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University of California, San Diego Articles
Ultrasound patch monitors blood pressure deep inside body
A new wearable ultrasound patch that non-invasively monitors blood pressure in arteries deep beneath the skin could help people detect cardiovascular problems earlier on and with greater precision. In tests, the patch performed as well as some clinical methods to measure blood pressure. Applications include real-time, continuous monitoring of blood pressure changes in patients with heart or lung disease, as well as patients who are criticall...
The latest protocol for creating human cortical organoids
Writing in the current online issue of the journal Stem Cells and Development, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have described development of a rapid, cost-effective method to create human cortical organoids directly from primary cells. Experimental studies of developing human brain function are limited. Research involving live embryonic subjects is constrained by ethical concerns and the fragile natu...
Printable tags turn everyday objects into smart devices
Engineers have developed printable metal tags that could be attached to everyday objects and turn them into 'smart' IoT devices. The metal tags are made from patterns of copper foil printed onto thin, flexible, paper-like substrates and are made to reflect WiFi signals. The tags work essentially like 'mirrors' that reflect radio signals from a WiFi router. When a user’s finger touches these mirrors, it disturbs the reflected WiFi signa...
Blood test to rapidly detect signs of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is expected to become the second deadliest cancer in the United States by 2030. It is tough to cure because it is usually not discovered until it has reached an advanced stage. But a diagnostic test developed by researchers at UC San Diego shows promise for detecting the disease earlier. The test, which is at the proof-of-concept stage, can rapidly screen a drop of blood for biomarkers of pancreatic cancer. It can provide r...
Eel-like soft robot can swim silently underwater
An eel-like robot developed by engineers and marine biologists at the University of California can swim silently in salt water without an electric motor. Instead, the robot uses artificial muscles filled with water to propel itself. The foot-long robot, which is connected to an electronics board that remains on the surface, is also virtually transparent. The team, which includes researchers from UC San Diego and UC Berkeley, details their wo...
An 'electrocardiogram' for the GI tract
A team of engineers and physicians has developed a wearable, non-invasive system to monitor electrical activity in the stomach over 24 hours—essentially an electrocardiogram but for the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. Applications include monitoring GI activity for patients outside of a clinical setting, which cuts down costs. Monitoring for longer periods of time also increases the likelihood of capturing abnormal events. Researche...
Performing ultrasound imaging on odd-shaped structures
Researchers have developed a stretchable, flexible patch that could make it easier to perform ultrasound imaging on odd-shaped structures, such as engine parts, turbines, reactor pipe elbows and railroad tracks—objects that are difficult to examine using conventional ultrasound equipment. The ultrasound patch is a versatile and more convenient tool to inspect machine and building parts for defects and damage deep below the surface.
Skin bacteria could help protect against skin cancer
In a study published in Science Advances, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report a potential new role for some bacteria on the skin: protecting against cancer. “We have identified a strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis, common on healthy human skin, that exerts a selective ability to inhibit the growth of some cancers,” said Richard Gallo, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor and chair of the De...
Fur real?! Optimised computer rendering of animal fur
The next computer-generated animals in King Kong or The Lion King could look a lot more realistic thanks to a breakthrough by computer scientists at the University of California. The researchers from UC San Diego and UC Berkeley developed a method that dramatically improves the way computers simulate fur, and more specifically, the way light bounces within an animal’s pelt.
Making LEDs with optimised colour quality
A team led by engineers at the University of California San Diego has used data mining and computational tools to discover a new phosphor material for white LEDs that is inexpensive and easy to make. Researchers built prototype white LED light bulbs using the new phosphor. The prototypes exhibited better colour quality than many commercial LEDs currently on the market. Researchers published the new phosphor in the journal Joule.
'4D goggles’ allow wearers to be ‘touched’
A team of researchers at UC San Diego and San Diego State University has developed a pair of '4D goggles' that allows wearers to be physically 'touched' by a movie when they see a looming object on the screen, such as an approaching spacecraft. The device was developed based on a study conducted by the neuroscientists to map brain areas that integrate the sight and touch of a looming object and aid in their understanding of the perceptual an...
Lightweight touchscreen pressure sensor arrays
Touchscreens on mobile handheld devices can detect if and where a user is touching the screen, but standard technology cannot determine how much pressure is being exerted. Now, researchers at the University of California San Diego and the University of Texas at Austin have demonstrated a new technology for ‘force sensing’ that can be added to any type of display, including flexible devices, and potential other uses go far beyond touch...
Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a smartphone case and app that will make it easier for patients to record and track their blood glucose readings, whether they’re at home or on the go. Currently, checking blood sugar levels can be a hassle for people with diabetes, especially when they have to pack their glucose monitoring kits around with them every time they leave the house.
Stretchable biofuel cells extract energy from sweat
A team of engineers has developed stretchable fuel cells that extract energy from sweat and are capable of powering electronics, such as LEDs and Bluetooth radios. The biofuel cells generate 10 times more power per surface area than any existing wearable biofuel cells. The devices could be used to power a range of wearable devices. The epidermal biofuel cells are a major breakthrough in the field, which has been struggling with making the de...
Micromotors safely release antibiotics in the stomach
Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have demonstrated for the first time using micromotors to treat a bacterial infection in the stomach. These tiny vehicles, each about half the width of a human hair, swim rapidly throughout the stomach while neutralising gastric acid and then release their cargo of antibiotics at the desired pH. Researchers published their findings in Nature Communications.
Low cost glove translates sign language
At the University of California San Diego engineers have developed a low-cost electronic glove capable of understanding sign language. A user simply puts it on and can sign away, with the glove wirelessly transmitting what it’s interpreting to another device to be read out or for the words to appear on a screen. The cost of all the parts comes out to less than $100, including the printed stretchable electronic sensors that are attached to t...
Cancer cells communicate with others to boost survival
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that cancer cells appear to communicate to other cancer cells, activating an internal mechanism that boosts resistance to common chemotherapies and promotes tumour survival. The findings are published online in Science Signaling.
Gloves powered by soft robotics interact with VR environments
Engineers at UC San Diego are using soft robotics technology to make light, flexible gloves that allow users to feel tactile feedback when they interact with VR environments. The researchers used the gloves to realistically simulate the tactile feeling of playing a virtual piano keyboard. Engineers recently presented their research, which is still at the prototype stage, at the Electronic Imaging, Engineering Reality for VR conference in Bur...
Flexible and rechargeable battery can power wearable sensors
Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first printed battery that is flexible, stretchable and rechargeable. The zinc batteries could be used to power everything from wearable sensors to solar cells and other kinds of electronics. The work appears in Advanced Energy Materials.
3D-printed four legged robot walks on sand and stone
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first soft robot that is capable of walking on rough surfaces, such as sand and pebbles. The 3D-printed, four-legged robot can climb over obstacles and walk on different terrains. Researchers led by Michael Tolley, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of California San Diego, will present the robot at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Autom...