University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

How Loud Is Too Loud? Identifying Noise Levels That Deter Older Restaurant Patrons

As restaurants get noisier, the increasing noise levels could deter older patrons, especially those with mild to severe hearing loss. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will discuss their work on investigating acceptable noise levels that won’t cause restaurant visitors to stay away from certain establishments. Identifying acceptable noise levels helps establish truly “age-friendly” communities. The session will take place as part of the 179th ASA Meeting.

Masked Education: Which Face Coverings are Best for Student Comprehension?

With the ubiquity of masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, understanding speech has become difficult. This especially applies in classroom settings, where the presence of a mask and the acoustics of the room have an impact on students’ comprehension. Pasquale Bottalico has been studying the effects of masks on communication. He will discuss his findings on the best way to overcome hurdles in classroom auditory perception caused by facial coverings at the 179th ASA Meeting.

Rat Spinal Cords Control Neural Function in Biobots

Biological robots draw inspiration from natural systems to mimic the motions of organisms, such as swimming or jumping. Improvements to biobots to better replicate complex motor behaviors can lead to exciting biorobotic engineering applications to help solve real world challenges. However, this requires the creation of biohybrid, which is a challenge. Researchers combined an intact rat spinal cord with a tissue-engineered, 3D muscle system. They describe the novel biohybrid system in the journal APL Bioengineering.

Crosstalk Captured Between Muscles, Neural Networks in Biohybrid Machines

Researchers created a platform to observe stem cell-derived neurons grow toward muscle cells, representing a critical milestone towards the realization of future biohybrid machines. In tiny biorobots using muscle cells as actuators, the ability to tune parameters would allow more precise designs with desirable characteristics and predictable behaviors for intelligent drug delivery, environment sensing, biohybrid blood circulation pumps and other uses. But big questions remain about future experiments.

Ultrasound Techniques Give Warning Signs of Preterm Births

Ultrasound can be used to examine cervix tissue and improve diagnostics, which is essential for predicting preterm births, and ultrasound data is used to compare two techniques for evaluating changes in cervical tissue throughout pregnancy. Researchers are looking at ultrasonic attenuation coefficients that can help scientists characterize cervical changes throughout pregnancy and in preparation for birth before other symptoms, such as contractions or dilation, occur. They will discuss their work at the 178th ASA Meeting.