Technology (category filter × )

Polymer patch could reduce negative effects of cardiac scar tissue
  • New device could correct defects caused by scar tissue that forms after heart attacks.
  • It’s a polymer patch that adheres to the heart and bridges the area of scar tissue
  • The novelty of this device comes from the fact that it uses an innovative method to morph traditional materials into a device that can mimic heart muscle movement.
  • So far, it’s only been tested in the lab, and awaits trials in animals.

Making hydrogen fuel using the entire spectrum of visible sunlight
  • Study proves that it’s possible to collect energy from the entire spectrum of visible sunlight, from infrared to ultraviolet, and transform it into hydrogen.
  • The team used just one molecule as a catalyst to make fuel, but the molecule is rhodium, which is limited in supply and hard to obtain.
  • There’s still a lot of work to be done – improving efficiency and finding cheaper materials – before this technology can go mainstream.

Recording video with normal cameras and long-wavelength terahertz radiation
  • The safe alternative to X-rays – long-wavelength terahertz radiation – is being used to create high-resolution images with conventional video cameras.
  • This radiation wasn’t used until now because it is very low-energy and no sensors picked it up, but researchers behind this study didn’t try to create a new sensor.
  • They came up with a way to convert terahertz photons into visible green photons, basically allowing a normal video camera to see it.
  • It’s too early to say whether this technology is viable for commercialization, but the team is working on improving it.

Sweaty robots are the future
  • Researchers 3D-print sweaty robot hands from novel nanopolymer materials.
  • By structuring the material in the right way, it can simulate sweating, including pores that respond to temperature changes--eliminating the need for temperature sensors.
  • The result is a cooling process that’s three times more efficient than normal human sweating.
  • Thermal management is essential to building high-powered robots that will work for a long time, and sweating could be the best answer.
  • So far, the system can limit a robot’s mobility, and it requires regular re-fueling with water, but if in the future robots learn to drink, this won’t be a problem.

Stanford is working on a soft and stretchable battery suitable for wearable tech
  • It relies on a special type of plastic, which makes it safer than conventional batteries.
  • Plastics have been used in batteries before, but previous applications were known to cause leaks or burst into flames.
  • The new battery prototype uses a special, solid and stretchable plastic.
  • Initial tests show that it outputs the same amount of energy when it’s squeezed, folded, and stretched to be twice as long as it originally is.
  • The first version is thumbnail-sized, and only half as efficient as conventional batteries, so it will need a lot of development before it's commercialized.




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