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Mobile Agricultural Chemical Analysis Platforms

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed mobile sensing platforms with capabilities that allow for sampling and field testing of agricultural samples to detect chemicals that may be of interest in a variety of settings, ranging from disease diagnostics to post-harvest monitoring.

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. 

Electret-Based MEMS Device For Harvesting Energy From Nearby Energized Conductors

There is great potential for small, low-cost wireless sensors to pervade society, such as sensors for electricity grids, environmental pollution and emergency situations. However, to realize this ubiquity, these sensors must have low-cost, long-life power sources. Harvesting ambient energy has the potential to meet the needs of these wireless sensors.To address this opportunity, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a new type of energy harvester. This Berkeley harvester obtains its energy from nearby energized conductors. In comparison to other energy harvesters, this battery-less device has the ability to function for many years.

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.

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.

Microfluidic Tumor Tissue Dissociation Device

The microfluidic device will be able to dissociate tumor tissue obtained by a needle biopsy from solid tumors into single cells without cell damage. The resulting cells can be used for subsequent molecular analysis to determine cancer diagnosis and help guide treatment. This research tool will improve and standardize tumor sample preparation thereby advancing cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Sampling Cartridge for Gas-Phase Ammonia and Amines

The purpose of the technology is the efficient measurement of gas-phase ammonia and amines that minimizes exposure of sample to instrument surfaces prior to measurement. Measuring ammonia and/or amines at atmospherically relevant concentrations for use in industrial and/or pharmaceutical processes. The technology is a sampling cartridge for measurement of gas-phase ammonia and amines. Properties include: a detection limit in low ppt, short sampling times (<60 min), ability to operate at atmospherically relevant conditions. The cartridges are long lasting and easily regenerated and have higher quality detection limits for evaluation of gases.

Produce Sanitation with Food-Grade Materials

A novel method for the surface disinfection of fresh produce using UV light and a wash solution.

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.

Improved Antimicrobial Atmospheric Pressure Plasmas

Disinfection of water, plants, skin and wounds is critical for public health, horticulture, and medicine.  Current disinfection methods are relatively expensive, large in size and complexity, and typically require toxic chemicals. Plasma-generated reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) in air or other gases at or near room temperature are known to have antimicrobial and other biological and materials processing activity through direct interactions or indirectly via liquid phase applications.  However, these methods currently have serious limitations to broader applications.To address this challenge, University of California investigators have developed improved antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas.  These new antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas significantly enhance the efficacy of currently available systems by combining these species with a separate source of photons. In particular, ultraviolet (UV) photons have been shown by the investigators to greatly increase the antimicrobial effectiveness of plasma-generated ROS/RNS.  These antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas can be used for water, surface, skin and wound disinfection.  The improved antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas create chemically active species in gases or standard atmospheric pressure plasmas with photons, such ultraviolet wavelengths.  These improved antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas combines the open-gas atmospheric pressure plasma to generate radicals and other reactive species with separate photon sources, such as LEDs, to generate UV and visible wavelength photons to interact synergistically with the chemical radicals.  This combination results in novel power and control for important applications exploiting reactive chemical species. Additionally, these improved antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas use relatively inexpensive and simple devices, relatively small amounts of electricity, air and water. The chemical species created are relatively innocuous. 

Fiber-based Probe Enables High Resolution CARS Imaging of Biological Tissues in vivo

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a novel, fiber based imaging probe that is optimized for CARS to enable the label free, in vivo probing of tissues.Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy, a form of nonlinear optical microscopy, has gained enormous attention in the biomedical community for its potential to provide high resolution images at fast imaging acquisition rates.Typical applications of CARS include skin and superficial tissue imaging, often in an in vitro setting. Up to this point, a suitable device that enables the CARS imaging of tissues in vivo has not been available.

New Light Emission Detection Method Enables High Resolution Optical Imaging of Biological Tissue.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a novel method for capturing cellular resolution images of biological tissue at depths of up to several millimeters. Conventional fluorescence detection methods utilize microscope objectives for emission light collection, a less effective approach that is only capable of imaging up to one millimeter deep.To improve upon this standard, the UC researchers minimized light losses by optimizing the system's excitation and detection optics. This new novel method increases the ability to capture cellular resolution images of biological tissues at depths 3x that of previously used methods. The improved method is capable of imaging up to 3 millimeters deep, while previous methods were only capable of depths up to 1 millimeter.

A Bioreactor To Quantify Headspace of Volatile Organic Gases From Cells In Culture

The current technology generally relates to systems and devices (e.g., bioreactors) used for collecting and accurately quantifying trace amounts of volatile organic gases (VOCs) obtained from the headspace above cell cultures.

Large-Volume Centrifugal Microfluidic Device for Blood Plasma Separation

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a CD microfluidic device that is capable of blood plasma separation of 2 mL of undiluted blood samples. A technician would pipette into the CD device the blood sample for separation. The device is then rotated at high frequencies in order to separate the plasma from the blood. As the frequency of rotation for the CD device is decreased, a siphon valve is primed due to the low frequency of rotation; and the plasma is separated into a collection chamber.

Laplace Pressure Trap for Microfluidic Droplet Formation from Asynchronous Sources and Different Inlets

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a Laplace pressure trap that can fuse droplets from different inlets and fuse droplets generated at different frequencies. The device traps and fuses droplets passively by balancing the driving hydrostatic pressure with increasing Laplace pressure imposed by the device’s design geometry. Above are video frames showing the Laplace pressure trap and of a single droplet fusion event at the Laplace trap. Frame A - Reference droplet can be seen waiting for its fusion partner. Excess partner droplets can be seen exiting towards the outlet. Frames B and C show the reference droplet and its fusion partner fuse and move toward the outlet. Frame D shows the next reference droplet approaching the trap.

Biomimetic Solid Separator

Brief description not available

Pathogen Resistance in Plants

Pathogen Resistance in Plants

Phaff Yeast Culture Collection

Phaff Yeast Culture Collection

Precision Harvesting for Orchard Crops

Apparatus used for precision harvesting and analysis techniques for orchard crops

Resistance to Pierce's Disease in Grapevine

New approach to introduction of resistance to Pierce's disease in grapevine, based on identification of an important gene (hemagglutinin) in the pathogen (Xylella fastidiosa) that causes Pierce's disease

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