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Vanderbilt University Articles
Hyperlens crystal views living cells in unprecedented detail
Just imagine: An optical lens so powerful that it lets you view features the size of a small virus on the surface of a living cell in its natural environment. Construction of instruments with this capability is now possible because of a fundamental advance in the quality of an optical material used in hyperlensing, a method of creating lenses that can resolve objects much smaller than the wavelength of light.
Smart underwear prevents back stress with just a tap
TV infomercials offer a world of potential solutions for back pain, but most of them have at least one of three problems — they’re unproven, unworkable or just plain unattractive. A team of Vanderbilt University engineers is changing that with a design that combines the science of biomechanics and advances in wearable tech to create a smart, mechanised undergarment. Their device gets its U.S. debut Aug. 8-11 at an American Societ...
Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion
A new, ultrathin energy harvesting system developed at Vanderbilt University's Nanomaterials and Energy Devices Laboratory can generate electrical current from the full range of human motions and is thin enough to embed in clothing. Based on battery technology and made from layers of black phosphorus that are only a few atoms thick, the new device generates small amounts of electricity when it is bent or pressed even at the extremely low frequenc...
Tools help surgeons find liver tumours
The liver is a particularly squishy, slippery organ, prone to shifting both deadly tumors and life-preserving blood vessels by inches between the time they’re discovered on a CT scan and when the patient is lying on an operating room table. Surgeons can swab the exposed liver lightly on the surface with a special stylus, capturing the shape of the organ during surgery, and a computer can match that image with the CT scan on a screen.
Polymer with silver nanowires dissolves in water below 32ºC
Building transient electronics is usually about doing something to make them stop working: blast them with light, soak them with acid, dunk them in water. Professor Leon Bellan's idea is to dissolve them with neglect: Stop applying heat, and they come apart. Using silver nanowires embedded in a polymer that dissolves in water below 32ºC—between body and room temperature—Bellan and mechanical engineering graduate student...
Making high-performance batteries from junkyard scraps
Take some metal scraps from the junkyard; put them in a glass jar with a common household chemical; and, voilà, you have a high-performance battery. "Imagine that the tons of metal waste discarded every year could be used to provide energy storage for the renewable energy grid of the future, instead of becoming a burden for waste processing plants and the environment," said Cary Pint, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at V...
Mild electrical current estimulation can sharpen vision
Stimulating the visual cortex of the brain for 20 minutes with a mild electrical current can improve vision for about two hours, and those with worse vision see the most improvement, according to a Vanderbilt University study published in Current Biology.