Self-assembling Batteries That Charge in Seconds

May 20th, 2018 Brandon Duvall

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Credit: Wiesner Group

A multi-campus collaboration led by Ulrich Wiesner, professor of engineering in the at Cornell University. Is seeking to address the demand for a novel energy storage device architecture that has the potential for lightning-quick charges. The group has redesigned the battery, modifying it with gyroidal thin films of carbon with nanoscale pores. The design is said to help with the expansion and degradation of polymer strips within standard batteries. It also helps increases the speed of charge by a multitude. Wiesner states the battery will charge within seconds if not less. An innovation like this has profound effects for consumers, manufacturers and engineers alike. The ability to develop devices that can maintain their power supply’s integrity for a longer period of time is an important quality by itself. Quick charging is just a giant convenience for the consumer. As always, thank you for reading, we will try to keep you in the now.

J. G. Werner, G. G. Rodríguez-Calero, H. D. Abruña, U. Wiesner. Block copolymer derived 3-D interpenetrating multifunctional gyroidal nanohybrids for electrical energy storage. Energy & Environmental Science, 2018.

4D Printing Advancements

Mar 30th, 2018 Brandon Duvall

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Image Credit: H. Jerry Qi

The age of 3D printing really just started to become a viable option for manufacturing. However, with strides in 4D printing; we are gaining the ability for our prints to react to stimuli. This has many interesting uses across Aerospace, medical and manufacturing industries as Dr. H. Jerry Qi says. The original issue before his team’s implementation was, the speed at which the print could be made and “transform” and the restriction to a single material per print. The machine they devised ultimately uses four different printing techniques, whilst being 90 percent faster than previous methods. They also are able to print fully wired devices via this process. Increasing not only the prospect of manufacturing devices but also in creating more functional prosthesis. The age of being able to print adaptive and functional technology implementations is just within reach as always, we can’t wait to read more.

American Chemical Society. (2018, March 21). New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2018.

Neuromodulation by Electrical Manipulation

Mar 1st, 2018 Brandon Duvall

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Credit: Parameswaran, et al/University of Chicago

Our understanding of how the Brain’s vast network of fast-moving electrical signals turn into thought, movement, or disease is poor. Recently, researchers at University of Chicago were able to create nanoscale wires able to communicate with cells. Tested on lab grown rat neurons, theres nanowires were able to trigger them to activate. Allowing us to facilitate testing in order to gain more understanding of how these signals work within animals bodies and possibly how to combat diseases like Parkinson’s.

The uses of this type of electrical Neuromodulation can not only help educate us but allow us to manipulate and influence nerves. This can aid us in allowing prosthesis to gain monumental functionality upgrades. Combined with existing research these nanowires will be a great tool in medical development.

Ramya Parameswaran, João L. Carvalho-de-Souza, Yuanwen Jiang, Michael J. Burke, John F. Zimmerman, Kelliann Koehler, Andrew W. Phillips, Jaeseok Yi, Erin J. Adams, Francisco Bezanilla, Bozhi Tian. Photoelectrochemical modulation of neuronal activity with free-standing coaxial silicon nanowires. Nature Nanotechnology, 2018

Uplifting Sounds, Taking on a New Meaning

Jan 28th, 2018 Brandon Duvall

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Credit: University of Bristol

The Trek tech continues to flourish. An Acoustic tractor beam is a machine that traps particles within the silent core of oscillating sound waves. The newest approach, from Dr. Asier Marzo and his team at the University of Bristol, uses fluctuating acoustic frequencies. The group found with this method they were able to not only increase the stability but the size of the silent core as well.

The team is hopeful to increase the size of the objects they can levitate, soon they believe humans will be on that list. Currently there are many uses for a technology like this in drug manipulation and delivery. As well as, microsurgical tool manipulation. Seems we are getting closer to the day where, using a tractor beam to carry someone back to space dock, just as the iconic Star Trek portrayed.

Asier Marzo, Mihai Caleap, and Bruce W. Drinkwater. Acoustic virtual vortices with tunable orbital angular momentum for trapping of Mie particles. Phys. Rev. Lett., 2018

Tinnitus Treatment With Technology?

Jan 6th, 2018 Brandon Duvall

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Credit: Susan Shore, University of Michigan

 Tinnitus affects millions of Americans and of course over 300 million globally. Fortunately for those suffering, there are those like Susan Shore and her team at University of Michigan Kresge Hearing Research Institute. Using auditory and electrical stimuli in a double blind study, a majority of patients reported a 12 decibel decrease (This being equivalent to the hum of an electric light bulb). Some patients even reporting their tinnitus symptoms having disappeared.

These reported changes in symptoms were said to remain the same for weeks after treatment. The prognosis is looking great for those suffering from this neuro-disorder. We thank those dedicated to bettering the quality of patient’s lives. Hat’s off to the team at the Kresge Hearing Research Institute, truly an amazing biotechnological feat.

Kendra L. Marks, David T. Martel, Calvin Wu, Gregory J. Basura, Larry E. Roberts, Kara C. Schvartz-Leyzac, Susan E. Shore. Auditory-Somatosensory Bimodal Stimulation Desynchronizes Brain Circuitry to Reduce Tinnitus in Guinea Pigs and Humans. Science Translational Medicine, 2018.

Pathology Meets Microprocessing

Jan 3rd, 2018 Brandon Duvall

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Credit: Marc Miskin, Cornell University

 Nanotechnology and microcomputing have grown tonnes (or Kilograms..) in recent years. Physicists at Cornell University have just created an innovative leap in nanoscale technology. Paul McEven, Itai Cohen, and a postdoctoral researcher Marc Miskin created an exoskeleton for cell sized electronics.

 The team believes their aptly named “Bimorphs”, tiny machines that are able to change shape based on chemical or temperature changes, can be used at the cell level to aid in biological processes. Made of Graphene, this nanoscale tech is powered by the electrochemical reactions generated by the body. Utopia esk technologies like these are on the verge of consumer application. Technologies like these are sure to be mankind’s next revolutionary scientific leap.

Marc Z. Miskin, Kyle J. Dorsey, Baris Bircan, Yimo Han, David A. Muller, Paul L. McEuen, Itai Cohen. Graphene-Based Bimorphs for Micron-Sized, Autonomous Origami Machines. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018.

Another Consumer Electronics Show Has Just Wrapped UP.

Jan 14th, 2018 Brandon Duvall

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With the recent Consumer Electronics Show wrapping up, we figured it would be pertinent to bring you the three most important presentations to you as a consumer this year. Although a good amount of the products presented at CES are more luxury consumer electronics, some of them are very practical, encompassing even the average consumer.

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Credit: FGRT

Toyota’s New Autonomous Car Concept

Toyota has released a new autonomous concept targeted at ride sharing, retail, and delivery. They go on to explain how they hope the vehicle will become a business solution for employee transportation in the near future. The concept of autonomous public transportation is a grand idea with the ever growing traffic and parking problems in metropolitan areas.

5G Connectivity Coming Soon

Unfortunately this one is long overdue. The United States is actually ranked 20th in internet speed globally, although top five for most expensive internet. 5G is said to be 50 times faster than the 4G network we have grown accustomed to. Hopefully we begin to get closer in speed to some of the high ranking countries like: South Korea, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Sweden.

Future of Healthcare

A big year for healthcare and telemedicine, CES presenters talked about things like: AI, therapeutic technologies, and remote diagnosis. Telemedicine is said to take a huge leap towards hyper-personalized, patient centered healthcare this year. With technologies like gene editing for specialized medicines and wearables to aid in cognitive and physical health management. It is sure to be a great year for the healthcare industry. Of course there are many other great technological upgrades to other consumer electronics, however, these mentioned are those most immediately affecting consumers. We can’t wait to see what this year brings.