanced nano-scale metrology products, including turnkey nanoindenters, modular devices fornano-scale actuation and sensing, and contract testing. Drawing on decades of experience in material science, precision mechanical design and instrumentation software, Nanomechanicsoffersproductsthatsatisfy the intense demands of both industry and academia, with unparalleledease-of-use, accuracy, up-time and technical support. In addition to turnkey solutions, Nanomechanicsprovides modular components tomicroscopy companies in order to integrate nano-scale mechanical testing with advanced visualization. To learn more about what Nanomechanics is doing worldwide, please visithttp://nanomechanicsinc.com/or contact us atinfo@nanomechanicsincs.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:Heather Ripley Ripley PR 865-977-1973 hripley@ripleypr.com

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nanomechanics-to-host-high-speed-nanoindentation-webinar-june-21-300471943.html

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Nanomechanics to Host High-Speed Nanoindentation Webinar June 21 - PR Newswire (press release)

Indian scientist’s bullet-proof jacket will be ready in a year – The Sunday Guardian

A scientist from the Amrita University is designing a bullet-proof jacket for the Indian Army and paramilitary forces, using the ultramodern lightweight thermoplastic technology. Prof Shantanu Bhowmik is the head of Research and Projects at School of Engineering, and Professor at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at School of Engineering, Amrita University, in Tamil Nadus Coimbatore.

A spokesperson of the Amrita University told The Sunday Guardian that the prototype jacket would be ready in the next one year and would be a game-changer. He, however, refused to comment further about the technological part, as the matter is quite sensitive. Bhowmik could not be contacted as he is in Netherlands.

The official said that the jacket would be manufactured using indigenous technology, for which an empowered committee of the Ministry of Defence has given its go-ahead. It will be developed in collaboration with the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), he said.

The official said that this is for the first time that Indian Army will have a jacket made indigenously. At present, India spends Rs 1.5 lakh on a single jacket, which is imported from the United States. The Indian version will cost Rs 50,000 per jacket, which means India will save Rs 20,000 crore every year. The scientist has dedicated his invention to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Bhowmik received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee. A part of his PhD thesis was done at Technical University of Berlin, Germany. At present, he is also the Adjunct Professor at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

Bhowmik has been honoured with a number of international research awards, including the Research Award of Swiss National Science Foundation of the Federal Government of Switzerland last year.

This programme provides outstanding academicians/researches visiting professorships in Swiss universities. He was also given the Marie Curie Research Award by the European Commission in 2014.

An outstanding scientist, Bhowmik has established the International Centre for Nano Technology and Applied Adhesion at Sikkim Manipal University, Sikkim. His research articles have been cited by a number of companies including Lockheed Martin (US), Israel Aerospace Limited, Leoni Studer AG (Switzerland), Dutch Space (The Netherlands) and Ventracor Limited (Australia).

Bhowmik has published over 135 research articles in polymeric composite, nano composite adhesive bonding and surface engineering related to aviation, space and nuclear applications in international journals and international conferences; three book chapters; he has filed five patents and seven invention disclosures.

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Indian scientist's bullet-proof jacket will be ready in a year - The Sunday Guardian

Can this nano-particle turn into gold standard Big C treatment? – Hindu Business Line

Aravind Kumar Rengan... working for affordable cancer treatment

An IIT-Hyderabad Scientist has developed a liposome core with gold coating with therapeutic, imaging applications

They are small, but potent enough to kill cancerous cells.

An IIT-Hyderabad scientist has successfully engineered biodegradable nano-particles that can be delivered to tumour sites either to kill the cancer cells or image them.

In animal trials, the liposome a minute spherical sac of phospholipid molecules enclosing a water droplet, especially formed artificially to carry drugs or other substances into tissues core with gold-coated nano (thinner than the human hair) particles have been successful in killing cancerous cells without any side-effects. Results have been positive in treating the tumours, especially in breast cancer and fibro sarcoma, says Aravind Kumar Rengan of the IITH, who started his work in 2010 during his stint at IIT- Mumbai. His work won him the the Indian National Science Academy, Young Scientist Award 2017.

The INSA citation reads: This research through which he was able to engineer a biodegradable nano-system for photothermal therapy of cancer and proved its in-vivo biodegradability, has got immense translational potential and can be used to treat cancer in an affordable way with minimal side-effects.

At present, there is only one other similar delivery system in the world at the Rice University in the US. Researchers there use silica core coated with gold nano-particles. The USFDA-approved particles of 100 nanometres have gone into human trials now, after sustained progress since 2008, says Aravind Kumar.

Silica and gold are non-biodegradable and do not get excreted by the kidney. Therefore, they can be only therapeutic agents. In contrast, the liposome core with gold coating developed by us gets excreted by the kidney, and hence has the potential for both therapeutic and imaging applications, he explains.

The currently used imaging techniques are X-Ray or MRI and CT scans where gadolinium and iodoform are used as image contrast material. Once more work is done, our nano-particle can be used as a clinically viable imaging agent, he claims.

The research work by Aravind Kumar, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at IIT-Hyderabad, was published in the Journal of Nanoscale and ACS Nano Letters.

The nano-particles engineered by Aravind Kumar have the ability to absorb specific light in the NAR (nuclear acoustic resonance), which is like NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) and is used as a light imaging tool to detect and characterise soft tissue.

When the particles are delivered to the tumour site, they give out signals, which can be analysed in real time. For treatment, the nano-particles are injected onto the tumour killing the cancerous cells. There is no chemical or herbal drug involved in delivering the medicine and there are no side-effects, either.

Aravind Kumar has filed four patents three Indian and one PCT (Paris Convention Treaty), which covers many countries. The next step is to do pre-clinical validation. The nano-particle should not be toxic to humans.

Thereafter, Phase-I clinical trials will be done. The research project was supported besides IIT-Hyderabad, by the Departments of Biotechnology and Science and Technology, the Ministry of HRD, and Infosys Foundation, says Aravind Kumar.

(This article was published on June 9, 2017)

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Can this nano-particle turn into gold standard Big C treatment? - Hindu Business Line

Simulations pinpoint atomic-level defects in solar cell nanostructures – Phys.Org

June 9, 2017 Cross section of the interface between a lead chalcogenide nanoparticle and its embedding cadmium chalcogenide matrix. When integrated into optoelectronic devices, it is enough to have a single atom in the wrong place at the interface (represented by the glowing blue color) to jeopardize their performance. Credit: Peter Allen, Institute for Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago

To understand the nature of something extremely complex, you often have to study its smallest parts. In trying to decipher the universe, for example, we search for gravitational waves or faint waves of light from the Big Bang. And to comprehend the very essence of matter itself, we break it down to the subatomic level and use computer simulations to study particles like quarks and gluons.

Understanding materials with specific functions, such as those used in solar cells, and engineering ways to improve their properties pose many of the same challenges. In the ongoing effort to improve solar cell energy conversion efficiencies, researchers have begun digging deeperin some cases to the atomic levelto identify material defects that can undermine the conversion process.

For example, heterogeneous nanostructured materials are widely used in a variety of optoelectronic devices, including solar cells. However, due to their heterogeneous nature, these materials contain nanoscale interfaces exhibiting structural defects that can affect the performance of these devices. It is very challenging to identify these defects in experiments, so a team of researchers at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago decided to run a series of atomistic calculations at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) to find the root cause of defects in two commonly used semiconductor materialslead selenide (PbSe) and cadmium selenide (CdSe)and provide design rules to avoid them.

"We are interested in understanding quantum dots and nanostructures and how they perform for solar cells," said Giulia Galli, Liew Family professor of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and co-author of a paper published in Nano Letters that outlines this work and its findings. "We are doing modeling, using both classical molecular dynamics and first principle methods, to understand the structure and optical properties of these nanoparticles and quantum dots."

Core-shell Nanoparticles

For this study, the team focused on heterostructured nanoparticlesin this case a colloidal quantum dot in which PbSe nanoparticles are embedded in CdSe. This type of quantum dotalso known as a core-shell nanoparticleis like an egg, Mrton Vrs, Aneesur Rahman Fellow at Argonne and co-author on the paper, explained, with a "yolk" made of one material surrounded by a "shell" made of the other material.

"Experiments have suggested that these heterostructured nanoparticles are very favorable for solar energy conversion and thin-film transistors," Vrs said.

For example, while colloidal quantum dot energy conversion efficiencies currently hover around 12% in the lab, "we aim at predicting quantum dot structural models to go beyond 12%," said Federico Giberti, postdoctoral research scholar at the University of Chicago's Institute for Molecular Engineering and first author on the Nano Letters paper. "If 20% efficiency could be reached, we would then have a material that becomes interesting for commercialization. "

To make this happen, however, Vrs and Giberti realized they needed to better understand the structure of nanoscale interfaces and whether atomistic defects were present. So, along with Galli, they developed a computational strategy to investigate, at the atomic level, the effect of the structure of the interfaces on the materials' optoelectronic properties. By using classical molecular dynamics and first principles methods that do not rely on any fitted parameters, their framework allowed them to build computational models of these embedded quantum dots.

Using this model as the basis for a series of simulations run at NERSC, the research team was able to characterize PbSe/CdSe quantum dots and found that atoms that are displaced at the interface and their corresponding electronic stateswhat they call "trap states"can jeopardize solar cell performance, Giberti explained. They were then able to use the model to predict a new material that does not have these trap states and should perform better in solar cells.

"Using our computational framework, we also found a way to tune the optical properties of the material by applying pressure," Giberti added.

This researchwhich included studies of electron and atomic structuresused four million supercomputing hours at NERSC, according to Vrs. Most of the atomic structure calculations were run on Cori, NERSC's 30-petaflop system installed in 2016, although they also used the Edison system, a Cray XC30 with Intel Xeon processors. While the calculations didn't need a large number of processors, Giberti noted, "I needed to launch many simultaneous simulations at the same time, and analyzing all the data was in itself a rather challenging task."

Looking ahead, the research team plans to use this new computational framework to investigate other materials and structures.

"We believe that our atomistic models, when coupled with experiments, will bring a predictive tool for heterogeneous nanostructured materials that can be used for a variety of semiconducting systems," Federico said. "We are very excited about the possible impact of our work."

Explore further: Calculations confirm that surface flaws are behind fluorescence intermittency in silicon nanocrystals

More information: Federico Giberti et al, Design of Heterogeneous Chalcogenide Nanostructures with Pressure-Tunable Gaps and without Electronic Trap States, Nano Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00283

Quantum dots are nanoparticles of semiconductor that can be tuned to glow in a rainbow of colors. Since their discovery in the 1980s, these remarkable nanoparticles have held out tantalizing prospects for all kinds of new ...

To create the next generation of solar panels and other light-driven devices, scientists must model how complex interactions occur. Modeling across different scales, from individual atoms to very large systems with thousands ...

Quantum computersa possible future technology that would revolutionize computing by harnessing the bizarre properties of quantum bits, or qubits. Qubits are the quantum analogue to the classical computer bits "0" and "1." ...

Quantum computers have the potential to break common cryptography techniques, search huge datasets and simulate quantum systems in a fraction of the time it would take today's computers. But before this can happen, engineers ...

Anton Pischagin, a graduate student of the Faculty of Radiophysics advised by Professor Andrey Kokhanenko, is developing nanostructures based on silicon for converting solar energy into electricity. These materials will allow ...

Harnessing the power of the sun and creating light-harvesting or light-sensing devices requires a material that both absorbs light efficiently and converts the energy to highly mobile electrical current. Finding the ideal ...

To understand the nature of something extremely complex, you often have to study its smallest parts. In trying to decipher the universe, for example, we search for gravitational waves or faint waves of light from the Big ...

Researchers have studied how light can be used to observe the quantum nature of an electronic material. They captured light in graphene and slowed it down to the speed of the material's electrons. Then electrons and light ...

New research from the University of Liverpool, published in the journal Nanoscale, has probed the structure and material properties of protein machines in bacteria, which have the capacity to convert carbon dioxide into sugar ...

When oil mixes with or enters into water, conventional methods of cleaning the water and removing the oil can be challenging, expensive and environmentally risky. But researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The ...

The endothelial cells that line blood vessels are packed tightly to keep blood inside and flowing, but scientists at Rice University and their colleagues have discovered it may be possible to selectively open gaps in those ...

Recent research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln may help future engineers of digital components get two (or more) for the space of one.

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Simulations pinpoint atomic-level defects in solar cell nanostructures - Phys.Org

College, Grad School, and Post Doc Opportunities | Nano

As progress for nanotechnology research and development picks up speed, more and more universities in the U. S. are beginning to offer degree programs in nanotechnology. These programs now range from minor and majors in nanotechnology to Masters' programs to PhD's in any number of nanotechnology-related fields.

For those students seeking a higher education at a college or university that doesnt offer a degree in nanoscience, a student could choose to go into chemistry, physics, engineering, biology, IT, or another technology fields. With the help of a college advisor or a trusted professor or mentor, students can navigate college-level science courses to learn a great deal about nanotechnology. And keep in mind that the further you get in your education, the greater the options and choices that become available to you.

NASA Space TechnologyResearchFellowships (NSTRF)The goal of NSTRF is to sponsor U.S. citizen and permanent resident graduate students who show significant potential to contribute to NASAs goal of creating innovative new space technologies for our Nations science, exploration and economic future. NASA Space Technology Fellows will perform innovative, space-technology research at their respective campuses and at NASA Centers and/or at nonprofit U.S. Research and Development (R&D) laboratories. Awards are made in the form of training grants to accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing masters or doctoral degrees, with the faculty advisor serving as the principal investigator.

NASA Postdoctoral Program NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) supports NASAs goal to expand scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe in which we live.Selected by a competitive peer-review process, NPP Fellows complete one- to three-year Fellowship appointments that advance NASAs missions in earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics and engineering, human exploration and space operations, and astrobiology.

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions.

NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program All six of the NIST laboratories in Gaithersburg, MD, participate in SURF programs. For example, the Materials Measurement Laboratory (MML) and the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) SURF program is designed to provide hands-on research experience in Ceramics, Metallurgy, Polymers, Condensed Matter Science, and Materials Reliability; available research opportunities in theMML/NCNR SURF programinclude structural and magnetic properties of nanomaterials. NIST also offersSURF research opportunities in Boulder, CO.

Science, Mathematics, & Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program The SMART Scholarship for Service Program has been established by the DOD to support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The program is an opportunity for students to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed upon degree completion. The program aims to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at DOD laboratories.

NSF's NanoJapan International Research Experience for Undergraduates Recognized as a model for international education programs for science and engineering students, NanoJapan provides U.S. undergraduates with structured research opportunities in Japanese university laboratories with Japanese mentors.The strong educational portfolio of this project focuses on cultivating interest in nanotechnology among young U.S. undergraduate students, especially those from underrepresented groups, and encouraging such students to pursue graduate study and academic research in the physical sciences.

Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program Established in 2000 to fund basic research in areas of interest to the Intelligence Community, today, the program annually funds first- and second-year postdoctoral fellows researching topics as varied as molecular biology and robotics.

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Training NIH/NIBIB training opportunities are geared for undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral candidates. See also theNIBIB Funding pageand theNIH Training and Educationpage.

NIH's Cancer Nanotechnology Training Centers(CNTCs)CNTCs are designed to establish innovative research education programs supporting the development of a multi-disciplinary nanotechnology workforce capable of pursuing cancer research. CNTCs target graduate student and post-doctoral researchers with backgrounds in medicine, biology, and other health sciences as well as in the physical sciences, chemistry, and engineering. The program of multi-disciplinary research education in cancer nanotechnology is primarily focused on mentored laboratory-based training through participation in dedicated training research projects. (See an updated list on our NNI R&D Centers page.)

Degree Programs

Below is a list of degree programs, including Bachelors degrees with majors, minors and concentrations; Masters degrees; and PhD programs.

Boston University - Concentration in nanotechnology

Clarion University Minor in nanotechnology

Drexel University BSc Materials Engineering with Specialization Nanotechnology

Excelsior College - B.S. in Electrical Engineering Tech with Nanotechnology concentration

Georgia Tech - B.S. in Electrical Engineering with Nanosystems Specialization

Hampton University - Minor in Nanoscience

Johns Hopkins University - B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, concentration in nanotechnology

Lock Haven University - B.S. in Applied Physics (Nanotechnology Track)

Louisiana Tech University B.S. in Nanosystems Engineering

Michigan Technological University B.S. in Physics withminor in nanotechnology

New Jersey Institute of Technology - Minor in nanotechnology

North Carolina State University, NANO@NCState program - B.S. with nanotechnology concentration

Northwestern University B.S. in Physics with Nanoscale Physics Concentration

Oregon State University - B.S. in Chemical Engineering with nanotechnology processes option

Pennsylvania State University - Minor in nanotechnology; Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology capstone semester

Rice UniversityB.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering withConcentration in Photonics and Nanodevices, orB.S. in Materials Science andNanoengineering

Rutgers University B.S. program in Materials Science and Engineeringwith a focus on nanomaterials

Stanford University - B.S. Materials Science and Engineering with nanotechnology concentration

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering B.S. in Nanoscale Science or Nanoscale Engineering

University of California, Riverside B.S. in Materials Science with a concentration in nanomaterials and sensors; B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a concentration in nanotechnology;B.S. in Chemical and Environmental Engineering with a nanotechnology concentration

University of California, San Diego B.S. Nanoengineering

University of Central Florida B.S. in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology track in Liberal Studies

University of Cincinnatti - Minor in Nanoengineering; Minor in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

University of Connecticut - Minor in Nanotechnology

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - B.S. with Nanotechnology Concentration

University of Maryland, Materials Science and Engineering Interdisciplinary minor in nanotechnology

University of Notre Dame -B.S. w/ Concentration in Seminconductors and Nanotechnology

University of Southern California -Minor in Nanotechnology

University of Utah -B.S. w/ Emphasis in Micro/Nanoscale Engineering

University of Washington B.S. w/ Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Option

Virginia Tech University -B.S. in Nanoscience

Washington State University, Nanotechnology Think Tank -B.S. w/ Specialization in Nanotechnology

Arizona State University Professional Science Master (PSM) in Nanoscience and M.A. in Applied Ethics (Ethics and Emerging Technologies)

Cornell University - M.S. Applied Physics with Nanotechnology Specialization

Johns Hopkins University M.S. with Concentration in Nanotechnology; Nano-Bio Graduate Training Program

Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (collaborative project of North Carolina A&T State Univ. and Univ. of North Carolina Greensboro) M.S. in Nanoscience and M.S. in Nanoengineering

Louisiana Tech University M.S. in Molecular Sciences and Nanotechnology

North Carolina State University - M.S. in Nanoengineering

North Dakota State University M.S. in Materials and Nanotechnology

Northwestern University -M.S. withSpecialization in Nanotechnology

Princeton University see Rutgers listing for joint program

Radiological Technologies University VT (Indiana) M.S. in Nanomedicine

Rice University, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology Professional Science Master (PSM) in Nanoscale Physics

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and Princeton University- Intergrative Graduate Education Research Traineeship (IGERT) in Nanotechnology for Clean Energy

Singapore-MIT Alliance M.Eng. Advanced Materials for Micro- and Nano-Systems

Stevens Institute of Technology M.Eng. with Nanotechnology Concentration and M.S. with Nanotechnology Concentration

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering M.S. in Nanoscale Science and Nanoscale Engineering

University of California, Riverside Online M.S. Nanotechnology Engineering

University of California, San Diego M.S. Nanoengineering

University of Central Florida - M.S. and P.S.M in Nanotechnology

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign -Cancer Nanotechnology Concentration

University of New Mexico M.S. in Nanoscience and Microsystems

University of Pennsylvania M.S. in Nanotechnology

University of South Florida - M.S. in Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology

University of Texas at Austin M.S. withNanomaterials Thrust Area

City University of New York - Nanotechnology and Materials Science

Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering - Nanoscience or Nanoengineering

Louisana Tech University - Micro/Nanoelectronics and Micro/Nanotechnology

North Dakota State University - Materials and Nanotechnology

Northeastern University, NSFs Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) - Ph.D. in Nanomedicine

Northwestern University - Specialization in Nanotechnology

Rice University - Materials Science and NanoEngineering

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Nanoscience and Engineering program

Stevens Institute of Technology - Nanotechnology Graduate Program

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering-Ph.D. in Nanoscale Science or Engineering or Medicine; M.D. in Nanoscale Medicine

University of California, Berkeley - Nanoscale Science and Engineering

University of California, Los Angelos -Ph.D. Chemistry w/ Materials and Nanoscience Specialization

University of California, San Diego - Nanoengineering

University of New Mexico - Nanoscience and Microsystems

University of North Carolina at Charlotte -Ph.D. Program in Nanoscale Science

University of Texas at Austin -Ph.D. w/ Nanomaterials Thrust

University of Utah Nanotechnology

University of Washington Dual Titled Ph.D. in (core discipline) and Nanotechnology & Molecular Engineering& Ph.D. in Molecular Engineering

Virginia Commonwealth UniversityPh.D. in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Washington State University - Graduate Certificate in Engineering Nanotechnology

Got a new program? Contact us at info@nnco.nano.govto have it listed on this site.

For more opportunities, visit our Funding Opportunities page.

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College, Grad School, and Post Doc Opportunities | Nano

UQ, partners taking computing out of this world – Phys.org – Phys.Org

June 8, 2017

University of Queensland researchers have partnered with global technology leader Lockheed Martin to develop next generation computers for aerospace applications.

ARC Future Fellow and project lead Professor Warwick Bowen said the partnership would develop a new approach to computer technology, with the potential for future commercial impacts in the aerospace industry.

"In contrast to today's computers, which rely on electric currents, this new approach will use mechanical vibrations inside the computer chip to perform computations," Professor Bowen said.

"This makes it much more robust to radiation exposure in near-earth orbit and deep space applications.

"An expected further project outcome is the development of nanotechnologies that could have wide uses in sensing, health and communications.

"The project could also improve heat management and energy efficiency in future computers."

Speaking on the partnership with UQ, Lockheed Martin Australia Chief Executive Vince Di Pietro said Lockheed Martin had a long history of collaborative research and innovation across the globe, including investment in the world's best research in Australia.

"By leveraging an existing contract established through our Global Supply Chain Enabled Innovation program into this ARC Linkage grant with UQ, we see a true partnership between industry, academia and government growing Australia's future defence industry capability," Mr Di Pietro said.

Chief investigator Dr Rachpon Kalra, awarded a UQ Development Fellowship to work with Lockheed Martin Australia, said the project would strengthen UQ's ties to one of the world's largest aerospace companies.

Fellow chief investigator Dr Christopher Baker said the project built upon UQ's expertise in nanotechnology and nanoengineering.

UQ made a recent multi-million dollar investment in nation-leading nanofabrication tools capable of building devices with features only a few tens of atoms in size.

The project is part of the University of Queensland Precision Sensing Initiative, a joint initiative of the Schools of Mathematics and Physics and of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

It will benefit from substantial Federal Government investment into the Australian Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems, which aims to develop next generation quantum technologies for future Australian industries.

Federal Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham announced the funding last month, making it one of four UQ proposals that attracted $1.28 million in Australian Government funding through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme.

The computers for aerospace project received $334,710 Federal Government funding, with cash and in-kind funding by the University and industry partner.

Dr Luke Uribarri from Lockheed Martin will be the fourth investigator on the project.

Explore further: Lockheed Martin to deliver world record-setting 60kw laser to U.S. Army

Lockheed Martin has completed the design, development and demonstration of a 60 kW-class beam combined fiber laser for the U.S. Army.

Digital Array Row Transceiver (DART) provides greater performance thanks to improved reliability and increased efficiency

Lockheed Martin and Dominion Resources, Inc. have co-developed a new smart grid technology called VirtuGrid, which will enable remote detection of power outages for faster mapping and response. This collaboration between ...

A major Chinese investment in graphene research plans to deliver lighter, better performing aircraft and high-speed trains.

Thousands of electrical components make up today's most sophisticated systems and without innovative cooling techniques, those systems get hot. Lockheed Martin is working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ...

(Phys.org) Hong Kong based Reignwood Group and U.S. aerospace company Lockheed Martin have announced plans to build an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) electricity generating plant off the coast of China to power ...

An AI machine has taken the maths section of China's annual university entrance exam, finishing it faster than students but with a below average grade.

Globally, from China and Germany to the United States, electric vehicle (EV) subsidies have been championed as an effective strategy to boost production of renewable technology and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

As global automakers compete to bring the first flying car to market, Czech pilot Pavel Brezina is trying a different tack: instead of creating a car that flies, he has made a "GyroDrive"a mini helicopter you can drive.

Apple's new HomePod speaker may be music to the ears of its loyal fans, but how much it can crank up volume in the smart speaker market remains to be heard.

Autonomous vehicles with no human backup will be put to the test on publicly traveled roads as early as next year in what may be the first attempt at unassisted autonomous piloting.

Using Earth-abundant materials, EPFL scientists have built the first low-cost system for splitting CO2 into CO, a reaction necessary for turning renewable energy into fuel.

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Scholar Spotlight: Using Nano Technology, Amay Bandodkar Creates Self-Healing Wearable Devices – MilTech

Wearable technology has increasingly found its way into consumers lives, with the fitness tracker Fit Bit and smart watches like the Apple Watch leading the market.

In the future, we can expect to see more such wearable devicesincluding thin, small, flexible, sensors that adhere to the skin. Nano engineers have been creating prototypes of these sticker-like sensors that could have dozens of health care, consumer, and military applications.

Existing technologies present barriers to the practicality of the prototypes, however: They can tear easily, and their thin profile makes the use of batteries impractical. Nano engineer and Siebel Scholar Amay Bandodkar (University of California San Diego, BioE 16), has devoted his research to overcoming these limitations.

Siebel Scholar Amay Bandodkar is using nano technology to develop flexible and wearable health monitoring devices that use magnets to repair themselves.

As a doctoral student in the research lab of Dr. Joseph Wang at the Department of NanoEngineering at the University of California San Diego, Bandodkar worked on developing wearable devices that can sense chemicals and devices that can harvest energy from human sweat.

He also helped pioneer a breakthrough technology that enables wearable devices to heal themselves using magnetic particles. His team published an article describing the discovery in the November 2, 2016 issue of Science Advances.

Now a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, Bandodkar is continuing his research on wearable chemical sensors. He is also researching implantable devices for monitoring brain activity. He is especially interested in developing devices for biomedical applications, such as monitoring ICU patients and people who have just undergone surgery.

Bandodkar spoke with the Siebel Scholars program about wearable devices, his research at Dr. Wangs lab, and the new paths hes forging at Northwestern.

Q: What will wearable electronic devices look like in the future?

In the very near future, wearable devices will conform to the skin. Think of a very thin, flexible, patch that you apply directly to the body, and which moves and breathes with the skin. The user wont even feel its presence.

These devices will monitor an array of vital parameters, such as glucose levels, electrolytes, heart rates, temperature, and stress levels. Multiple sensors on the body will interact, sending each other information, and to sensors on other people.

Right now, for instance, a pregnant woman needs to see her gynecologist to know the status of her baby and her own health. A wearable or implantable system could continuously monitor the health of the mother and baby and wirelessly transmit that information to the hospital or clinic without the need for a doctors visit.

In a military application, sensors placed on soldiers can keep a commanding officer updated on soldiers fitness levels. This information can help inform decisions about who needs a break in the action. For people with diabetes, sensors could track glucose levels and make needle prick tests obsolete.

Q: Your research on self-healing devices has undergone a few iterations. What steps did you take before you got to this latest breakthrough?

Wearable devices can be expensive to make, but printing them can significantly drive down the cost. So this has become an attractive approach. Printed, wearable devices move with the users bodythey bend, stretch, and twist. But they usually break when they experience mechanical stress. We wanted to incorporate self-healing systems to extend the lifespan of these devices.

The first approach we took was to disperse microcapsules filled with organic solvents within the device. Where damage happened, the capsules broke and released the solvent, which helped form a bridge across the cracks. Within a few seconds you got conductivity and could use the device again. This had two problems: First, you cant use non-bio compatible solvents for wearable devices. Second, the solvent evaporates over time, limiting the lifespan of the device.

Other research groups have used self-healing polymers and other chemistries to initiate the self-healing process. Those approaches require that you manually trigger self-healing by exposing the device to heat or UV light and leave it for several hours or days. These systems are also very sensitive, so under certain weather conditions, they wont perform.

Q: How has your research overcome these limitations?

We came up with the idea of using magnets. Magnets attract each other. They are very inexpensive. And they will work under just about any weather condition.

We literally bought magnets at the supermarket, then ground them down into very fine particles and infused the ink with them. That worked. When the device split or broke, the magnetic particles attracted each other and it self-healed automatically, over and over. This is what we reported on in Science Advances.

You can the self-healing process in action in this video.

Q: All of these devices need power. Your research has helped devise novel ways to harness electricity. Tell us about that.

The groups I worked with at Dr. Wangs laboratory and at Northwestern are both exploring ways to circumvent the need for batteries. The problem with batteries is that they discharge and are bulky. During my Ph.D., I worked on developing wearable biofuel cells that can scavenge energy from human sweat. We recently demonstrated that such a system can power LED lights and even a Bluetooth device.

One of the biggest challenges is optimizing the ink compositionfinding the right balance of magnetic material, binder, and electric system components. If you put in too much magnetic material, the amount of the other components you can add decreases. There is a fixed amount of solid materials that can be suspended in a polymeric binder system. All of this material affects printability as well.

Q: Where is your research headed?

In my present lab, I am working on implantable devices that can monitor neurochemicals to measure brain activity as well as wearable non-invasive chemical sensors for fitness and health care applications.

I am currently exploring integrating near-field communications (NFC) technologiesthe kind used for applications such as Apple Payinto wearable patches to overcome the need for batteries. The patch will have a small antenna on it. When you tap your phone on it, the device will transmit information to your phone such as your glucose and sodium levels, temperature, and sweat rate.

Q: What inspired you to become a nano engineer?

I have always been interested in doing research. Every day offers a new challenge. I find it much more exciting than the prospect of a 9-5 job. Growing up in Mumbai, India, I knew I wanted to do my Ph.D. in the United States.

I began my graduate studies in 2011, not long after researchers had begun developing wearable devices. I wanted to be involved in the budding nano field. I was really excited to see how we could make chemical devices and sensors that could be integrated on wearable platforms.

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Scholar Spotlight: Using Nano Technology, Amay Bandodkar Creates Self-Healing Wearable Devices - MilTech

Third building planned for Gateway research park campus – Greensboro News & Record

GREENSBORO The nanoschool is about to get a new neighbor.

The Gateway University Research Park went public Tuesday night with plans to build a third building on its south campus on East Gate City Boulevard. The new 70,000-square-foot building will go up next door to the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.

John Merrill, executive director of the Gateway University Research Park, said hell announce the new buildings main tenant within the next couple of weeks. Construction could start as soon as August and the building could be occupied in late 2018.

Our anchor tenant needs to be in the space as soon as we can deliver it, Merrill said in a telephone interview Wednesday. Were going to do everything we can to keep this process moving forward.

Merrill declined to name the anchor tenant but described it as an injection molding company. The company will bring its headquarters and 25 jobs to the new space initially and has promised to add 25 more, Merrill said.

The $11.7 million, two-story building will have research labs and offices as well as manufacturing and distribution spaces. The anchor tenant will occupy between a third and half of the new building. The remaining spaces will be for lease.

Greensboro City Council on Tuesday agreed to spend $1.2 million on the project.

The Gateway research park, a joint venture of N.C. A&T and UNC-Greensboro, has two campuses. The North Campus covers 75 acres along U.S. 29 near Bryan Park. The South Campus, also 75 acres, sits along Gate City Boulevard near Interstate 40/85.

The other building contains high-end laboratories and offices. Tenants include the U.S. Department of Agricultures Natural Resources Conservation Service; VF Corp.s Global Innovation Center for denim research; Triad Growth Partners, a technology and business development company; and several high-tech startups.

Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.

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Third building planned for Gateway research park campus - Greensboro News & Record

NSF announces 2017 winners for Generation Nano: Small Science … – National Science Foundation (press release)

News Release 17-050

Competition inspires high school students to learn the science behind nanotechnology

June 6, 2017

Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), named the first- and second-place winners, as well as the People's Choice winner, for the second annual Generation Nano competition.

Generation Nano challenges high school students to imagine novel superheroes who use the power of nanotechnology -- technology on the scale of a nanometer, or 1 billionth of a meter -- to solve crimes or tackle a societal challenge. Students then tell their hero's story in a comic and video. Students learn about the science behind nanotechnology before applying nanotechnology-enabled tools and concepts to futuristic characters, said Mihail C. Roco, NSF senior advisor for science and engineering and a key architect of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).

"This competition is like a real-life exercise in modern society, where creativity and rigor combine to engineer novel products, smart infrastructure, life-saving medical treatments and more," Roco said. "Students use their imaginations to join emerging uses of nanotechnology with other fields, bringing new viewpoints and collective interest to scientific progress. The younger generation needs such skills, as they will live and work in a more advanced society than their teachers, and we wish success to all of them as they help create the future of nanotechnology."

The winners

"I was so impressed by the imaginative ways that students used nanotechnology to ease human suffering, cure disease, fight criminals and clean up the environment in this year's Generation Nano contest," said Lisa Friedersdorf, director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office. "The winning comics showcase the importance of creatively applying science to solve problems. I am sure these comics and videos will excite other students and inspire them to think about how they can use nanotechnology to improve the world."

Students' superhero creations had to address one of four missions using their nanotechnology powers:

Generation Nano participants were required to submit a short, written entry about their superheroes, a two- to three-page comic and a 90-second video. A panel of judges with expertise in either nanotechnology or comics evaluated each entry and selected semifinalists and finalists. The public selected the People's Choice winner from the list of finalists.

The judges

The winners will be at the NSF booth at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. June 16-18, and will also visit Capitol Hill. In addition, each winner is invited to tour the nearest NNI center.

Visit the Generation Nano website for competition details, such as eligibility criteria, entry guidelines, timeline, prizes, and videos and comics from the winners and finalists.

-NSF-

Media Contacts Sarah Bates, NSF, (703) 292-7738, sabates@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

Get News Updates by Email

Useful NSF Web Sites: NSF Home Page: https://www.nsf.gov NSF News: https://www.nsf.gov/news/ For the News Media: https://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp Science and Engineering Statistics: https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ Awards Searches: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/

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NSF announces 2017 winners for Generation Nano: Small Science ... - National Science Foundation (press release)

Here Are the Microsurgeons That Will Soon Roam Our Bodies – Singularity Hub

On a crisp fall evening in 2006, Dr. Sylvain Martel held his breath as a technician slipped an anesthetized pig into a whirling fMRI machine. His eyes stared intently at a computer screen, which showed a magnetic bead hovering inside the pigs delicate blood vessels. The tension in the room was palpable.

Suddenly, the bead jumped to life, hopping effortlessly down the vessel like a microsubmarineheading to its next target destination. The team erupted in cheers.

Martel and his team were testing a new way to remotely steer tiny objects inside a living animal by manipulating the magnetic forces of the machine. And for the first time, it worked.

Scientists and writers have long dreamed of tiny robots that navigate the bodys vast circulatory system, like space explorers surveying the galaxies and their inhabitants. The potentials are many: tiny medical microbots could, for example, shuttle radioactive drugs to cancer clusters, perform surgeries inside the body, or clear out blood clots lodged deep inside the heart or brain.

The dream is the Fantastic Voyage, but with bots instead of people, says roboticist Dr. Bradley Nelson at ETH Zurich, referencing a classic science fiction movie wherein a team of people are shrunken down and travel through a persons bloodstream to perform brain surgery on a moribund intelligence agent.

For now, medical microbots are still mostly fictional, though thats set to change within the decade. Writing in Nature this week, Drs. Mariana Medina-Snchez and Oliver G. Schmidt at the Leibniz IFW in Dresden, Germany turned away from the big screen to nanoengineering labs, setting out priorities and realistic tests to bring these tiny surgeons to life.

Medical microbots are part of the medical fields journey into miniaturization. Back in 2001, an Israeli company introduced the PillCam, a candy-sized plastic capsule that harbored a camera, batteries and wireless transmission machinery. While traveling down the alimentary canal, the PillCam periodically beamed back images wirelessly, offering a more sensitive and less toxic diagnostic measure than traditional endoscopy or X-ray imaging.

Size wise, the PillCam is gigantic for an ideal microbot, making it only suitable for the relatively wide tubing of our digestive system. The pill was also passive, unable to linger at interesting locations for a more detailed survey.

A true medical microbot must propel and steer itself through an intricate network of fluid-filled tubes to tissues deep inside the body, explains Martel.

The body, unfortunately, is rather hostile to outsiders. Microbots have to be able to survive corrosive gastric juices and paddle upstream in the blood flow without the convenience of battery-powered motors.

Labs around the world are figuring out clever alternatives to the power problem. One idea is to create what are essentially chemical rockets: cylindrical microbots loaded with fueloften a metal or other catalystthat reacts with gastric juices or other liquids to expel bubbles from the back of the tube.

These motors are hard to control, say Medina-Snchez and Schmidt. We can roughly control their direction using chemical gradients, but they dont have enough endurance and efficacy. Designing non-toxic fuels based on the bodys supplysugar, urea, or other physiological fluidsis also hard.

An arguably better alternative is metallic physical motors that can be propelled by changes in magnetic fields. Martel, as demonstrated with his bead-in-a-pig experiment, was among the first to explore these propellers.

The MRI machine is perfect for steering and imaging metallic microbot prototypes, explains Martel. The machine has several sets of magnetic coils: the main set magnetizes the microbot after it is injected into the bloodstream through a catheter. Then, by manipulating the gradient coils of the MRI, we can generate weak magnetic fields to nudge the microbot down blood vessels or other biological tubing.

In subsequent experiments, Martel made iron-cobalt nanoparticles coated with a cancer drug and injected the tiny soldiers into rabbits. Using a computer program to automatically change the magnetic field, his team steered the bots to the target location. Although there were no tumors to kill in that particular study, Martel says similar designs could prove useful for liver cancers and other tumors with relatively large vessels.

Why not smaller vessels? The problem is, again, power. Martel was only able to shrink the bot down to a few hundred micrometersanything smaller required magnetic gradients so large that they disrupted neuronal firing in the brain.

A more elegant solution is using biological motors that already exist in nature. Bacteria and sperm are both armed with whip-like tails that propel them naturally through the bodys convoluted tunnels and cavities to perform biological reactions.

By combining mechanical bits with biological bits, the two components could give each other a boost when one is faltering.

An example is the spermbot. Schmidt previously designed tiny metal helices that wrap around lazy sperm, giving them a mobility boost to reach the egg. Sperm could also be loaded with drugs, linked to a magnetic microstructure to treat cancers in the reproductive tract.

Then there are specialized groups of bacteria called MC-1 that align themselves with Earths magnetic field. By generating a very weak fieldjust enough to overcome Earthsscientists can point the bacterias internal compass towards a new goal such as cancer.

Unfortunately, drug-tagged MC-1 bacteria only survive in warm blood for roughly 40 minutes, and most arent strong enough to swim against the bloodstream. Martel envisions a hybrid system made of bacteria and fat-based bubbles. The bubbles, loaded with magnetic particles and bacteria, would be guided down larger blood vessels using strong magnetic fields until they smack into narrower ones. Upon impact, the bubbles would pop and release the swarms of bacteria to finish their journey, guided by weaker magnetic fields.

While scientists have plenty of ideas for propellers, a main hurdle is tracking the microbots once theyre released into the body.

Combining different types of imaging techniques may be the way forward. Ultrasound, MRI and infrared are all too slow to follow microbots operating deep within the body by themselves. However, combining light, sound, and electromagnetic waves could increase resolution and sensitivity.

Ideally, an imaging method should be able to track micromotors 10 centimeters under the skin, in 3D and real-time, moving at minimum speeds of tens of micrometers per second,say Medina-Snchez and Schmidt.

Its a tall order, though theyre hopeful that cutting-edge optoacousticmethodscombining infrared and ultrasound imagingcould be good enough to track microbots within a few years.

Then theres the question of what to do with the bots after theyve finished their mission. Leaving them drifting inside the body could result in clots or other catastrophic side effects, such as metal poisoning. Driving the bots back to their starting point (mouth, eyes, and other natural orifices, for example) may be too tedious. Scientists are now exploring better options: expelling the bots naturallyor making them out of biodegradable materials.

The latter has another plus: if the materials are also sensitive to heat, pH, or other bodily factors, they can make autonomous biobots that operate without batteries. For example, scientists have already made little star-shaped grippers that close around tissues when exposed to heat. When placed around diseased organs or tissues, the grippers could perform on-site biopsies, offering a less invasive way to screen for colon cancers or monitor chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

The goal is a microbot that can sense, diagnose, and act autonomously, while people monitor it and retain control in case of malfunction, say Medina-Snchez and Schmidt.

The medical microbots fantastic voyage is just beginning.

All combinations of materials, microorganisms and microstructures need to be tested together for their behavior in animals first to ensure safety and function. Scientists are also waiting for regulators to catch up, and for clinicians to ponder new ways to deploy these new microbots in diagnostics and treatments.

But optimism is growing in the ever-expanding field.

With a coordinated push, microbots could usher in an era of non-invasive therapies within a decade, declare Medina-Snchez and Schmidt.

Banner image and video ("Self-Folding Thermo-Magnetically Responsive Soft Microgrippers) courtesy of ACS Applied Materials & Interfacesand licensedCC BY-NC.

Continue reading here:

Here Are the Microsurgeons That Will Soon Roam Our Bodies - Singularity Hub

Scholar Spotlight: Using Nano Technology, Amay Bandodkar Creates Self-Healing Wearable Devices – satPRnews (press release)

Wearable technology has increasingly found its way into consumers lives, with the fitness tracker Fit Bit and smart watches like the Apple Watch leading the market.

In the future, we can expect to see more such wearable devicesincluding thin, small, flexible, sensors that adhere to the skin. Nano engineers have been creating prototypes of these sticker-like sensors that could have dozens of health care, consumer, and military applications.

Existing technologies present barriers to the practicality of the prototypes, however: They can tear easily, and their thin profile makes the use of batteries impractical. Nano engineer and Siebel Scholar Amay Bandodkar (University of California San Diego, BioE 16), has devoted his research to overcoming these limitations.

Siebel Scholar Amay Bandodkar is using nano technology to develop flexible and wearable health monitoring devices that use magnets to repair themselves.

As a doctoral student in the research lab of Dr. Joseph Wang at the Department of NanoEngineering at the University of California San Diego, Bandodkar worked on developing wearable devices that can sense chemicals and devices that can harvest energy from human sweat.

He also helped pioneer a breakthrough technology that enables wearable devices to heal themselves using magnetic particles. His team published an article describing the discovery in the November 2, 2016 issue of Science Advances.

Now a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, Bandodkar is continuing his research on wearable chemical sensors. He is also researching implantable devices for monitoring brain activity. He is especially interested in developing devices for biomedical applications, such as monitoring ICU patients and people who have just undergone surgery.

Bandodkar spoke with the Siebel Scholars program about wearable devices, his research at Dr. Wangs lab, and the new paths hes forging at Northwestern.

Q: What will wearable electronic devices look like in the future?

In the very near future, wearable devices will conform to the skin. Think of a very thin, flexible, patch that you apply directly to the body, and which moves and breathes with the skin. The user wont even feel its presence.

These devices will monitor an array of vital parameters, such as glucose levels, electrolytes, heart rates, temperature, and stress levels. Multiple sensors on the body will interact, sending each other information, and to sensors on other people.

Right now, for instance, a pregnant woman needs to see her gynecologist to know the status of her baby and her own health. A wearable or implantable system could continuously monitor the health of the mother and baby and wirelessly transmit that information to the hospital or clinic without the need for a doctors visit.

In a military application, sensors placed on soldiers can keep a commanding officer updated on soldiers fitness levels. This information can help inform decisions about who needs a break in the action. For people with diabetes, sensors could track glucose levels and make needle prick tests obsolete.

Q: Your research on self-healing devices has undergone a few iterations. What steps did you take before you got to this latest breakthrough?

Wearable devices can be expensive to make, but printing them can significantly drive down the cost. So this has become an attractive approach. Printed, wearable devices move with the users bodythey bend, stretch, and twist. But they usually break when they experience mechanical stress. We wanted to incorporate self-healing systems to extend the lifespan of these devices.

The first approach we took was to disperse microcapsules filled with organic solvents within the device. Where damage happened, the capsules broke and released the solvent, which helped form a bridge across the cracks. Within a few seconds you got conductivity and could use the device again. This had two problems: First, you cant use non-bio compatible solvents for wearable devices. Second, the solvent evaporates over time, limiting the lifespan of the device.

Other research groups have used self-healing polymers and other chemistries to initiate the self-healing process. Those approaches require that you manually trigger self-healing by exposing the device to heat or UV light and leave it for several hours or days. These systems are also very sensitive, so under certain weather conditions, they wont perform.

Q: How has your research overcome these limitations?

We came up with the idea of using magnets. Magnets attract each other. They are very inexpensive. And they will work under just about any weather condition.

We literally bought magnets at the supermarket, then ground them down into very fine particles and infused the ink with them. That worked. When the device split or broke, the magnetic particles attracted each other and it self-healed automatically, over and over. This is what we reported on in Science Advances.

You can the self-healing process in action in this video.

Q: All of these devices need power. Your research has helped devise novel ways to harness electricity. Tell us about that.

The groups I worked with at Dr. Wangs laboratory and at Northwestern are both exploring ways to circumvent the need for batteries. The problem with batteries is that they discharge and are bulky. During my Ph.D., I worked on developing wearable biofuel cells that can scavenge energy from human sweat. We recently demonstrated that such a system can power LED lights and even a Bluetooth device.

One of the biggest challenges is optimizing the ink compositionfinding the right balance of magnetic material, binder, and electric system components. If you put in too much magnetic material, the amount of the other components you can add decreases. There is a fixed amount of solid materials that can be suspended in a polymeric binder system. All of this material affects printability as well.

Q: Where is your research headed?

In my present lab, I am working on implantable devices that can monitor neurochemicals to measure brain activity as well as wearable non-invasive chemical sensors for fitness and health care applications.

I am currently exploring integrating near-field communications (NFC) technologiesthe kind used for applications such as Apple Payinto wearable patches to overcome the need for batteries. The patch will have a small antenna on it. When you tap your phone on it, the device will transmit information to your phone such as your glucose and sodium levels, temperature, and sweat rate.

Q: What inspired you to become a nano engineer?

I have always been interested in doing research. Every day offers a new challenge. I find it much more exciting than the prospect of a 9-5 job. Growing up in Mumbai, India, I knew I wanted to do my Ph.D. in the United States.

I began my graduate studies in 2011, not long after researchers had begun developing wearable devices. I wanted to be involved in the budding nano field. I was really excited to see how we could make chemical devices and sensors that could be integrated on wearable platforms.

Wearable technology has increasingly found its way into consumers lives, with the fitness tracker Fit Bit and smart watches like the Apple Watch leading the market.

In the future, we can expect to see more such wearable devicesincluding thin, small, flexible, sensors that adhere to the skin. Nano engineers have been creating prototypes of these sticker-like sensors that could have dozens of health care, consumer, and military applications.

Existing technologies present barriers to the practicality of the prototypes, however: They can tear easily, and their thin profile makes the use of batteries impractical. Nano engineer and Siebel Scholar Amay Bandodkar (University of California San Diego, BioE 16), has devoted his research to overcoming these limitations.

Siebel Scholar Amay Bandodkar is using nano technology to develop flexible and wearable health monitoring devices that use magnets to repair themselves.

As a doctoral student in the research lab of Dr. Joseph Wang at the Department of NanoEngineering at the University of California San Diego, Bandodkar worked on developing wearable devices that can sense chemicals and devices that can harvest energy from human sweat.

He also helped pioneer a breakthrough technology that enables wearable devices to heal themselves using magnetic particles. His team published an article describing the discovery in the November 2, 2016 issue of Science Advances.

Now a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, Bandodkar is continuing his research on wearable chemical sensors. He is also researching implantable devices for monitoring brain activity. He is especially interested in developing devices for biomedical applications, such as monitoring ICU patients and people who have just undergone surgery.

Bandodkar spoke with the Siebel Scholars program about wearable devices, his research at Dr. Wangs lab, and the new paths hes forging at Northwestern.

Q: What will wearable electronic devices look like in the future?

In the very near future, wearable devices will conform to the skin. Think of a very thin, flexible, patch that you apply directly to the body, and which moves and breathes with the skin. The user wont even feel its presence.

These devices will monitor an array of vital parameters, such as glucose levels, electrolytes, heart rates, temperature, and stress levels. Multiple sensors on the body will interact, sending each other information, and to sensors on other people.

Right now, for instance, a pregnant woman needs to see her gynecologist to know the status of her baby and her own health. A wearable or implantable system could continuously monitor the health of the mother and baby and wirelessly transmit that information to the hospital or clinic without the need for a doctors visit.

In a military application, sensors placed on soldiers can keep a commanding officer updated on soldiers fitness levels. This information can help inform decisions about who needs a break in the action. For people with diabetes, sensors could track glucose levels and make needle prick tests obsolete.

Q: Your research on self-healing devices has undergone a few iterations. What steps did you take before you got to this latest breakthrough?

Wearable devices can be expensive to make, but printing them can significantly drive down the cost. So this has become an attractive approach. Printed, wearable devices move with the users bodythey bend, stretch, and twist. But they usually break when they experience mechanical stress. We wanted to incorporate self-healing systems to extend the lifespan of these devices.

The first approach we took was to disperse microcapsules filled with organic solvents within the device. Where damage happened, the capsules broke and released the solvent, which helped form a bridge across the cracks. Within a few seconds you got conductivity and could use the device again. This had two problems: First, you cant use non-bio compatible solvents for wearable devices. Second, the solvent evaporates over time, limiting the lifespan of the device.

Other research groups have used self-healing polymers and other chemistries to initiate the self-healing process. Those approaches require that you manually trigger self-healing by exposing the device to heat or UV light and leave it for several hours or days. These systems are also very sensitive, so under certain weather conditions, they wont perform.

Q: How has your research overcome these limitations?

We came up with the idea of using magnets. Magnets attract each other. They are very inexpensive. And they will work under just about any weather condition.

We literally bought magnets at the supermarket, then ground them down into very fine particles and infused the ink with them. That worked. When the device split or broke, the magnetic particles attracted each other and it self-healed automatically, over and over. This is what we reported on in Science Advances.

You can the self-healing process in action in this video.

Q: All of these devices need power. Your research has helped devise novel ways to harness electricity. Tell us about that.

The groups I worked with at Dr. Wangs laboratory and at Northwestern are both exploring ways to circumvent the need for batteries. The problem with batteries is that they discharge and are bulky. During my Ph.D., I worked on developing wearable biofuel cells that can scavenge energy from human sweat. We recently demonstrated that such a system can power LED lights and even a Bluetooth device.

One of the biggest challenges is optimizing the ink compositionfinding the right balance of magnetic material, binder, and electric system components. If you put in too much magnetic material, the amount of the other components you can add decreases. There is a fixed amount of solid materials that can be suspended in a polymeric binder system. All of this material affects printability as well.

Q: Where is your research headed?

In my present lab, I am working on implantable devices that can monitor neurochemicals to measure brain activity as well as wearable non-invasive chemical sensors for fitness and health care applications.

I am currently exploring integrating near-field communications (NFC) technologiesthe kind used for applications such as Apple Payinto wearable patches to overcome the need for batteries. The patch will have a small antenna on it. When you tap your phone on it, the device will transmit information to your phone such as your glucose and sodium levels, temperature, and sweat rate.

Q: What inspired you to become a nano engineer?

I have always been interested in doing research. Every day offers a new challenge. I find it much more exciting than the prospect of a 9-5 job. Growing up in Mumbai, India, I knew I wanted to do my Ph.D. in the United States.

I began my graduate studies in 2011, not long after researchers had begun developing wearable devices. I wanted to be involved in the budding nano field. I was really excited to see how we could make chemical devices and sensors that could be integrated on wearable platforms.

Read the original here:

Scholar Spotlight: Using Nano Technology, Amay Bandodkar Creates Self-Healing Wearable Devices - satPRnews (press release)

New Fields Fast: The NanoCar Race and Quantum Mechanical Engineering – Edgy Labs (blog)

After their Nanocarfinished second at the first molecular-car race, an Ohio University team is laying the groundwork for the new field of quantum mechanical engineering.

This is a completely new concept of car racing. Think of a NASCAR race, but instead of hot rods roaring on the tarmac, you have cars made up of few molecules, invisible to the naked eye, speeding on a track 50,000 times thinner than the stroke of a ballpoint pen!

What I described is the NanoCar Race that was held last April by CNRS (the National Centre for Scientific Research), a French organization under the Ministry of Education and Research.

The NanoCar Race, which took place over 36 hours between the 28th and 29th of April in Toulouse, saw the participation of 6 international teams.

Four-wheeled molecular cars of different shapes and sizes raced on 100-nanometer gold track, powered by an electrical pulse generated by an STM (scanning tunneling microscope) that uses a quantum mechanics phenomenon known as the tunnel effect.

Speed isnt everything, as the winner should be the one that made the greatest distance during the 36 hours.

According to the final ranking of CNRS, there were two winners ex-aequo, The US-Austrian team (Rice/Graz universities) whose NanoPrix made 1 micron in 29 hours (on a silver surface), and the Swiss team (Bazel University), whose car traveled 133 nm in 6-and-a-half hours.

Coming in second was the Ohio University team with their Bobcat nano-wagon, which traveled 43 nm; and last, the German team (Dresden University), whose car traveled 11 nm. There were also two other unranked teams: the Japanese team (NIMS-MANA) was awarded the Fair play prize, and the French team (Toulouse) took home the most beautiful car prize.

The Bobcat Nano-Wagon was developed at Laboratory for Single Atom and Molecule Manipulationat Ohio University. Although the Bobcat came in second and performed rather well, the team blames a thunderstorm in Ohio that caused power issues, as the nano-wagon was remotely-controlled across the ocean.

Nevertheless, the end of the race for the Bobcat nano-wagon is only the beginning of yet another exciting perspective.

Team leader and pilot, Saw-Wai Hla have bigger plans in store. The teams two-target project is, first to develop a controlled molecular transport system, and two, help launching a whole new field of study: quantum mechanical engineering.

Professor Hla and his teammates are not sure whether the wheels glide or roll across the nano-surface where gravity is irrelevant, or how the nano-wagon adheres toand moves across the surface.

Currently in early theoretical discussions, the field of quantum mechanical engineering would benefit from further study of nanocars and open the way to new concepts. For example, building electronic circuits and nano-sized data storage devices.

Read more:

New Fields Fast: The NanoCar Race and Quantum Mechanical Engineering - Edgy Labs (blog)

Aerospace engineer to get tough on ceramics with Office of Naval … – Penn State News

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. Namiko Yamamoto, assistant professor of aerospace engineering at Penn State, was recently awarded $447,663 through the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Sea-Based Aviation Airframe Structures and Materials program to study fundamental toughening mechanisms of novel ceramic composites and their use as alternative materials for high-temperature applications in the aerospace industry.

Through her project titled Multi-functional Nano-porous Ceramics, Yamamoto, in collaboration with Jogender Singh, professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and chief scientist in Penn States Applied Research Laboratory, will seek to understand how the introduction of nano-pores into ceramics contributes to enhanced fracture toughness and increased damage tolerance, with minimal compromising of the materials strength.

Tougher ceramic materials are in high demand for numerous aerospace applications that require adequate mechanical strength, stability in extreme environments and lightweight materials, said Yamamoto. Although ceramics exist that meet those requirements, their applications as bulk structural materials are currently limited to their brittleness and low fracture toughness.

Ceramics have a unique combination of material properties, such as low density, high strength at high temperatures, wear resistance, corrosion resistance and low thermal and electrical conductivities. However, when high stress is placed on them, premature or catastrophic failure can occur.

Recently, some unique deformation behaviors have been observed when nano-porous ceramics are indented, including shear banding of collapsed pores. If controlled, this quasi-plastic deformation could potentially contribute to intrinsic toughening of ceramics and effectively mitigate crack initiation and propagation.

Systematic understanding is currently missing about shear banding and its relation to fracture toughness of nano-porous ceramics, said Yamamoto. By conducting multi-scale parametric studies, we hope to gain the knowledge that is critical to the acceleration of practical fabrication and use of macro-scale, nano-porous ceramic materials with increased damage tolerance. Also, through field-assisted sintering technology, we will pursue scalable manufacturing of such nano-porous ceramics.

If successful, the toughened nano-porous ceramics could find use as alternative materials for high-temperature and high-shear loading applications in aerospace engineering parts, helicopter rotor heads, ball-point bearings, gear boxes, thermal and physical protection layers, abrasive cutting tools and more.

Funding for the project will span three years and will support ONRs interest in the field of Sea-Based Aviation Airframe Structures and Materials.

Yamamoto also received an ONR grant in 2016 for her research proposal titled 1D-Patterned Nanocomposites Structured Using Oscillating Magnetic Fields.

Read more from the original source:

Aerospace engineer to get tough on ceramics with Office of Naval ... - Penn State News

New center will push frontiers of sensing technology – MIT News

In anticipation of the official opening of the new MIT.nano building which will house some of the worlds leading facilities supporting research in nanoscience and nanotechnology MIT last week officially launched a new center of excellence called SENSE.nano, which is dedicated to pushing the frontiers of research in sensing technologies.

Like the new building, which is slated to open a year from now, SENSE.nano is an endeavor that cuts across the divisions of departments, labs, and schools, to encompass research in areas including chemistry, physics, materials science, electronics, computer science, biology, mechanical engineering, and more. Faculty members from many of these areas spoke about their research during a daylong conference on May 25 that marked the official launch of the new center.

Introducing the event, MIT President L. Rafael Reif said that [MIT.nano] will create opportunities for research and collaboration for more than half our current faculty, and 67 percent of those recently tenured. In fact, we expect that it will serve and serve to inspire more than 2,000 people across our campus, from all five MIT schools, and many more from beyond our walls.

Explaining the impetus for creating this new center, Reif said that MIT is famous for making because we have a community of makers a concentration of brilliant people who are excited to share their experience and their ideas, to teach you to use their tools and to learn what you know, too. On a much bigger scale, this is the same magic we hope for in creating SENSE.nano. As MIT.nanos first center of excellence, SENSE.nano will bring together a wide array of researchers, inventors, and entrepreneurs fascinated by the potential of sensors and sensing systems to transform our world.

The development of new kinds of connected, inexpensive, and widespread sensing devices, harnessing the power of nanoscale imaging and manufacturing systems, could impact many of the worlds most pressing problems, said Vincent Roche, president of Analog Devices, who gave the opening keynote talk. Such new technology has the potential to solve problems that have plagued humanity for millennia, including food and water security, health care, and environmental degradation.

The 200,000-square-foot facility, in addition to more than doubling the amount of clean-room imaging and fabrication space available to MIT researchers, also contains one of the quietest spaces on the eastern seaboard, said Brian Anthony, co-leader of the new center of excellence and a principal researcher in the mechanical engineering department, referring to an exceptionally vibration-free environment created on the new buildings basement level, where the most sensitive of instruments, that require a perfectly stable base, will be housed.

To show by example what some of that cross-disciplinary work will look like, several faculty members described the research they are doing now and explained how its scope and capabilities will be greatly enhanced by the new imaging and fabrication tools that will become available when MIT.nano officially opens for research.

Tim Swager, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry, described ongoing work that he and his students have been doing on developing tiny, low-cost sensors that can be incorporated in the packaging of fruits and vegetables. The sensors could detect the buildup of gases that could lead to premature ripening or rotting, as a way to reduce the amount of food wasted during transportation and storage. Polina Anikeeva, the Class of 1942 Career Development Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, talked about developing flexible, stretchable fibers for implantation in brain and spinal cord tissues, which could ultimately lead to ways of restoring motion to those with spinal cord injuries.

Others described large-area sensing systems that could incorporate computation and logic so that only the most relevant data would need to be transmitted, helping to curb a data overload; and sensors built from nanotubes that could be bent, twisted, or stretched while still gathering data. Still others described ways of integrating electronics with photonic devices, which use light instead of electrons to carry and manipulate data. Also presented was work on using fluorescing quantum-dot particles to provide imaging of living tissues without the need for incisions, and building sensors that can continuously monitor buildings, bridges, and other structures to detect signs of likely failure long before disaster strikes.

The future will be measured in nanometers, said MIT Professor Vladimir Bulovic, in a panel discussion at the end of the conference, moderated by Tom Ashbrook, host of NPRs On Point. Bulovic, who is the faculty lead for the MIT.nano building and the Fariborz Maseeh Chair in Emerging Technology, added, We are right now at the renaissance age of nano. He noted that devices all around us and in our pockets are constantly sensing, recording, and sometimes transmitting data about our surroundings.

We can access data on how the world around us really functions, and with that data, we can take the next step of influencing the environment to improve our health, protect our natural environment, and monitor our buildings, structures, and devices to make sure they are working as they should, he said. The opportunity is vast.

In his introduction, Reif also hailed the potential of whats sometimes called ubiquitous sensing: Tomorrows optical, mechanical, electrical, chemical, and biological sensors, alone and networked together, offer a huge range of new possibilities in terms of understanding and controlling the world around us. Sensors will change how we protect our soldiers and keep our bridges safe. How we monitor the polar ice caps, and monitor how children learn. Sensors will change how we keep our water clean, our patients healthy, and our energy supply secure. In short, sensors and sensing systems will be the source of new products, new capabilities and whole new industries. And we should not be surprised if some of them are deeply disruptive.

Disruption, of course, can be a two-edged sword. So, Reif said, one of the challenges facing those who innovate in this field, as technology races to the future, is how to help society navigate its unintended impacts. If we can make this a first concern, and not an afterthought, I have no doubt that this community will continue to be a major force in making a better world.

Read more from the original source:

New center will push frontiers of sensing technology - MIT News

Engineering Student Shares Insights from a Semester at Los Alamos … – Duke Today

Zhiqin Huang, a doctoral student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Dukes Pratt School of Engineering, received a grant to spend time at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. By leveraging the labs cutting-edge facilities and other resources, she aimed to gain skills and knowledge to inform her dissertation on novelnanostructures to develop extremely low-energy and ultrafast plasmonic switches.

Huang was among 19 graduate students from five schools at Duke who received Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants in 2016 for training beyond their core disciplines. Her faculty mentor was David R. Smith. She shared this update.

Thanks to the GSTEG, I had a chance to visit Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) for a half year. Located in New Mexico, it is probably the most famous federal government laboratory and well known for decades due to the development of the first atomic bomb and research in multiple disciplines.

During this visit, I obtained a comprehensive training including hands-on laser training, electricity safety training, cryogen safety, radiological training, chemical safety, hazardous waste and environment management as well as lab management trainings.

Since I needed to go to Sandia National Lab (SNL) to do experiments, I got various related training there on different high-tech fabrication tools such as JEOL EBL (E-beam lithography) and ALD (Atomic layer deposition). I also learned how to make graphene, which is a very interesting 2D material. All these trainings were very helpful to my research in LANL and at Duke.

The main purpose of the visit was to learn optics-related experiment techniques. I had a chance to work with scientists in the laboratory for ultrafast materials and optical sciences (LUMOS). In particular, I got involved in the optical ultrafast pump-probe experiments to investigate new materials such as Weyls metals and Dirac materials. I also learned the Terahertz (THz) pump and optical probe system.

Based on the rich resources in the national lab, I even built a new pump-probe system independently and did a group of experiments using newly fabricated samples and obtained primary results.

In addition, I attended the training for a newly developed optical system known as scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM), which includes AFM, nano-FTIR, nano-imaging and ultrafast pump-probe with the spatial resolution of 10nm and temporal resolution of 10fs. This incredible experience will be essential when we build our own system at Duke in the near future.

Furthermore, I attended several LANL internal forums related to nanooptics as well as invaluable seminars given by researchers in the lab and invited scholars. Through discussions with some talented experts in the field of my research, I gained a much better understanding on both theory and experiments.

This internal funding mechanism from the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies encourages graduate students to step away from their core research and training to acquire additional skills, knowledge or co-curricular experiences that will give them new perspectives on their research agendas. Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants are intended to deepen preparation for academic positions and other career trajectories.

Read about other 2016-2017 recipients experiences:

Original post:

Engineering Student Shares Insights from a Semester at Los Alamos ... - Duke Today



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