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DNA-based, Read-Only Memory (ROM) for Data Storage Applications

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have collaborated with colleagues at the University of Washington and Emory University to develop a DNA-based, memory and data storage technology that integrates seamlessly with semiconductor-based technologies and conventional electronic devices.

Method for Motion Sensing in MRI Using Preamplifier RF Intermodulation

The inventors have developed a new flexible motion sensing method that exploits nonlinear intermodulation of MRI receiver coil preamplifiers to sense the motion of a subject in an MRI scanner without on-subject hardware. The method transmits two tones at two different frequencies, f1 and f2, designed to be received at frequency f_BPT by the receiver via intermodulation, where f1 and f2 are much greater than the MRI center frequency. These signals are picked up by the receiver coils, mixed at the pre-amplification stage by intermodulation, then digitized by the receiver chain. The method is 20 times more sensitive to motion than the state-of-the-art Pilot Tone (PT) method of motion sensing. The inventors have demonstrated the method with second order intermodulation. Additionally, more transmitters can be used, each with a different set of frequencies. Higher frequency tones enable greater sensitivity to subject motion. This method enables the detection of motion at multiple temporal and spatial scales, for example, breathing and rigid motion of the head. The method is used simultaneously with conventional MR imaging and does not adversely impact the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the acquired MR image. The method has been demonstrated using inexpensive consumer grade hardware for the 2.4GHz ISM band as a proof-of-concept. Since the MR signal is small (< -30dBm), little transmit power is necessary to induce an intermodulation signal similar in amplitude to the MR signal.

Drone Collision Recovery System

Prof. Konstantinos Karydis’ lab at the University of California, Riverside has developed a new active resilient quadrotor (ARQ), which incorporates passive springs within its frame to absorb shocks and survive collisions.  Each arm of the quadrotor is equipped with sensors to accurately and rapidly detect the location (in the drone’s frame) and intensity of a collision.  In addition, a recovery controller that enables the drone to sustain flight after collision with objects like wall, poles, or moving objects. The technology has been proven on the quadrotor however it may be applied to drones with more than four arms. Fig 1: Instances of the novel ARQ drone detecting and recovering from colllisions in (a) and (b) and from collision with a wall (c) and (d). Fig 2: shows ARQ detecting and recovering from a passive collision. (a) ARQ hovers. (b) Collision starts and the ARQ arm absorbs the shock. (c) recovery control starts and there is a body interfering with the ARQ’s flight path. (d) ARQ is stabilized and hovering again.  

Improved gRNA and Protein Design for CasX-based Gene Editing Platform

The inventors have developed two new CasX gene-editing platforms (DpbCasXv2 and PlmCasXv2) through rationale structural engineering of the CasX protein and gRNA, which yield improved in vitro and in vivo behaviors. These platforms dramatically increase DNA cleavage activity and can be used as the basis for further improving CasX tools.The RNA-guided CRISPR-associated (Cas) protein CasX has been reported as a fundamentally distinct, RNA-guided platform compared to Cas9 and Cpf1. Structural studies revealed structural differences within the nucleotide-binding loops of CasX, with a compact protein size less than 1,000 amino acids, and guide RNA (gRNA) scaffold stem. These structural differences affect the active ternary complex assembly, leading to different in vivo and in vitro behaviors of these two enzymes.

Ultrasensitive Photodetectors And Method For Making The Same

Photodetectors for infrared light suffer from low performance and high cost which hampers commercial applications. The researchers have engineered a method to boost the performance of any current photodetectors, especially within the infrared region, using quantum dots.   The researchers have demonstrated world record performance for sensing and detection.

SARS-CoV-2 Detection by Carbon Nanotube-Based Nanosensors

The inventors have developed a real-time optical nanosensor for detection of active SARS-CoV-2 infection, which includes a modular synthesis scheme that is amenable to detection of other viral infections. The nanosensor is constructed from near-infrared fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) substrates functionalized with biomolecules that have high binding affinity to viral proteins and viral genomic material. Virus binding to the nanosensor instantaneously changes the SWCNT fluorescence. This fluorescent readout serves as the optical signal that coronavirus is present in the clinical sample. The near-infrared fluorescence signal is detectable in biological samples, offering the prospect of detecting active SARS-CoV-2 in unprocessed, crude biofluid samples from individuals with readouts provided in tens of minutes. These SWCNT-based nanosensors are adaptable to point-of-care diagnostic devices to enable accessible, rapid testing of active SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, the reagents and detection devices would be sourced from different supply chains than existing tests and provide orthogonal advantages to such tests.

Absorptive Microwave Bandpass Filters

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed absorptive bandpass filters that enable improved passband flatness and good impedance matching both in-band and out-of-band.

Mixed-Signal Acceleration Of Deep Neural Networks

Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) are revolutionizing a wide range of services and applications such as language translation , transportation , intelligent search, e-commerce, and medical diagnosis. These benefits are predicated upon delivery on performance and energy efficiency from hardware platforms. With the diminishing benefits from general-purpose processors, there is an explosion of digital accelerators for DNNs. Mixed-signal acceleration is also gaining traction. Albeit low-power, mixedsignal circuitry suffers from limited range of information encoding, is susceptible to noise, imposes Analog to Digital (A/D) and Digital to Analog (D/A) conversion overheads, and lacks fine-grained control mechanism. Realizing the full potential of mixed-signal technology requires a balanced design that brings mathematics, architecture, and circuits together.

A Fully Integrated Stretchable Sensor Arrays for Wearable Sign Language Translation To Voice

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a novel machine learning assisted wearable sensor system for the direct translation of sign language into voice with high performance.

A Battery-Less Wirelessly Powered Frequency-Swept Spectroscopy Sensor

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a wirelessly powered frequency-swept spectroscopy sensor.

A Phase-Changing Polymer Film for Broadband Smart Windows Applications

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed an energy efficient smart window coating with wide light bandwidth and long cycle lifetimes.

A Wireless Textile Based Sensor System for Self-Powered Personalized Health Care

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a textile-based sensor system (TS system) for wireless, wearable biomonitoring.

F5‐HD: Fast Flexible FPGA‐based Framework for Refreshing Hyperdimensional Computing

Hyperdimensional (HD) computing is a novel computational paradigm that emulates the brain functionality in performing cognitive tasks. The underlying computation of HD involves a substantial number of element-wise operations (e.g., addition and multiplications) on ultra-wise hypervectors, in the granularities of as small as a single bit, which can be effectively parallelized and pipelined. In addition, though different HD applications might vary in terms of number of input features and output classes (labels), they generally follow the same computation flow. Such characteristics of HD computing inimitably matches with the intrinsic capabilities of FPGAs, making these devices a unique solution for accelerating these applications.

Use of M3K-delta Protein for Improvement of Plant Drought and Salinity Stress Resistance

The response of plants to reduced water availability is controlled by a complex osmotic stress and abscisic acid (ABA)-dependent signal transduction network. The core ABA signaling components are snf1-related protein kinase2s (SnRK2s) which are activated by ABA-dependent inhibition of type 2C protein phosphatases and by an unknown ABA-independent osmotic stress signaling pathway. Limited water availability is one of the key factors that negatively impacts crop yields. The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) and the signal transduction network it activates, enhance plant drought tolerance through stomatal closure, and inhibition of seed germination and growth. As plants are constantly exposed to changing water conditions, reversibility and robustness of the ABA signal transduction cascade is important for plants to balance growth and drought stress resistance. Core ABA signaling components have been established the ABA receptors PYRABACTIN RESISTANCE (PYR/PYL) or REGULATORY COMPONENT OF ABA RECEPTOR (RCAR) inhibit type 2C protein phosphatases (PP2Cs) resulting in the activation of the SnRK2 protein kinases SnRK2.2, 2.3 and OST1/SnRK2.6 . However, it has remained unclear whether direct autophosphorylation or trans-phosphorylation by unknown protein kinases re-activates these SnRK2 protein kinases in response to stress. The osmotic stress sensing mechanism and upstream signal transduction mechanisms leading to SnRK2 activation remain largely unknown in plants.

Spray Dry Method for Calcium Cross-linked Alginate Encapsulation of Biological and Chemical Moieties via the Use of Chelating Agents

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a one-step spray dry calcium cross-linked alginate encapsulation process where the calcium is released from a chelating agent.

Pulsed-Coherent Electronic Front End for Detection and Ranging

Researchers in the UCLA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) device capable of high resolution, high acquisition measurements with minimized walk error and adjustable detection quality.

Mechanisms and Devices Enabling Arbitrarily Shaped, Deep-Subwavelength, Acoustic Patterning

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a Compliant Membrane Acoustic Patterning (CAMP) technology capable of patterning cells in an arbitrary pattern at a high resolution over a large area.

Real-time, Passive Non-Line-of-Sight Imaging with Thermal Camera by Exploiting Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a Non-line-of-sight (NLOS) Imaging System using low cost thermal cameras that enable 3D recovery of NLOS heat source for imaging around corners.

Single Conjugative Vector for Genome Editing by RNA-guided Transposition

The inventors have constructed conjugative plasmids for intra- and inter-species delivery and expression of RNA-guided CRISPR-Cas transposases for organism- and site-specific genome editing by targeted transposon insertion. This invention enables integration of large, customizable DNA segments (encoded within a transposon) into prokaryotic genomes at specific locations and with low rates of off-target integration.

Inexpensive Wobbe Index Sensor to Measure Gaseous Fuel Quality

UCR researchers have developed an inexpensive sensor to measure the energy content and fuel quality of gaseous combustible fuel. This sensor estimates the Wobbe Index in real time time and costs about $10. The sensor is confirmed to operate between -20°and 70°Celsius under pressures of -3600 Psi, with an accuracy of ±1%.  Fig. 1 shows the predicted Wobbe Index vs Actual Wobble Index, showing the accuracy of the sensor

Technologies Related to Variable-Load Voltage Converters and Their Control Schemes

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed voltage converters systems – with associated control schemes – that span a broad spectrum of potential applications.

Flexible Microfluidic Sensors for Curved Surfaces

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed flexible tactile sensors for curved surfaces that are robust against fatigue and suitable for robotic applications.

High Performance Iron Electrocoagulation Systems for Removing Water Contaminants

The inventors have developed an iron electrocoagulation (Fe-EC) system for arsenic removal. The system offers a highly effective, low cost, robust method for removing arsenic from groundwater used for drinking, at community scale (10,000 liters per day).The main advance of this invention is to replace the assembly of inter-digited flat steel plates with an assembly of spiral-wound or folded and inter-digited two steel sheets separated only with perforated insulating spacers. This substantially reduces the energy consumption in comparison to other Fe-EC reactors, and allows for larger flow rates for a given reactor size than the standard inter-digited flat plate configuration. This advance is possible because the system relies on: externally added (ppm quantities) of oxidizer (H2O2), and a newly-discovered effect that allows consistent iron dissolution at high current densities. High current density also produces copious quantities of micro-bubbles of H2 gas, which flushes the space between the electrodes continuously during operation, preventing the clogging that has defeated earlier attempts.In a typical Fe-EC reactor, parallel inter-digited plates of mild steel are inserted into the contaminated water and a small DC voltage is applied between alternate plates to promote anodic dissolution of F(0) metal to release Fe(II) ions into the contaminated water. The Fe(II) ions react with dissolved oxygen in the water to produce Fe(III) that is used to capture the contaminants. Typically, an assembly of flat inter-digited parallel steel plates, with nearest neighbor spaced 2 cm to 5 cm, is used in Fe-EC reactors. Occasionally, externally added or in-situ produced oxidants may be used (e.g. externally added strong oxidants such as H2O2, O3, Chlorine, Permanganate, etc., or in-situ produced strong oxidants such as H2O2 using carbon based cathodes). 

In-Situ Sweat Rate Monitoring For Normalization Of Sweat Analyte Concentrations

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a method of in-situ sweat rate monitoring, which can be integrated into wearable consumer electronics for physiological analyses.

Materials Platform for Flexible Emissivity Engineering

This materials platform enables flexible engineering of infrared (IR) emissivity and development of thermal radiation devices beyond the Stefan-Boltzmann law. The materials structure is based on thin films of vanadium oxide (VO2) with judiciously designed graded W doping across a thickness less than the skin depth of electromagnetic screening (~100 nm). The infrared emissivity can be engineered to decrease in an arbitrary manner from ~ 0.75 to ~ 0.35 over a temperature range up to 50 C near room temperature. The large range of emissivity tuning and flexible adjustability is beyond the capability of regular materials or structures. This invention provides a new platform for unprecedented manipulation of thermal radiation and IR signals with a wide variety of applications, such as:  The emissivity can be programmed to precisely counteract the T^4 dependence in the Stefan-Boltzmann law and achieve a temperature dependent thermal radiation. Such a design enables a mechanically flexible and power-free infrared camouflage, which is inherently robust and immune to drastic temporal fluctuation and spatial variation of temperature. By tailoring structure and composition, the materials platform can create a surface with robust and arbitrary IR temperature image, regardless of the actual temperature distribution on the targets. This design of infrared "decoy" not only passively conceals the real thermal activity of the object, but also intentionally fools the camera with a counterfeited image. The materials platform can achieve strong temperature dependence of reflectivity over a broad wavelength from near-IR to far-IR, which is promising for high-sensitivity remote temperature sensing by thermoreflectance imaging, or active reflectance modulation of IR signals. 

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