University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Articles
Flexibility is at the heart of human intelligence
Centuries of study have yielded many theories about how the brain gives rise to human intelligence. Some neuroscientists think intelligence springs from a single region or neural network. Others argue that metabolism or the efficiency with which brain cells make use of essential resources are key.
Ultrafast light pulses can trigger neuron activity
Specially tailored, ultrafast pulses of light can trigger neurons to fire and could one day help patients with light-sensitive circadian or mood problems, according to a new study in mice at the University of Illinois. Chemists have used such carefully crafted light beams, called coherent control, to regulate chemical reactions, but this study is the first demonstration of using them to control function in a living cell.
Stem cells could address diabetes-related circulation problems
Stem cells taken from muscle tissue could promote better blood flow in patients with diabetes who develop peripheral artery disease, a painful complication that can require surgery or lead to amputation. A study in mice at the University of Illinois found that an injection of the stem cells prompted new blood vessels to grow, improving circulation in the affected tissues and function in the affected limbs.
Integrated lab-on-a-chip quickly detects multiple pathogens
A multidisciplinary group that includes the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Washington at Tacoma has developed a novel platform to diagnose infectious disease at the point-of-care, using a smartphone as the detection instrument in conjunction with a test kit in the format of a credit card.
Cast21 offers a lightweight and waterproof cast
Three students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are working on a way to stabilise broken arms so as to avoid the downsides of traditional casts. Plaster and fibreglass casts that are used now don’t let air in and out, making the skin below itchy and smelly, and sometimes causing serious infections.
Spectral analyser turns smartphone into diagnostic tool
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed technology that enables a smartphone to perform lab-grade medical diagnostic tests that typically require large, expensive instruments. Costing only $550, the spectral TRI-Analyser from Bioengineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Brian Cunningham's lab attaches to a smartphone and analyses patient blood, urine, or saliva samples as reliably as clin...
Cicada wings could inspire next-gen surface technologies
Researchers are looking to insects - specifically cicadas - for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning and anti-fogging abilities. Their wings allow cicadas to fly, of course, but they also are good at repelling water - a condition that humans can appreciate, too. "Our work with cicadas is letting us explore a field called bioinspiration," said Nenad Miljkovic, a University of Illinois...
1.2 microseconds in the life of a HIV capsid
It took two years on a supercomputer to simulate 1.2 microseconds in the life of the HIV capsid, a protein cage that shuttles the HIV virus to the nucleus of a human cell. The 64-million-atom simulation offers new insights into how the virus senses its environment and completes its infective cycle. The findings are reported in the journal Nature Communications.
Dynamic templates critical to printable electronics
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed bio-inspired dynamic templates used to manufacture organic semiconductor materials that produce printable electronics. It uses a process similar to biomineralisation—the way that bones and teeth form. This technique is also eco-friendly compared with how conventional electronics are made, which gives the researchers the chance to return the favor to nature.
Sensors can detect disease markers in breath
A small, thin square of an organic plastic that can detect disease markers in breath or toxins in a building's air could soon be the basis of portable, disposable sensor devices. By riddling the thin plastic films with pores, University of Illinois researchers made the devices sensitive enough to detect at levels that are far too low to smell, yet are important to human health.
Electroplating delivers high-power batteries
The process that makes gold-plated jewelry or chrome car accents is now making powerful lithium-ion batteries. Researchers at the University of Illinois, Xerion Advanced Battery Corporation and Nanjing University in China developed a method for electroplating lithium-ion battery cathodes, yielding high-quality, high-performance battery materials that could also open the door to flexible and solid-state batteries.
Nanorod LEDs could make multifunctional displays
Cellphones and other devices could soon be controlled with touchless gestures and charge themselves using ambient light, thanks to new LED arrays that can both emit and detect light. Made of tiny nanorods arrayed in a thin film, the LEDs could enable new interactive functions and multitasking devices. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Dow Electronic Materials in Marlborough, Massachusetts, report the advance i...
Robotic bat's flight characteristics simulates the real thing
Bats have long captured the imaginations of scientists and engineers with their unrivaled agility and maneuvering characteristics, achieved by functionally versatile dynamic wing conformations as well as more than forty active and passive joints on the wings. However, their wing flexibility and complex wing kinematics pose significant technological challenges for robot modelling, design, and control.
GaN-on-Silicon optimises high electron mobility transistors
A team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has advanced gallium nitride (GaN)-on-silicon transistor technology by optimising the composition of the semiconductor layers that make up the device. Working with industry partners Veeco and IBM, the team created the high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) structure on a 200 mm silicon substrate with a process that will scale to larger industry-standard wafer sizes.
Skin patch might someday track your health
A type of acoustic sensor that resembles a small Band-Aid on the skin can monitor your heartbeat and other health measures, researchers say. The sensor may one day offer a way to painlessly and wirelessly track an individual's health. The patch, which weighs less than one-hundredth of an ounce, can help doctors monitor heart health, stomach condition, vocal cord activity, lung performance and potentially many other bodily functions, research...
Tattoo-like health monitor does not require batteries
An international team of researchers has developed an ultra-thin health monitoring device that affixes to the skin like a patch and looks somewhat like a tattoo. As they note in their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the tiny device is able to monitor skin temperature, UV exposure, heart rate, changes in skin colour and blood oxygen level. Fitbit and other devices like it have become popular over the past few years as people ...
Method makes brighter and more efficient green LEDs
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign have developed a method for making brighter and more efficient green LEDs. Using an industry-standard semiconductor growth technique, they have created GaN cubic crystals grown on a silicon substrate that are capable of producing powerful green light for advanced solid-state lighting.
Robotic stingray is powered by light-activated rat cells
Researchers have created a robotic mimic of a stingray that's powered and guided by light-sensitive rat heart cells. The work exhibits a new method for building bio-inspired robots by means of tissue engineering. Batoid fish, which include stingrays, are distinguished by their flat bodies and long, wing-like fins that extend from their heads. These fins move in energy-efficient waves that emulate from the front of the fin to the back, allowing ba...
Demonstrating tunable wetting and adhesion of graphene
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated doping-induced tunable wetting and adhesion of graphene, revealing unique opportunities for advanced coating materials and transducers. "Our study suggests for the first time that the doping-induced modulation of the charge carrier density in graphene influences its wettability and adhesion," explained SungWoo Nam, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechani...
Photonic sensor introduces high-speed biodetection
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a technique for extremely high speed photonic sensing of the mechanical properties of freely flowing particles using an opto-mechano-fluidic resonator (OMFR). This research potentially opens up completely new mechanical "axes of measurement" on micro/nanoparticles and bioparticles.