UNews: March/April 2014

April 09, 2014
3D Printing Targets the Heart Bioengineering Professor John Fisher and Fischell Fellow Anthony Melchiorri at the University of Maryland created a 3D-printed heart implant that helps patients regrow blood vessel tissue. This graft could benefit the treatment of a number of cardiovascular problems and diseases, including congenital heart defects. The team has a patent pending on the biocompatible polymer graft and has named their new company FormaSTEM. Fisher and Melchiorri presented their research at Maryland’s Professor Venture Fair, an annual competition among university inventors that lets participants present their latest...

Academia Tech Debuts at CES

January 05, 2014
Looking for the latest innovations bubbling out of university research labs? Check out the all new Academia Tech TechZone at CES located within Eureka Park that showcases cutting-edge tech breakthroughs from research universities around the world. New technologies include nano-scale engineering, digital health monitors and a light-sensor indoor positioning system. Here’s a look at who’s who in this exhilarating new TechZone.  Center on Optical Wireless Apps The Venetian, Level 1, 73008 The Center on Optical Wireless Apps (COWA) is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded collaboration between Penn State and Georgia Tech that focuses on wireless technologies for use...

UNews: November/December 2013

December 09, 2013
Magic Tape and Tech A nanofabrication technique developed by an international team of researchers from the University of Minnesota, Argonne National Laboratory and Seoul National University has found that Scotch Magic tape can be used to peel apart thin layers of metal in a process known as atomic layer lithography that creates better nanostructures, the building blocks for high-tech electronic and optical devices. This new process allows scientists to force light through microscopic holes, boosting the intensity of the light and making it up to 600 million times stronger. “Atomic layer lithography has the potential to create ultra-small sensors with increased sensitivity and...

UNews: September/October 2013

October 08, 2013
Creating Greener Batteries Could a sliver of wood coated in sodium one day replace lithium-ion as a long-lasting and environmentally-friendly battery alternative? Scientists at the University of Maryland have discovered that a shaving of wood one thousand times thinner than a piece of paper can conduct sodium-ions and is pliant enough to be recharged more than 400 times before breaking down. Currently, lithium-ion batteries use stiffer base materials that become brittle after multiple charges. “Pushing sodium ions through tin anodes often weaken the tin’s connection to its base...

Unews: July/August 2013

August 07, 2013
Why Solar Flares Frustrate GPS SystemsX-class solar flares, the strongest types of flares released by the sun, can create turbulence in the Earth’s upper atmosphere resulting in GPS navigation disruptions, according to research by Dr. Roderick Heelis at the University of Texas at Dallas. This spring the sun released a spate of solar flares, a natural part of the sun’s 11-year cycle. The Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere typically protects humans from the direct effects of solar flares. But, Heelis explains, “If a flare is particularly large, the resulting turbulence in our upper atmosphere could disrupt radio signals and GPS navigation, for example.&rdquo...

UNews: March/April 2013

April 05, 2013
The Implications of More PEVs on the Road  With funding and support from the National Science Foundation’s Cyber- Physical Systems Program, researchers at the University of Notre Dame are working on solutions to ease the burden on the nation’s power grid brought on by an increase in the popularity of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The team is focusing on problems that might arise for PEV owners as well as for commercial charging station owners, power companies and power distributors. “Electrification of the transportation market offers revenue growth for utility companies and automobile manufacturers, lower operational costs for consumers and benefits to...

UNews: January/February 2013

January 06, 2013
New Plastic Models Properties of Skin Chemical Engineering Professor Zhenan Bao and her team at Stanford University’s School of Engineering have developed a material that mimics the properties of human skin—able to both sense pressure and heal itself when cut. The soft, malleable plastic material is made by joining long chains of molecules together using relatively weak hydrogen bonds and then adding tiny particles of nickel to make the material stronger. The hydrogen creates “dynamic bonds [that] allow the material to self-heal,” said researcher Chao Wang in a release, while the nickel makes the material...