Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have discovered new fundamental insights for developing lithium metal batteries that perform well at ultra-low temperatures; mainly, that the weaker the electrolyte holds on to lithium ions, the better. By using such a weakly binding electrolyte, the researchers developed a lithium metal battery that can be repeatedly recharged at temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius—a first in the field.Read more
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a soft, stretchy skin patch that can be worn on the neck to continuously track blood pressure and heart rate while measuring the wearer’s levels of glucose as well as lactate, alcohol or caffeine. This one patch performs as well as commercial monitoring devices such as a blood pressure cuff, blood lactate meter, glucometer and breathalyzer.Read more
A team of researchers has developed a flexible, rechargeable silver oxide-zinc battery with a five to 10 times greater areal energy density than state of the art. The battery also is easier to manufacture; while most flexible batteries need to be manufactured in sterile conditions, under vacuum, this one can be screen printed in normal lab conditions. The device can be used in flexible, stretchable electronics for wearables as well as soft robotics.
Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed new and improved probes, known as positive controls, that could make it easier to validate rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests for COVID-19 across the globe. The advance could help expand testing to low-resource, underserved areas.Read more
A new process for restoring spent cathodes to mint condition could make it more economical to recycle lithium-ion batteries. The process, developed by nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego, is more environmentally friendly than today’s methods; it uses greener ingredients, consumes 80 to 90% less energy, and emits about 75% less greenhouse gases.Read more
From mRNA vaccines entering clinical trials, to peptide-based vaccines and using molecular farming to scale vaccine production, the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing new and emerging nanotechnologies into the frontlines and the headlines.
Nanoengineers at UC San Diego detail the current approaches to COVID-19 vaccine development, and highlight how nanotechnology has enabled these advances, in a review article in Nature Nanotechnology published July 15.
UC San Diego nanoengineers received a Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant from the National Science Foundation to develop—using a plant virus—a stable, easy to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine patch that can be shipped around the world and painlessly self-administered by patients.Read more
Researchers have 3D printed coral-inspired structures that are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae. The work could lead to the development of compact, more efficient bioreactors for producing algae-based biofuels, as well as new techniques to repair and restore coral reefs.Read more
A computer-based method could make it less labor-intensive to determine the crystal structures of various materials and molecules, including alloys, proteins and pharmaceuticals. The method uses a machine learning algorithm, similar to the type used in facial recognition and self-driving cars, to independently analyze electron diffraction patterns, and do so with at least 95% accuracy.Read more
Scientists have developed a new gene-therapy technique by transforming human cells into mass producers of tiny nano-sized particles full of genetic material that has the potential to reverse disease processes.Read more