6.13.18 Evolving Science
"New Form of Nanorobots to Clear Blood of Toxins"
Scientists and engineers have been envisaging and developing 'machines' small enough to swim through blood and move in bodily tissues. The point of such projects is to produce the definitive nanorobot, a new form of medical device that may be able to target things such as dangerous chemicals, virus particles or even cancer cells. A new example of the nanobot has been documented in a recent Science Robotics paper. The robot gets around many of the problems after being accepted by human immune cells through a custom membrane that makes it appear like a benign cell.
6.13.18 Interesting Engineering
"Supersonic Powered Nanobots Remove Toxins and Bacteria from Blood"
Engineers recently developed a cell-sized ultrasound-powered robot with the ability to swim through blood while removing harmful bacteria and other harmful toxins. The nano-sized bot combines the benefits of organic defense mechanisms with modern remote control systems to offer one of the most advanced, yet simple detoxification devices. The researchers claim after treating contaminated blood with the nanorobots, the blood samples had three times fewer bacteria and toxins than untreated sample after a short 5-minute process.
6.12.18 Solar Industry
"UC San Diego Professor Creating CSP Tool That's 'Not Your Typical Infrared Camera'"
Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a professor at the University of California San Diego is developing a diagnostic tool that can rapidly measure and monitor heat transfer in concentrating solar power (CSP) plant materials, such as the tubing and the heat transfer fluids and solid particles flowing through the tubing materials. Renkun Chen, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UC San Diego, recently received a $1.18 million award from the DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Office to develop technology to advance next-generation CSP systems.
6.4.18 Physics World
"Cell-like nanobots fight bacterial infection"
Gold nanowire nanorobots coated with a combination of two kinds of natural cell membranes might be used to fight bacterial infection, according to new work by researchers at the University of California San Diego. The nanobots can move through whole blood and, thanks to their natural coatings, which "cloak" the devices from the body's defence mechanisms, can absorb and neutralize both pathogenic bacteria as well as the toxins they produce.
6.4.18 New Atlas
"Membrane-coated gold "robots" designed to detoxify blood"
It's never a good thing when donated human blood -- or even the blood in our bodies -- is infected with bacteria. Scientists at the University of California San Diego, however, are developing a means of removing such blood-borne microbes using tiny ultrasound-powered robots. The base "nanorobots" are made of microscopic lengths of gold nanowire. Via the external application of ultrasound, they can be propelled through liquids including blood, causing them to get thoroughly mixed with it. These nanorobots were coated in a hybrid of platelet and red blood cell membranes.
5.31.18 New Scientist
"Bent bird feathers repair themselves when soaked in water"
Splashing around in water doesn't just get a bird clean - it can also repair broken feathers from the inside. Marc Meyers at the University of California, San Diego and his colleagues repeatedly bent vulture feathers nearly in half, soaked them in water, and let them dry out again to test how much a bath can repair a feather, and how that process works. They tested two different parts of the feather's spine: the calamus, which is the hollow base that sits under the skin, and the rachis, which is the rest of the feather's central shaft.
5.30.18 IEEE Spectrum
"Tiny Robots in Disguise Combat Bacteria in the Blood"
Researchers have come up with all sorts of ways to propel tiny robots deep into the human body to perform tasks, such as delivering drugs and taking biopsies. Now, there's a nanorobot that can clean up infections in blood. Directed by ultrasound, the tiny robots, made of gold nanowires with a biological coating, dart around blood, attach to bacteria, and neutralize toxins produced by the bacteria. It's like injecting millions of miniature decoys into blood to distract an infection from attacking the real human cells.
"Machine Learning Illuminates the Body's Dark Matter"
When it comes to using computers to analyze medical data, it takes a lot to impress Larry Smarr. Smarr, a computer scientist at a UC San Diego/UC Irvine research institute called Calit2, is a pioneer of the quantified-self movement. He regularly analyzes his blood and stool for 150 biomarkers. If he notices something odd, he'll adjust his daily activity, whether that means taking a few extra laps around campus to burn more calories or tweaking the strain of probiotic he's supplementing with.
5.7.18 The San Diego Union Tribune
"UC San Diego developing biosensor that monitors alcohol in people struggling with substance abuse"
UC San Diego has made an important technical advance in its effort to develop a tiny biosensor that could be placed beneath a person's skin for long-term alcohol monitoring in patients being treated for substance abuse. A team led by engineer Drew Hall created a prototype of the sensor that worked when it was placed in a simulated environment in the laboratory. The device now has to be refined so that it can be tested in live animals and, eventually, humans.
"Controlling CAR-T: How scientists plan to make the engineered T cell therapy safer, and work for more cancers"
CAR T-cell therapy, a treatment that reprograms a person's immune cells to attack cancer,works wonders for some people with rare blood cancers. But the highly personalized medicine also comes with risks: It can be extremely toxic and, in certain cases, even lethal. If there's to be hope of using CAR T cells on more common cancers, scientists will need to control the living therapy. Read on to learn how biotech companies and academic researchers are installing control systems to help reduce CAR-Ts' toxicity and drive the engineered cells into more kinds of cancer.
5.1.18 Asharq Al-Awsat
"Snake-Like Robot to Monitor Creatures Living Underwater"
An innovative, snake-like robot can swim silently in salt water without an electric motor. The robot, developed by engineers and marine biologists at the University of California, uses artificial muscles filled with water to propel itself, the German News Agency reported. The team, which includes researchers from UC San Diego and UC Berkeley, say the bot is an important step toward a future when soft robots can swim in the ocean alongside fish and invertebrate without disturbing or harming them. Today, most underwater vehicles designed to observe marine life are rigid and submarine-like
4.27.18 The Irish Times
"This robot uses artificial muscles to move like an eel underwater"
A translucent robot shaped like an eel that can swim silently underwater could help scientists understand more about marine life. The bot, which was developed by engineers and marine biologists at the University of California, uses artificial muscles filled with water to propel itself rather than a noisy electric motor. The 12in robot is connected to an almost-transparent electronics board that remains on the surface. The team says the the bot is a key step toward a future where soft robots can swim in the ocean alongside marine life without disturbing or harming them.
"This robot eel is transparent, flexible, nearly silent, and glows in the ocean"
There?s something in the water at the University of California, San Diego?a glowing robot inspired by the movement of eel larvae.Researchers at the school's Bioinspired Robotics and Design Lab have created one of the world's softest underwater robots by taking an innovative approach to its conductive components. Instead of having electricity travel through wires to metal electrodes, voltage travels through silicone tubes to internal water chambers. As voltage builds up in the water chambers, the robot's modular components bend in a specific sequence so the robot moves.
4.26.18 Electronics 360
"Video: Watch a Soft Robotic Eel Silently Swim"
A number of projects are working with soft robotics to build a worm-like device for search and rescue. One swims with real fish to study aquatic life; a snake uses kirigami to move; and another uses origami, for example. Now, researchers at University of California at San Diego have developed an eel-like soft robot that swims silently in salt water without an electric motor using artificial muscles filled with water to propel itself. The foot-long robot is also virtually transparent and is connected to an electronics board that remains on the surface.
"This robot eel glides through saltwater without making a sound"
Even before Gore Verbinski's disappointing recent horror movie A Cure for Wellness, we were pretty creeped out by eels. As if the real thing wasn't unnerving enough, however, engineers and marine biologists from the University of California, San Diego, have created an eel robot that's designed to swim silently through saltwater -- using the same rhythmic, ribbon-like motions as its natural counterpart. "The robot is powered by artificial muscles that contract and expand when stimulated with electricity," Caleb Christianson, a Ph.D. student at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego
4.25.18 Digital Journal
"Are you willing to be fitted with an alcohol monitor?"
For people on alcohol reduction programs and for those wishing to monitor alcohol levels, a new type of biosensor has been developed: in essence, it's an alcohol monitoring chip. Scientists from University of California San Diego have developed a new ultra-low power implantable biosensor, called the BioMote. The sensor is a microelectrode electrochemical sensor intended to assess ethanol levels. The sensor is combined with a four-turn on-chip coil for radio frequency energy harvesting and communication.
4.25.18 The Fix
"New Alcohol-Monitoring Implant Will Report If You're Drinking"
Developers say the chip could be useful for monitoring the alcohol intake of participants in treatment and diversion programs. Researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed an alcohol-monitoring implant that can report, with a high degree of accuracy, when someone is drinking when they're not supposed to be. At one cubic millimeter in size, the biosensor is easily implanted under the skin (with no surgery required) and is powered by wearable devices like smartwatches. The sensor, coated with an enzyme, releases a chemical whenever it detects alcohol in someone?s system.
"Soft and silent eel-like robot can sneak around underwater"
"It's really hard to sneak up on a fish, especially if you're a robot," says nanoengineering student Caleb Christianson, one of the developers of a soft eel-like robot that can swim underwater in stealthy silence. Christianson, a doctoral student at the University of California San Diego, is part of an eel-bot team that includes engineers and marine biologists. Their eel-like creation could one day become a preferred way to study marine life since it's not as big and loud as the motor-driven remote-operated underwater vehicles used today.
4.23.18 The UCSD Guardian Online
"UCSD Students Develop Chip Implant to Monitor Blood Alcohol Content"
Students at UC San Diego have created a tiny biosensor that can wirelessly monitor the blood alcohol levels of its user. The project's goal is to develop an unobtrusive way to continuously monitor alcohol and drug levels of patients in substance abuse treatment programs. The biosensor chip is injected into the user's skin and is powered wirelessly by an external smartwatch or patch. Preliminary studies have demonstrated that the lifetime of the device is greater than 30 days, although research is still ongoing. UCSD electrical engineering professor Drew Hall served as the faculty advisor.
4.18.18 New Start Recovery
"New Injectable Alcohol Biosensor Monitors BAC"
For recovering alcoholics, accountability remains one of the most elusive pitfalls of long term sobriety. It's easy to backslide into bad habits when no one is watching. But thanks to UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering, there is hope on the horizon for long term sober accountability. They are developing an injectable alcohol biosensor chip that continuously monitors blood alcohol content (BAC).