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Sensitive Detection Of Chemical Species Using A Bacterial Display Sandwich Assay

96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Endocrine disrupting compounds are found in increasing amounts in our environment, originating from pesticides, plasticizers, and pharmaceuticals, among other sources. These compounds have been implicated in diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer. The list of chemicals that disrupt normal hormone function is growing at an alarming rate, making it crucially important to find sources of contamination and identify new compounds that display this ability. However, there is currently no broad-spectrum, rapid test for these compounds, as they are difficult to monitor because of their high potency and chemical dissimilarity.   To address this, UC Berkeley researchers have developed a new detection system and method for the sensitive detection of trace compounds using electrochemical methods.  This platform is both fast and portable, and it requires no specialized skills to perform. This system enables both the detection of many detrimental compounds and signal amplification from impedance measurements due to the binding of bacteria to a modified electrode. The researchers were able to test the system finding sub-ppb levels of estradiol and ppm levels of bisphenol A in complex solutions. This approach should be broadly applicable to the detection of chemically diverse classes of compounds that bind to a single receptor.  

Advanced Chemical Sensing Method and Apparatus

Conventional chemical sensors or chemical resistors detect the molecule concentration by monitoring the resistance change caused by the reaction near the sensing material surface. One of the problems with these systems is with drift, when over time the analyte molecules poison the device’s sensing surface, causing weaker performance on selectivity and sensitivity. This often requires rigorous and timely calibrations to the sensor, which involves human intervention, and often times complete sensor replacement. To address this problem, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a vertical platform that dramatically improves the sensor’s ability to manage and recover from the poison environments. By examining and manipulating the sensing plane vis-à-vis the near field surface, researchers have demonstrated an effective and robust chemical sensing platform for a range of gas sensing applications.

CB6 for Highly Sensitive Molecular Detection Using HyperCEST NMR

Hyperpolarized 129Xe chemical exchange saturation transfer (HyperCEST) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), used to detect cancer markers, small molecule analytes, and cell surface glycans, relies on the targeted delivery of xenon hosts to a region of interest or small chemical shift difference between bound and unbound xenon sensors. Cryptophane-A (CryA) xenon hosts, used in the past, are hydrophobic, costly, and difficult to functionalize. CB6 is an excellent xenon host for activated 129Xe NMR detection because it produces a distinctive signal, has better exchange parameters for HyperCEST when compared to CryA, is soluble in most buffers and biological environments, and is commercially available. One major limitation of CB6 sensors is the difficult chemical functionalization to generalize them for diverse spectroscopic applications. To address this problem, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley, have designed, synthesized, and implemented a chemically-activated cucurbit[6]uril (CB6) platform for 129Xe HyperCEST NMR that blocks 129Xe@CB6 interactions with greater control to eliminate background signals until the CB6 reaches a region of interest, where it is then released to produce a 129Xe @CB6 signal. This technology will enable detection of increasingly lower concentrations of targets as the molecular systems become more optimized. 

Distributed Dynamic Strain Fiber Optics Measurement For Use In Sensors

96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Structural health monitoring (SHM) is becoming critical in structural engineering and geotechnical engineering applications in recent years. The use of fiber optic distributed sensors for SHM has the advantage of long sensing distance, distributed sensing information and small size.  Distributed fiber optic sensors can be used to monitor distributed temperature and strain information but also has application for used in detection of seismic activity, security sensing, and traffic/railway/bridge monitoring.   UC Berkeley researchers have developed methods and sensors for distributed dynamic strain measurement using optical fiber that results in a larger sensing signal, better signal-to-noise ratio and longer sensing distance up to a few km lengths. The system can take strain readings at every 4m along an 1km length optical fiber at 2.5 kHz sampling speed with a strain resolution of 30 microstrain.  

Printable Repulsive-Force Electrostatic Actuator Methods and Device

Flexible electrostatic actuators are well designed for a range of commercial applications, from small micro-mechanical robotics to large vector displays or sound wall systems. Electrostatic actuation provides efficient, low-power, fast-response driving and control of movable nano-, micro-, and macro-structures. While commercially available electrostatic actuators have the requisite high levels of mechanical energy / force for some applications, their energy requirements are typically orders of magnitude higher than what is needed in large-area, low-power applications. Moreover, conventional approaches to these types of electrostatic actuators have limited design geometries and are prone to reliability issues like electrical shorts. To address these problems, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have experimented with planar electrostatic actuators using novel printing and electrode patterning and engineering techniques. The team has demonstrated a repulsive-force electrostatic actuator device (100 mm x 60 mm achieved) with extremely high field strength and high voltage operation and without insulator coatings or air breakdown.

Diagnostic Colorimetric Assay

0 0 1 183 1047 UC Berkeley 8 2 1228 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} Hyper-accumulation of copper in biological fluids and tissues is a hallmark of pathologies such as Wilson’s and Menkes diseases, various neurodegenerative diseases, and toxic environmental exposure. Diseases characterized by copper hyper accumulation are currently challenging to identify due to costly diagnostic tools that involve extensive technical workup.   To solve these problems, UC Berkeley researches developed a simple yet highly selective and sensitive diagnostic tool along with new materials that can enable monitoring of copper levels in biological fluid samples without complex and expensive instrumentation.  The diagnostic tool includes a robust three-dimensional porous aromatic framework (PAF) densely functionalized with thioether groups for selective capture and concentration of copper from biofluids as well as aqueous samples.  The PAF exhibits high selectivity for copper over other biologically relevant metals, with a saturation capacity reaching over 600 mg/g.  The researchers were able to use the diagnostic tool, which included a colorimetric indicator, to identify aberrant elevations of copper in urine samples from mice with Wilson’s disease and also traced exogenously added copper in serum. 

RF-Powered Micromechanical Clock Generator

Realizing the potential of massive sensor networks requires overcoming cost and power challenges. When sleep/wake strategies can adequately limit a network node's sensor and wireless power consumption, then the power limitation comes down to the real-time clock (RTC) that synchronizes sleep/wake cycles. With typical RTC battery consumption on the order of 1µW, a low-cost printed battery with perhaps 1J of energy would last about 11 days. However, if a clock could bleed only 10nW from this battery, then it would last 3 years. To attain such a clock, researchers at UC Berkeley developed a mechanical circuit that harnesses squegging to convert received RF energy (at -58dBm) into a local clock while consuming less than 17.5nW of local battery power. The Berkeley design dispenses with the conventional closed-loop positive feedback approach to realize an RCT (along with its associated power consumption) and removes the need for a sustaining amplifier altogether. 

Shaped Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer Device

Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers (pMUTs) have attracted industry attention for their good acoustic matching, small geometry, low cost-by-batch fabrication, and compatibilities with CMOS and consumer electronics. While planar pMUTs have reasonable performance over bulk piezoelectric transducers, certain deficits remain in terms of coupling and acoustic pressure outputs, DC displacements, bandwidth, and power consumption. To address these deficiencies, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a next generation of shaped pMUTs which are no longer fully defined by resonance frequency and can accommodate larger pressure outputs and bandwidths. This new pMUT apparatus can significantly boost overall performance while dramatically reducing power as compared to flat diaphragm state-of-the-art pMUTs.

Self-Cleaning Mass Sensor For Particulate Matter Monitoring

Airborne particulates (such as vehicle exhaust, dust, and metallics) are a health hazard.  Monitors for measuring particulate matter (PM) concentrations in air are typically designed for stationary industrial use; and while they are quite sensitive, they are also bulky, heavy, and expensive.  Accordingly, there is a need for PM concentration monitors that are inexpensive and portable so that they can be more pervasive, and also used by mass-market consumers. Recently, various types of portable PM monitors have been developed.  One class of monitor uses optical technology to measure particulates flowing through (not deposited on) the device.  This optical technology is not sensitive to extremely small particles (with diameters of 200 nanometers or less), yet these small particles are a serious health hazard.  Another class of PM monitor uses various technologies to measure the mass of particles deposited on (not flowing through) the device.  This type of monitor can be quite sensitive, but eventually, it can become overloaded with deposited particles.  Moreover, multiple layers of particles can eliminate the possibility of determining the chemical nature of the particles. To address these shortcomings, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a means of periodically cleaning deposited particles from mass-sensing components of deposit-based PM sensors.  The Berkeley technology results in PM sensors that are not only portable and low-cost, but also have long-lasting functionality.

Miniature Cleaning Device and Method for Ion Traps

For decades, quantum mechanics have been studied as a powerful new resource to accelerate and safeguard critical computational processes. A trapped ion quantum computer is one proposed approach, where qubit states based on trapped ions are connected through a common network of electromagnetic fields, gates and algorithms. One problem pertains to electric field noise arising from system electrodes which can destroy the stored quantum information. Specialized instruments, such as ion guns, are commonly used to treat unwanted electric field noise, but these devices require bulky port hardware and often cause undesirable and irreversible damage to surfaces. To address these problems, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have researched alternatives to traditional ion gun means. They have developed an innovative cleaning method and apparatus which is nonobstructing, and has greater directionality and overall control. The researchers have demonstrated the ultra-small (footprint = 2cm) and platform-friendly cleaning system for quantum information processing chips, in prototype stage.

Apparatus and Method for 2D-based Optoelectronic Imaging

The use of electric fields for signaling and manipulation is widespread, mediating systems spanning the action potentials of neuron and cardiac cells to battery technologies and lab-on-a-chip devices. Current FET- and dye-based techniques to detect electric field effects are systematically difficult to scale, costly, or perturbative. Researchers at the University of California Berkeley have developed an optical detection platform, based on the unique optoelectronic properties of two-dimensional materials that permits high-resolution imaging of electric fields, voltage, acidity, strain and bioelectric action potentials across a wide field-of-view.

Atom Probe Tomography Method and Algorithm

Most cluster analysis parameters in atom probe tomography (APT) are selected ad hoc. This can often lead to data misinterpretation and misleading results by instrument technicians and researchers. Moreover, arbitrary cluster parameters can have suboptimal consequences on data quality and integrity, leading to inefficiencies for downstream data users. To address these problems, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a framework and specific cluster analysis methods to efficiently extract knowledge from better APT data. By using parameter selection protocols with theoretical explanations, this technology allows for a more optimized and robust multivariate statistical analysis technique from the start, thus improving the quality of analysis and outcomes for both upstream and downstream data users.

Supermaneuverable Autonomous Swimmer

The most commonly used Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have shapes and structures similar to submarines and winged torpedoes, and maneuver using their fins, wings, stabilizers, and through changing the direction of their thrust vector. Existing systems have some disadvantages: (i) drag forces and torques exerted on the thrusters significantly affect the efficiency of reorientation maneuvers, (ii) since thrusters are operational during reorientation maneuvers, a substantial amount of power is consumed to pump the bulk fluid, wasting the precious power storage of the vehicle, and (iii) the translational and attitude dynamics of model submarines and torpedo-like AUVs are highly coupled, and therefore, the vehicle cannot perform in-place attitude maneuvers.  Also, biomimetic swimmers with flapping wings or tails are not energy-efficient.   To address these problems, UC Berkeley resesarchers have developed a new swimmer with high maneuverability. The swimmer has no external fins, wings, or appendages for attitude control or stabilization, and does not generate excess flows while maneuvering. The swimmer has two counter-rotating propellers only for forward propulsion.  The novel AUV experiences the least form drag, and can make rapid in-place turns without turning off its propellers.  

Methods and Apparatus for EUV Mask Defect Inspection

Since the 1970s, the semiconductor industry has strived to shrink the cost and size of circuit patterns printed onto computer chips in accordance with Moore’s law, doubling the number of transistors on a computer’s central processing unit (CPU) every two years. The introduction of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, printing chips using 13-nm-wavelength light, opens the way to future generations of smaller, faster, and cheaper semiconductors. There are serious challenges with EUV masks as compared with conventional optical transmissive mask behavior including the multi-layer stack of silicon and molybdenum as a complex reflector of EUV light. Moreover, research into non-optical solutions (e.g. e-beam) is expected to take many years and $100Ms of dollars to reach market maturity. To address these problems, researchers at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab worked with the IMPACT+ research team to create a unique optical approach called Optimized Pupil Engineering (OPE) which can detect and characterize mask defects with an 80% enhancement on defect Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) as compared to current systems. This significant improvement reduces false positives and includes pattern and multilayer defects, while it leverages optical-based reticle platforms on the market today. OPE could one day be also used to characterize a variety of semiconductor masks and not limited to EUV lithography.

Cardiovascular Monitoring Device

0 0 1 213 1189 UC Berkeley 23 9 1393 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} Almost one third of all deaths globally are from cardiovascular and stroke related diseases.  Heart valve diseases contribute to a significant portion of those deaths and affect a greater population with associated life-altering complications.  There are approximately 300,000 heart valve replacement surgeries each year worldwide and it is anticipated that the number of patients requiring valve replacement worldwide will triple by 2050.  The two main types of artificial heart valves, bio-prosthetic and mechanical, are vulnerable to a variety of problems.  Bio-prosthetic heart valves are susceptible to calcification, whereas mechanical heart valves are susceptible to thrombosis.  Both of these phenomena increase the rate of prosthetic heart valve failure and pose serious health risks to the patient.   UC Berkeley researchers developed an accurate monitoring system that in real-time provides diagnostics of a prosthetic heart valve performance and overall cardiovascular health of the patient. The device will not require additional surgery to be put in place, as it is part of the prosthetic being implanted. The key innovations hinge on the system being entirely passive, wireless, precise, and intuitive in design. Due to the non-invasive nature of the measurements, both patients and physicians can be put at ease as it will reduce the risk to patients and decrease physician liability. 

MyShake: Earth Quake Early Warning System Based on Smartphones

Earthquakes are unpredictable disasters. Earthquake early warning (EEW) systems have the potential to mitigate this unpredictability by providing seconds to minutes of warning. This warning could enable people to move to safe zones, and machinery (such as mass transit trains) to be slowed or shutdown. The several EEW systems operating around the world use conventional seismic and geodetic network infrastructure – that only exist in a few nations. However, the proliferation of smartphones – which contain accelerometers that could potentially detect earthquakes – offers an opportunity to create EEW systems without the need to build expensive infrastructure. To take advantage of this smartphone opportunity, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a technology to allow earthquake alerts to be issued based on detecting earthquakes underway using the sensors in smartphones. Called MyShake, this EEW system has been shown to record magnitude 5 earthquakes at distances of 10 km or less. MyShake incorporates an on-phone detection capability to distinguish earthquakes from every-day shakes. The UC Berkeley technology also collects earthquake data at a central site where a network detection algorithm confirms that an earthquake is underway as well as estimates the location and magnitude in real-time. This information can then be used to issue an alert of forthcoming ground shaking. Additionally, the seismic waveforms recorded by MyShake could be used to deliver rapid microseism maps, study impacts on buildings, and possibly image shallow earth structure and earthquake rupture kinematics.

Methods and Apparatus for Robust Electrophysiological Devices

The demand for implantable medical devices is anticipated to remain high due to the incidence of degenerative and chronic diseases, such as Parkinson’s and other movement disorders. Implantable technologies in the form of electrode assemblies are well known for interfacing with the brain, such as microwires, electrode arrays, and electrocorticography (ECoG) arrays. While each has certain strengths, problems remain in terms of device longevity due to a variety of failure modes, including scar tissue formation, and general material failure. With respect to material and performance, a major challenge relates to the failure of the insulating material at the insulator-conductor interface of implantable assemblies. To address these problems, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed innovative methods and structure using silicon carbide (SiC). The result is an array that, to the physiological fluid, appears simply as a single SiC sheet wherein boundaries between conducting and insulating layers are seamless. The basic platform could likely be extended to a variety of electrophysiological devices, including penetrating probes of various geometries, and help mitigate the failure modes of the current technologies.

3D Printing Methods for Making Electronic Components

The number of interconnected sensors and actuators are expected to grow beyond thousands of units per person by 2020, and new manufacturing processes will be required for personalization and seamless integration of such devices into our surrounding objects. One major general challenge for manufacturers is with scaling production of mechanically sophisticated and tailored objects while maintaining or improving efficiency. 3D printing may significantly help this type of manufacturing at scale by enabling on-demand and rapid construction of user-defined objects. However, a bottleneck hindering the wide application of 3D printing in the general field of electronics is the difficulty in making good 3D conductive layers which are essential in most functional devices together with the polymeric structures in the regular printing process. To address these challenges, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed novel 3D printing techniques for forming 3D electronic components (e.g., circuits/sensors) by directing the writing of structure material and the formation of embedded metallic elements using liquid metal fillings. UC researchers have demonstrated making sensitive electronic components by means of 3D-printing by creating a low-cost electronic sensor that is able to wirelessly monitor the freshness of milk, using polymer structures containing hollow microchannels and cavities. The invention opens up a new class of applications in devices that benefit from 3D structures with fully/partially embedded metallic conductors.

Methods and Apparatus to Monitor Fracture Healing

An estimated 15 million fracture injuries occur each year in the United States. Of these, 10% of fractures result in delayed or non-union, with this number rising to 46% when they occur in conjunction with vascular injury. Current methods of monitoring include taking X-rays and making clinical observations. One problem is that radiographic techniques lag and physician examination of injury is fraught with subjectivity. Another problem is that no standardized methods exist to assess the extent of healing that has taken place in a fracture. To address these problems, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed diagnostic methods and a device that can reliably detect non-union in its early pathologic phases. Berkeley’s tool utilizes impedance spectroscopy to monitor fracture health by distinguishing between the various types of tissue present in the clearly defined stages of healing. This would enable early intervention to prevent problem fractures from progressing to non-union, by providing physicians with more information that can resolve the initial stages of fracture healing.

Methods and Compositions for Determining Differences in Taste Perception

People vary dramatically in their taste perception. What one person perceives as mild and pleasant, another will perceive as aversively spicy. Perception of piquancy, sweetness, sourness, temperature, bitterness, and other components of taste all vary across individuals in this way. Some substances, such as cilantro and phenylthiocarbamide, are famously polarizing, producing perceptual experiences that differ radically across individuals. Yet there is no universal system for measuring taste perception; people have a sense for what they like, but they cannot measure it or communicate it to others precisely. This means, for example, that food providers are left almost entirely in the dark, forced to cater to the average and not the individual. To address this need, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have created methods and compositions for consumable products to measure individual differences in taste perception. This innovative approach could lead to new products in support of a universal system for measuring taste perception, with an opportunity for consumers and retailers to understand food and beverage preferences in more precise, quantitative terms.

Zero-Quiescent Power Transceiver

Trillions of sensors are envisioned to achieve the potential benefits of the internet of things.  Realizing this potential requires wireless sensors with low power requirements such that there might never be a need to replace a sensor’s power supply (e.g. battery) over the lifetime of that device.  The battery lifetime of wireless communications devices is often governed by power consumption used for transmitting, and therefore transmit power amplifiers used in these devises are important to their commercial success.  The efficiencies of these power amplifiers are set by the capabilities of the semiconductor transistor devices that drive them.  To achieve improved efficiencies, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a novel method and structure for realizing a zero-quiescent power trigger sensor and transceiver based on a micromechanical resonant switch.  This sensor/transceiver is unique in its use of a resonant switch (“resoswitch”) to receive an input, amplify it, and finally deliver power to a load.  This novel technology also greatly improves short-range communication applications, like Bluetooth.  For example, with this technology, interference between Bluetooth devices would be eliminated.  Also, Miracast would work, despite the presence of interfering Bluetooth signals.

An Ultra-Sensitive Method for Detecting Molecules

To-date, plasmon detection methods have been utilized in the life sciences, electrochemistry, chemical vapor detection, and food safety. While passive surface plasmon resonators have lead to high-sensitivity detection in real time without further contaminating the environment with labels. Unfortunately, because these systems are passively excited, they are intrinsically limited by a loss of metal, which leads to decreased sensitivity. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a novel method to detect distinct molecules in air under normal conditions to achieve sub-parts per billion detection limits, the lowest limit reported. This device can be used detecting a wide array of molecules including explosives or bio molecular diagnostics utilizing the first instance of active plasmon sensor, free of metal losses and operating deep below the diffraction limit for visible light.  This novel detection method has been shown to have superior performance than monitoring the wavelength shift, which is widely used in passive surface plasmon sensors. 

New Methods and Devices towards Epidermal Electronics Interactions

Beyond phones, watches, and activity tracking devices, a new ecosystem of functional and fashionable wearable technologies can easily, safely, and economically be designed, prototyped, and integrated directly on the skin. Referred to as the category “epidermal electronics”, this evolving class of electronic devices consists of ultrathin electrodes, electronics, sensors, and wireless power and communication systems. Traditional approaches to make these devices require high-end laboratory like specialized spinners and cleanroom facilities with large volumes of chemicals and sensitive environments. Most current wearable devices attempt to get as close to the skin surface as possible by embedding sensors in skin-tight clothing or devices that are meant to be worn tightly against the skin. Although a significant amount of data can be collected with these methods, the locations of the sensors and therefore the number of interactions are restricted. Moreover, many current epidermal electronics are thick and rigid which leads to poor adhesion and performance when placed directly on the skin. To address these challenges, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed innovative manufacturing techniques for customizable, wearable devices at starting thicknesses less than 100μm. The low-cost fabrication approach and set of design rules will enable a wide range of multifunctional electronics. The researchers’ methods can support structures that are more closely matched with the natural mechanical properties of the skin, which allows for robust attachment and are significantly more comfortable than related technology on the market today.

Cross Reactive FET Array for Gas Mixture Detection

Conventional chemical sensor discriminates different analytes by rejecting the interference using selective decorations on the sensor body. A cross-reactive chemical sensor array discriminates different analytes by interpreting the collective sensor response using signal processing technique, and solves for the interference. Commercial sensor manufacturers search for the optimal choice of material, identifier and the signal processing technique to maximize the sensor performance in terms of chemical detection and discrimination. To address the need, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a platform with 2D material incorporated in a cross-reactive field effect transistor (FET) sensor array. By examining and manipulating the properties of the sensor array, researchers have invented a low power, high efficiency, and versatile chemical sensing technology that is promising for commercialization.

Mechanical Linear Actuator That is Low Cost and High Performance

Linear motion is an essential mechanical property used in huge variety of applications. There are multiple ways to create linear motion, including screws, cams, pulleys, pneumatic and hydraulic actuation. Overall performance of these linear actuators can be defined in terms of cost, scale, speed, and efficiency. Current actuators are strong in one or two of these performance categories, which limits their use to specific applications.   UC Berkeley researchers have designed a novel linear actuator that is strong across all four performance categories. The clever Berkeley design provides fast and efficient actuation, and its unique structure is scalable for multiple applications. It is especially conducive to applications that have tight space confines, need a large degree of displacement at a high rate, and are cost constrained.

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