University of Toronto
University of Toronto Articles
Building better medical implants and improving healing time
A University of Toronto research team has uncovered new information that could accelerate post-surgical healing for procedures involving medical devices as diverse as dental implants and skin dressings. Their paper, published in Nature Communications Biology, describes how different implant surface textures affect a fundamental process in the body’s ability to heal the area surrounding the implant.
Harnessing brain waves to reconstruct perceptive images
A technique developed by neuroscientists at U of T Scarborough can, for the first time, reconstruct images of what people perceive based on their brain activity gathered by EEG. The technique developed by Dan Nemrodov, a postdoctoral fellow in Assistant Professor Adrian Nestor’s lab at U of T Scarborough, is able to digitally reconstruct images seen by test subjects based on electroencephalography (EEG) data.
Optimised catalyst boosts artificial photosynthesis
A new catalyst created by U of T Engineering researchers brings them one step closer to artificial photosynthesis - a system that, just like plants, would use renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into stored chemical energy. By both capturing carbon emissions and storing energy from solar or wind power, the invention provides a one-two punch in the fight against climate change.
Injectable tissue patch helps repair damaged organs
A team of U of T Engineering researchers is mending broken hearts with an expanding tissue bandage a little smaller than a postage stamp. Repairing heart tissue destroyed by a heart attack or medical condition with regenerative cells or tissues usually requires invasive open-heart surgery. But now biomedical engineering Professor Milica Radisic and her colleagues have developed a technique that lets them use a small needle to inject a repair...
Baker's yeast to aid drug development
A team of Canadian, U.S. and Japanese scientists are enlisting baker’s yeast in a hunt for better drugs. A new method developed by U of T researchers and international collaborators has the potential to accelerate drug discovery with help from yeast cells. They are simpler versions of human cells and better understood when it comes to basic cellular processes – helping researchers better link a drug to a particular bioprocess.
Researchers identify gene for adapting to changing seasons
University of Toronto researchers have identified a gene that determines whether the body will adapt to changing seasons. The gene, a micro-RNA called miR-132/212, is part of a mechanism in the brain's central timekeeping system, known as the circadian clock, located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This gene has also been previously implicated in mood disorders including depression.
The secret to brighter and better lasers
Fresh insights into living cells, brighter video projectors and more accurate medical tests are just three of the innovations that could result from a new way of fabricating lasers. The method, developed by an international research team from U of T Engineering, Vanderbilt University, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and others, produces continuous laser light that is brighter, less expensive and more tuneable than current devices by using...
Printable solar cells are one step closer
A U of T Engineering innovation could make printing solar cells as easy and inexpensive as printing a newspaper. Dr. Hairen Tan and his team have cleared a critical manufacturing hurdle in the development of a relatively new class of solar devices called perovskite solar cells. This alternative solar technology could lead to low-cost, printable solar panels capable of turning nearly any surface into a power generator.
Skin cells unite to heal wounds
Time may not heal all wounds, but a proprietary mix of peptides and gel developed by U of T Engineering researchers heals most. A team led by Professor Milica Radisic has demonstrated for the first time that their peptide-hydrogel biomaterial prompts skin cells to "crawl" toward one another, closing chronic, non-healing wounds often associated with diabetes, such as bed sores and foot ulcers.
Converting gaseous carbon dioxide to fuel
A team of scientists from the University of Toronto believes they've found a way to convert carbon dioxide emissions into energy-rich fuel in a carbon-neutral cycle that uses a very abundant natural resource: silicon. Silicon, readily available in sand, is the seventh most-abundant element in the universe and the second most-abundant element in the earth's crust.
Chemists create vitamin-driven battery
A team of University of Toronto chemists has created a battery that stores energy in a biologically derived unit, paving the way for cheaper consumer electronics that are easier on the environment. The battery is similar to many commercially-available high-energy lithium-ion batteries with one important difference. It uses flavin from vitamin B2 as the cathode: the part that stores the electricity that is released when connected to a device.
PEARLs will be promising to treat tumours
Dr. Gang Zheng and a team of biomedical researchers have discovered a "smart" organic, biodegradable nanoparticle that uses heat and light in a controlled manner to potentially target and ablate tumours with greater precision.
3D-printed prosthetics will soon reach developing countries
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 30 million people in low-income countries require prosthetic limbs, braces or other assistive devices. To make things even tougher, the vast majority who require these devices don't have access to rehabilitation services. Thanks to a Canadian non-profit social enterprise called Nia Technologies – supported by University of Toronto research – children with disabilities in develo...
'Person-on-a-chip' grows human tissues outside the body
Researchers have developed a way of growing realistic human tissues outside the body. Their 'person-on-a-chip' technology, called AngioChip, is a platform for discovering and testing new drugs, and could eventually be used to repair or replace damaged organs. Prof. Milica Radisic, graduate student Boyang Zhang and the rest of the team are among those research groups around the world racing to find ways to grow human tissues in the lab, under cond...
Engineered nanoparticles deliver cancer drugs to tumours
Chemotherapy isn't supposed to make your hair fall out—it's supposed to kill cancer cells. A new molecular delivery system created at U of T could help ensure that chemotherapy drugs get to their target while minimising collateral damage. Many cancer drugs target fast-growing cells. Injected into a patient, they swirl around in the bloodstream acting on fast-growing cells wherever they find them. That includes tumours, but unfortunately als...