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Seamless Ceramics for Biomedical Applications

Prof. Guillermo Aguilar-Mendoza and his colleagues from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) and Prof. Javier Garay and his colleagues from the University of California, San Diego have developed an all ceramic, biocompatible, hermetically sealed package for encapsulating electronics. This technology uses disparate transparent polycrystalline ceramics and is sealed by laser.  The laser directly joins the disparate surfaces, protecting the electronic device from damage while ensuring a high-quality seal. This state-of-the-art technology provides  superior packaging for biomedical implant devices that has long-term biocompatibility. It also provides safe and leak-proof seals. Fig 1: Picture of transparent ceramics fabricated at UCR.

Low-Cost Self-Assembly of Supraparticles

Prof. Yadong Yin and his colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a new method for the self-assembly of supraparticles at all scales. The method uses an emulsion-based template-assisted self-assembly of superstructures unrestricted to the chemical composition of the building blocks.  Emulsion droplets containing materials that will form the supraparticles are distributed by using uniform holes patterned on a template film as a collective and size-controllable platform of superstructures. This emulsion method allows for the superstructuring of various shapes and types of building blocks at all scales without any additional surfactants to the system. Additionally, external stimuli such as magnetic or electric fields may be used to tune the assembly of supraparticles. Fig 1. A scanning electron microscope image of the supraparticles of silica nanoparticles formed in the micro-hole template. The inset highlights one supraparticle.  

Novel Tunable Hydrogel for Biomedical Applications

Prof. Huinan Liu’s lab at the University of California, Riverside has developed a novel tunable hydrogel that achieves tunable crosslinking, reversible phase transition, and may be used as a 3DP scaffold. This new hydrogel utilizes dynamic coordination of its innate carboxylic groups and metal ions. Adding methylacrylate or other functional groups is not required for this technology and the resulting hydrogel is less toxic. Since the functionalization of this hydrogel is not required, it is less process-intensive and results in a more cost-effective hydrogel.  In addition, the UV curing is no longer needed since methylacrylate is no longer utilized to crosslink the hydrogel.   Fig 1: Optical micrographs of top view and cross-section of HyA hydrogels printed using cold-stage method and direct writing method. Hydrogels printed using direct writing method showed better structural integrity and stability.

AI Identified FDA Approved Drugs and Registered Chemicals as Potential New COVID Therapies

Prof. Anandasankar Ray’s lab at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) has developed machine learning models to predict the inhibitory activity of molecules that bind to potential and actual SARS-CoV-2 interacting human proteins as targets.  An important target is the human ACE2 receptor which is used for viral entry. A recent and published systems-level analysis of protein-protein interactions with peptides encoded in the SARS-CoV-2 genome identified ~66 additional human proteins were considered suitable candidates for the identification of COVID-19 therapeutics. This information was used to train machine learning models and then used to screen most FDA registered chemicals and approved drugs (~100,000) and an additional ~14 million chemicals. Predictions were filtered according to estimated mammalian toxicity and vapor pressure. Prospective volatile candidates identified may be used as novel inhaled therapeutics since the nasal cavity and respiratory tracts are early bottlenecks for infection. Fig. 1 Overview of the pipeline to predict chemicals for 65 SARS-CoV-2 human targets and using bioassay data from publicly available databases

Electromagnetic Interference Shielding Composites

Prof. Alexander Balandin, Dr. Fariborz Kargar and colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed novel composites with fillers comprised of graphene and/or quasi-1D van der Waals materials that provide efficient EMI shielding. These unique composites can block EM radiation and are also electrically insulating. These composites may be added to adhesives used in the packaging of electronic components so that the resulting electronic devices will have EMI shielding properties. This technology ensures that EMI shielding is achieved so that a variety of electronics operate reliably and without detrimental effects on human health. Fig 1: Coefficients of absorption for composites made with the UCR graphene-based composition.  

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.  

High Capacity Gas Sorbents

Prof. Pingyun Feng and colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a method using a new pore space partition (PSP) strategy to construct high capacity gas adsorbents with record high properties. These materials exhibit near or at record high uptake capacities for C2H2, C2H4, C2H6, and CO2. Acetylene (C2H2) is typically toxic and prone to explosions, so the current method for storage is costly and compromises the material purity. This technology enables the safe  transportation and storage of acetylene at room temperature, and may also be used in applications such as the use of ethylene to keep fruit from ripening too quickly. Fig 1: Cycles of C2H2 adsorption–desorption for dps‐VCo‐BDC at room temperature.

Highly Effective Broad Spectrum Mosquito Larvacide

Prof. Brian Federici and his colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a highly effective commercial larvicide based on two mosquitocidal bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) and Lysinibacillus sphaericus (Ls). By using specific chimeric proteins, this method allows for a broad-spectrum targeting domain for insecticidal proteins. Results have shown that this larvicide will have high efficacy against most major mosquitoes that transmit diseases, including Malaria, Yellow Fever, Filariasis, and newly emerging viruses such as the Zika virus. This technology serves to confront the growing need for preventing deadly diseases from being spread by insects in order to save lives. Fig 1: Midgut histopathology caused by Cyt1Aa-BinA chimera in 8 hours post-treatment at the LC95 concentration; Control midgut epithelium, (i) and (ii), respectively, 100x and 400x magnification. Midgut epithelium of a treated larva (iii) and (iv), respectively 100x and 600x magnification.