Electronic Components
Chip Could Eliminate Need for Magnets in Imaging
Posted in Electronic Components, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics, Imaging, Medical, Diagnostics, News, MDB on Tuesday, 03 June 2014
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD, say that they have built and demonstrated a chip-scale device that both produces and detects a specialized gas used in biomedical analysis and medical imaging. The new microfluidic chip produces polarized (or magnetized) xenon gas and then detects even the faintest magnetic signals from the gas.
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New Algorithms Enable Self-Assembling, Printable Robots
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Power Transmission, Sensors, Software, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Mathematical/Scientific Software, Machinery & Automation, Robotics, News on Friday, 30 May 2014
In two new papers, MIT researchers demonstrate the promise of printable robotic components that, when heated, automatically fold into prescribed three-dimensional configurations.

One paper describes a system that takes a digital specification of a 3-D shape — such as a computer-aided design, or CAD, file — and generates the 2-D patterns that would enable a piece of plastic to reproduce it through self-folding.

The other paper explains how to build electrical components from self-folding laser-cut materials. The researchers present designs for resistors, inductors, and capacitors, as well as sensors and actuators — the electromechanical “muscles” that enable robots’ movements.

“We have this big dream of the hardware compiler, where you can specify, ‘I want a robot that will play with my cat,’ or ‘I want a robot that will clean the floor,’ and from this high-level specification, you actually generate a working device,” said Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.

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Also: Learn about Self-Assembling, Flexible, Pre-Ceramic Composite Preforms.
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New Rotary Sensor Keeps Conveyor Belts Running Smoothly
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Photonics, Optics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Industrial Controls & Automation, Consumer Product Manufacturing, Sensors, Test & Measurement, Measuring Instruments, News on Wednesday, 28 May 2014
Rotary sensors can help determine the position of a moveable body in relation to an axis. They are essential to the smooth running of car engines in the automotive industry, for example. In factories, goods and products are transported from one processing station to the next via conveyor belt. For the transfer from one belt to the next to run smoothly, it must take place precisely at a specific position, which means knowing the relative position of objects on the conveyor belts as they move towards each other. This can be determined from the angle of rotation, which refers to the position of a moveable body to an axis.
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Wireless System Paves Way for 'Electroceutical' Medical Devices
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Power Management, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Drug Delivery & Fluid Handling, Patient Monitoring, Communications, Wireless, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs, News on Tuesday, 27 May 2014
A wireless system uses the same power as a cell phone to safely transmit energy to chips the size of a grain of rice. The technology paves the way for new "electroceutical" devices to treat illness or alleviate pain.

The central discovery is an engineering breakthrough that creates a new type of wireless power transfer that can safely penetrate deep inside the body.

The technology could spawn a new generation of programmable microimplants – sensors to monitor vital functions deep inside the body; electrostimulators to change neural signals in the brain; and drug delivery systems to apply medicines directly to affected areas.

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Also: Visit Medical Design Briefs.
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New Chemistry Enables Longer-Lived Batteries
Posted in Batteries, Electronic Components, Power Supplies, Electronics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, News, MDB on Wednesday, 07 May 2014
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee say they have developed a new type of battery chemistry aimed at producing batteries that last longer than previously thought possible.
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Scientist Creates Three-Atom-Wide Nanowire
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Board-Level Electronics, Materials, Metals, Semiconductors & ICs, Nanotechnology, News on Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Junhao Lin, a Vanderbilt University Ph.D. student and visiting scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has found a way to use a finely focused beam of electrons to create some of the smallest wires ever made. The flexible metallic wires are only three atoms wide: One thousandth the width of the microscopic wires used to connect the transistors in today’s integrated circuits.

The technique represents an exciting new way to manipulate matter at the nanoscale and should give a boost to efforts to create electronic circuits out of atomic monolayers, the thinnest possible form factor for solid objects.

“This will likely stimulate a huge research interest in monolayer circuit design,” Lin said. “Because this technique uses electron irradiation, it can in principle be applicable to any kind of electron-based instrument, such as electron-beam lithography.”

One of the intriguing properties of monolayer circuitry is its toughness and flexibility.

“If you let your imagination go, you can envision tablets and television displays that are as thin as a sheet of paper that you can roll up and stuff in your pocket or purse,” said University Distinguished Professor of Physics and Engineering at Vanderbilt University, Sokrates Pantelides.

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Also: Learn about a Zinc Oxide Nanowire Interphase.
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Pacemaker Powered by Beating Heart
Posted in Electronic Components, Power Supplies, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, News, MDB on Monday, 14 April 2014
An interdisciplinary research team from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Arizona, Tucson, has developed a flexible medical implant that harvests energy from the beating heart, which, they say, could be used to power pacemakers, defibrillators, and heart-rate monitors naturally and reliably and reduce or eliminate the need for batteries.
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