Learn more about UC TechAlerts – Subscribe to categories and get notified of new UC technologies

Browse Category: Agriculture & Animal Science > Devices

Categories

[Search within category]

In Situ Soil Nitrate Sensor

The invention is used for determining in-situ nitrate concentrations in soil solution using either ISE (Ion Selective Electrode) or fiber optic spectroscopy when the liquid in the porous cup of the in-situ probe is equilibrated with surrounding soil solution through the diffusion process.

Chronoprints: Identifying Adulterated Samples in Food and Drug Safety

Prof. Will Grover and his colleague at the University of California have developed a method to identify adulterated drugs and foods by observing how they behave when disturbed by temperature changes or other causes. Images of the sample’s behavior as it freezes over time are captured and processed into chronoprints.  Chronoprints are fundamentally bitmap images of samples on a computer, and it is possible to leverage existing image analysis and comparison techniques that have been already developed to analyze Chronoprints. Fig. 1 Producing a "chronological fingerprint" or chronoprint capturing how six samples (in this example, authentic and adulterated samples of an over-the-counter liquid cold medicine) respond to a perturbation over space and time (in this case, a rapidly changing temperature gradient). (A) A microfluidic thermometer chip containing the samples is partially immersed in liquid nitrogen to establish a rapidly changing temperature gradient along the chip. (B) The chip contains six samples (red) loaded in microfluidic channels that run parallel to the dynamic temperature gradient. (C) An inexpensive USB microscope records a video of the physical changes in the samples as they react to the dynamic temperature gradient.  Fig. 2 By reducing each channel image to a single column of pixels, and then placing these columns side-by-side, we create a bitmap image (the sample’s chronoprint) that captures how the sample changes over space (the y-axis) and time (the x-axis). Finally, by comparing the chronoprints of all six samples in the chip, we can determine whether the samples are either likely the same or definitely different.  

Method For Controlling Pests, Spoilage, And/Or Pathogenic Organisms With Radiofrequency Power

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method to non-invasively inhibit the presence of pests, bacteria, pathogenic or spoilage organisms in agricultural and non-agricultural commodities through the use of continuous radiofrequency (cRF) power.

Non-Living Edible Surrogates For Process Validation Food Processing Plants

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a surface sanitation validation system that utilizes a non-living edible surrogate to potentially help determine food processing efficacy.

Livestock Triggered Mechanical Valve

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a novel mechanical valve to disperse water for the purposes of cooling livestock. This simple and easy to fabricate valve is actuated by the animal, thus saving water.

Devices For Integrated Solar Photodialysis Of Salt Water

Researchers at UCI have developed a compact device for the rapid desalination of water which is driven entirely by renewable solar energy.

Fish Tank Effluent Sampling System

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a valve system to collect effluent waste from fish in a closed recirculating aquaponic system (RAS).

At-Nozzle Injection of Agrochemicals

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a direct, at-nozzle system for directly mixing and dispensing a carrier fluid with additives.

Precision Planting Device

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an ultra-precise seed planter that can better discriminate between plants and weeds and further automates field operations.

Enhanced Cell/Bead Encapsulation Via Acoustic Focusing

The invention consists of a multi-channel, droplet-generating microfluidic device with a strategically placed feature. The feature vibrates in order to counteract particle-trapping micro-vortices formed in the device. Counteracting these vortices allows for single particle encapsulation in the droplets formed by the device and makes this technology a good candidate for use in single cell diagnostics and drug delivery systems.

A paper-integrated microfluidic device for the preparation of monodisperse microcapsules and microvesicles

Many applications, ranging from in vivo cell culture growth to drug delivery, rely on microcapsules to encapsulate and protect cells or molecules until their desired release. These microcapsules are typically generated in immiscible fluid, which must be depleted before they can be effectively used. Researchers at UCI have recently developed a paper-based microcapsule extraction technique that is quicker, cheaper, and less damaging than conventional methods.

A Micro/Nanobubble Oxygenated Solutions for Wound Healing and Tissue Preservation

Soft-tissue injuries and organ transplantation are common in modern combat scenarios. Organs and tissues harvested for transplantation need to be preserved during transport, which can be very difficult. Micro and nanobubbles (MNBs) offer a new technology that could supply oxygenation to such tissues prior to transplantation, thus affording better recovery and survival of patients. Described here is a novel device capable of producing MNB solutions that can be used to preserve viability and function of such organs/tissue. Additionally, these solutions may be used with negative pressure wound therapy to heal soft-tissue wounds.

Robotic Plant Care Assistant

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a robotic system can apply signaling to the crops and detect any important needs for the plant.

Improved Energy Harvesting for Current-Carrying Conductors

There are an estimated 130 million wooden poles that support overhead power lines in the US.  Extreme weather, aging, storms or sabotage can all lead to potential damage of these poles and power lines, which can leave large areas without basic necessities.  Due to this risk, it’s anticipated that power utility companies will deploy sensors and corresponding energy harvesters to better respond to potential damage of this critical electricity grid infrastructure. To address this anticipated mass deployment of sensors and harvesters, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed technology improvements to harvesting of electrical energy from energized conductors carrying alternating currents, such as those on overhead and underground power lines (as well as power-supplying conductors in offices and dwellings).  These enhanced harvesters would improve the economics of deploying sensors across a national power grid.  The Berkeley harvesters can readily provide enough power to supply wireless communication devices, energy storage batteries and capacitors, as well as sensors such as accelerometers, particulate matter measuring devices, and atmospheric sensors.

Precision Irrigation System Using Passive Mechanical Valves And Mobile Robots

Prolonged drought in California and the Southwest has both severely reduced water allocation to farmers, and substantially increased water prices. As the drought continues, so does the pressure to increase water use efficiency and streamline water delivery practices in agriculture. The systems currently in use are insufficiently precise to satisfy the demands of high value crops such as almonds and grapes, which often require watering regimes tailored to individual plants.UC Berkeley researchers have developed a low-cost system of mechanical valves and mobile robots that will address this issue. One or more valves can be installed per plant, and periodically adjusted by the robots based on sensor data. The system provides a fine-grained control of water flow to compensate for factors that vary across the planting region.

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. 

Identification Of Sites For Internal Insertions Into Cas9

The ability to add a protein domain of new function is a standard molecular biology technique, and usually the domain is fused to a protein terminus. The CRISPR-associated protein Cas9 already has widespread utility for genome engineering, yet adding protein domains would increase precision and specificity. Both protein termini of Cas9, however, are close to each other and in a small defined region, which limits the effectiveness of standard fusion approaches. Therefore, insertion sites within Cas9 that will not disrupt Cas9 function are needed.Researchers at UC Berkeley have identified over 150 such sites. In proof-of-concept experiments, a PDZ protein interaction domain has been intercalated and increased functionality without decreasing Cas9 nuclease activity. In further experiments, the internal insertion sites have been used to alter Cas9 activity in an allosteric manner, effectively creating tunable Cas9.

Scanning for Spoilage of Food Contents in Metallic and Non-Metallic Containers

Researchers have developed a novel method to analyze the contents of closed metal containers to determine contamination in food products.

Integrated Ultrasound And Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Endoscope For Image Guided Cancer Biopsy

Gastrointestinal cancers are very difficult to diagnosis due to poor biopsy and diagnosis techniques. The invention is a device that is minimally invasive and improves biopsy technique by enabling the physician to visualize a tissue in real time prior to its biopsy. This allows for improved biopsy collection and thereby increases the diagnosis accuracy.

Methods For High Signal-To-Noise Imaging Of Chromosomal Loci In Cells Using Fluorescent Cas9

Cas9 is an endonuclease that binds complementary target DNA and generates site-specific breaks using two conserved nuclease domains. By inactivating both nuclease domains, dCas9 is produced, which functions as a programmable DNA binding protein. Current methods use dCas9-GFP fusions to image chromosomal loci, but have insufficient signal-to-noise ratio and often misidentify loci. UC Berkeley researchers have engineered a Cas9 variant that can be labeled with small molecule fluorescent dyes. This variant utilizes a conformational change in Cas9 to provide highly specific identification of chromosomal loci, and has been shown to work in a proof-of-principle experiment using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) pairs.

Wrinkled Metal Film Strain Gauge For Fetal Movement Detection

There is great importance to monitoring fetal movement because it is an indicator of fetal health. A medical device has been developed for continuous monitoring of fetal movement outside the clinic. The easy to wear device will give mothers’ reassurance that they are doing everything they can to monitor their baby’s health.

Shrink-Induced, Self-Driven Microfluidic Devices

The addition of novel surface modifications and use of shrink-wrap film to create devices will yield self-driven, shrink-induced microfluidic detection for samples such as bodily fluids. Novel fabrications and surfaces will have a profound impact on the creation of point of care diagnostics.

Superhydrophobic Induced High Numerical Plastic Lenses

The application of novel manufacturing techniques, chemical modifications and alternative materials produces the next generation of lenses. These lenses are inexpensive, contain improved numerical aperture and can be easily manufactured. Overall, these improvements create new applications for miniaturized optical and optical electronic devices.

Pesticide Detection: Methyl Iodide and Methyl Bromide

Paper based sensors for detection of low concentrations of methyl iodide and methyl bromide, dibromo ethylene and other alkylating agents in air.

Diagnostics Knee Arthrometer for Detecting Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Structural Changes

Researchers at University of California, Davis have developed a device that has a potential to detect ACL changes that may be predictive for subsequent catastrophic injury.

  • Go to Page: