A new approach to studying conjugated polymers made it possible for an Army-funded research team to measure, for the first time, the individual molecules' mechanical and kinetic properties during polymerization reaction. The insights gained could lead to more flexible and robust soft electronic materials, such as health monitors and soft robotics.
Researchers have successfully used graphene -- one of the strongest, thinnest known materials -- to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in laboratory experiments.
When someone bumps their elbow against a wall, they not only feel pain but also might experience bruising. Robots and prosthetic limbs don't have these warning signs, which could lead to further injury. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have developed an artificial skin that senses force through ionic signals and also changes color from yellow to a bruise-like purple, providing a visual cue that damage has occurred.
Goodbye, bulky components and connectors: A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany and at the University of Boulder in Colorado in the US has now found a new way to exploit the principles of spiders' joints to create lightweight robots.
Getting energy and nutrients from the environment -- that is, eating -- is such an important function that it has been regulated through sophisticated mechanisms over hundreds of millions of years. Some of these mechanisms are only now beginning to be unraveled. A group at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has found one of their key components -- a switch that controls the ability of organisms to adapt to low cellular nutrient levels.
Québec produces more strawberries than any other Canadian province. Strawberries are delicate and difficult to keep fresh. In response to this challenge, Monique Lacroix, a professor at INRS (l'Institut national de la recherche scientifique), and her team have developed a packaging film that can keep strawberries fresh for up to 12 days. The team's findings on how this film protects against mould and certain pathogenic bacteria have been published in Food Hydrocolloids.
European scientists propose a personalized protocol for optimizing stimulation of optic nerve fibers, for the blind, which takes into account feedback from the viewer's brain. The protocol has been tested on artificial neural networks known to simulate the physiology of the entire visual system, from the eye to the visual cortex. The stimulation protocol will be tested in clinical trials with partners in Rome.
Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed immune cell-mimicking nanoparticles that target inflammation in the lungs and deliver drugs directly where they're needed. As a proof of concept, the researchers filled the nanoparticles with the drug dexamethasone and administered them to mice with inflamed lung tissue. Inflammation was completely treated in mice given the nanoparticles, at a drug concentration where standard delivery methods did not have any efficacy.
A new model that applies artificial intelligence to carbohydrates improves the understanding of the infection process and could help predict which viruses are likely to spread from animals to humans. This is reported in a recent study led by researchers at the University of Gothenburg.
USC researchers have created what could be a key building block for assembling a synthetic kidney. In a new study, Zhongwei Li and his colleagues describe how they generate rudimentary kidney structures, known as organoids, that resemble the collecting duct system that helps maintain the body's fluid and pH balance by concentrating and transporting urine. The organoids provide a way to study kidney disease that could lead to new treatments and regenerative approaches for patients.