Rutgers Engineers Developing Rapid Breathalyzer Test for COVID-19

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 30, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick engineering professors Edward P. DeMauro, German Drazer, Hao Lin and Mehdi Javanmard are available for interviews on their work to develop a new type of fast-acting COVID-19 sensor that detects the presence…

How to Make All Headphones Intelligent

How do you turn “dumb” headphones into smart ones? Rutgers engineers have invented a cheap and easy way by transforming headphones into sensors that can be plugged into smartphones, identify their users, monitor their heart rates and perform other services. Their invention, called HeadFi, is based on a small plug-in headphone adapter that turns a regular headphone into a sensing device. Unlike smart headphones, regular headphones lack sensors. HeadFi would allow users to avoid having to buy a new pair of smart headphones with embedded sensors to enjoy sensing features.

Science Snapshots: COVID-19, power outages, Alzheimer’s disease, and optical antennas

March Science Snapshots from Berkeley Lab

On the way to lifelike robots

In order for robots to be able to achieve more than simple automated machines in the future, they must not only have their own “brain”. Empa researchers postulate that artificial intelligence must be expanded to include the capabilities of a Physical Artificial Intelligence, PAI. This will redefine the field of robotics and the relationship between man and machine.

Plant-Based Spray Could be Used in N95 Masks and Energy Devices

Engineers have invented a way to spray extremely thin wires made of a plant-based material that could be used in N95 mask filters, devices that harvest energy for electricity, and potentially the creation of human organs. The method involves spraying methylcellulose, a renewable plastic material derived from plant cellulose, on 3D-printed and other objects ranging from electronics to plants, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Materials Horizons.

FAU Lands $11 Million from U.S. Office of Naval Research for Oceanic Bioluminescence

FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has landed an $11,179,001 four-year contract from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to develop a next-generation, high-intake, compact, bathyphotometer sensor for natural oceanic bioluminescence assessments. Bioluminescent creatures are found throughout marine habitats and their “glowing” energy released from chemical reactions is used to warn or evade predators, lure or detect prey and communicate with the same species. Research surrounding bioluminescence will soon serve as an important tool to protect U.S. coastlines.

Quantum Materials Quest Could Benefit From Graphene That Buckles

Graphene, an extremely thin two-dimensional layer of the graphite used in pencils, buckles when cooled while attached to a flat surface, resulting in beautiful pucker patterns that could benefit the search for novel quantum materials and superconductors, according to Rutgers-led research in the journal Nature. Quantum materials host strongly interacting electrons with special properties, such as entangled trajectories, that could provide building blocks for super-fast quantum computers. They also can become superconductors that could slash energy consumption by making power transmission and electronic devices more efficient.

‘Blinking” Crystals May Convert CO2 into Fuels

Imagine tiny crystals that “blink” like fireflies and can convert carbon dioxide, a key cause of climate change, into fuels. A Rutgers-led team has created ultra-small titanium dioxide crystals that exhibit unusual “blinking” behavior and may help to produce methane and other fuels, according to a study in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The crystals, also known as nanoparticles, stay charged for a long time and could benefit efforts to develop quantum computers.

Toward a low-cost, low-power wearable sensor for temperature and respiration

Engineers at the University of California San Diego are developing low-cost, low-power wearable sensors that can measure temperature and respiration–key vital signs used to monitor COVID-19. The devices would transmit data wirelessly to a smartphone, and could be used to monitor patients for viral infections that affect temperature and respiration in real time. The research team plans to develop a device and a manufacturing process in just 12 months.

Making Quantum ‘Waves’ in Ultrathin Materials

A team of researchers co-led by Berkeley Lab has observed unusually long-lived wavelike electrons called “plasmons” in a new class of electronically conducting material. Plasmons are very important for determining the optical and electronic properties of metals.

FAU Smart City Project Paves the Way for Forecasting COVID-19 Infection Transmission

Researchers are exploring the untapped potential of emerging smart cities to enable hyper-contextualized computational epidemiology to tackle COVID-19. The idea is to partner with the computational epidemiology community to integrate evidence-based models of COVID-19 transmission with hyper-local mobility data to provide place-specific forecasts of disease transmission. When these tools are integrated into city planning efforts, they will provide real-time insights into how mobility changes within the city affect the local population’s susceptibility to future outbreaks.

Researchers work on early warning system for COVID-19

To better understand early signs of coronavirus and the virus’ spread, physicians around the country and data scientists at UC San Diego are working together to use a wearable device to monitor more than 12,000 people, including thousands of healthcare workers. The effort has started at hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area and at the University of West Virginia.

Highly Sensitive Sensors Show Promise in Enhancing Human Touch

People rely on a highly tuned sense of touch to manipulate objects, but injuries to the skin and the simple act of wearing gloves can impair this ability. In this week’s Applied Physics Reviews, scientists report the development of a new tactile-enhancement system based on a highly sensitive sensor. The sensor has remarkable sensitivity, allowing the wearer to detect the light brush of a feather. This crack-based sensor was inspired by a spider’s slit organ.

New air-pressure sensor could improve everyday devices

A team of mechanical engineers at Binghamton University, State University of New York investigating a revolutionary kind of micro-switch has found another application for its ongoing research.

Scientists pioneer new generation of semiconductor neutron detector

In a new study, scientists have developed a new type of semiconductor neutron detector that boosts detection rates by reducing the number of steps involved in neutron capture and transduction.

A Robot and Software Make it Easier to Create Advanced Materials

A Rutgers-led team of engineers has developed an automated way to produce polymers, making it much easier to create advanced materials aimed at improving human health. The innovation is a critical step in pushing the limits for researchers who want to explore large libraries of polymers, including plastics and fibers, for chemical and biological applications such as drugs and regenerative medicine through tissue engineering.

Fermilab launches new institute for quantum science

Today the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced the launch of the Fermilab Quantum Institute, which will bring all of the lab’s quantum science projects under one umbrella. This new enterprise signals Fermilab’s commitment to this burgeoning field, working alongside scientific institutions and industry partners from around the world.

3D-Printed Plastics With High Performance Electrical Circuits

Rutgers engineers have embedded high performance electrical circuits inside 3D-printed plastics, which could lead to smaller and versatile drones and better-performing small satellites, biomedical implants and smart structures. They used pulses of high-energy light to fuse tiny silver wires, resulting in circuits that conduct 10 times more electricity than the state of the art, according to a study in the journal Additive Manufacturing. By increasing conductivity 10-fold, the engineers can reduce energy use, extend the life of devices and increase their performance.