Electronic Components
Developing World's First Memory Restoration Device
Posted in Electronic Components, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, News, MDB on Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA, were awarded up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory from the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
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Permanent Eye Sensor Could Track and Monitor Glaucoma
Posted in Biosensors, Electronic Components, Sensors, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, News, MDB on Wednesday, 25 June 2014
A team of engineers at the University of Washington, Seattle, have designed a low-power sensor that could be placed permanently in a person’s eye to track changes in eye pressure. The sensor would be placed during cataract surgery and would detect pressure changes instantaneously, then transmit the data wirelessly using radio frequency waves, they say.
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'Sensing Skin' Detects Damage in Concrete Structures
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Materials, Sensors, Detectors, Test & Measurement, Communications, Semiconductors & ICs, News on Tuesday, 24 June 2014
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Eastern Finland have developed new “sensing skin” technology designed to serve as an early warning system for concrete structures, allowing authorities to respond quickly to damage in everything from nuclear facilities to bridges.

“The sensing skin could be used for a wide range of structures, but the impetus for the work was to help ensure the integrity of critical infrastructure such as nuclear waste storage facilities,” says Dr. Mohammad Pour-Ghaz, an assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work.

The skin is an electrically conductive coat of paint that can be applied to new or existing structures. The paint can incorporate any number of conductive materials, such as copper, making it relatively inexpensive.

Electrodes are applied around the perimeter of a structure. The sensing skin is then painted onto the structure, over the electrodes. A computer program then runs a small current between two of the electrodes at a time, cycling through a number of possible electrode combinations.

Every time the current runs between two electrodes, a computer monitors and records the electrical potential at all of the electrodes on the structure. This data is then used to calculate the sensing skin’s spatially distributed electrical conductivity. If the skin’s conductivity decreases, that means the structure has cracked or been otherwise damaged.

The researchers have developed a suite of algorithms that allow them to both register damage and to determine where the damage has taken place.

Source

Also: Learn about Designing Composite Repairs and Retrofits for Infrastructure.
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Treating PTSD with Removable Brain Implant
Posted in Electronic Components, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, News on Monday, 23 June 2014
Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) recently received $5.6 million from the Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop an implantable neural interface that can record and stimulate neurons within the brain to treat neuropsychiatric disorders. The technology will help doctors to better understand and treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and other conditions.
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Researchers Develop Flexible, Energy-Efficient Hybrid Circuit
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Board-Level Electronics, Sensors, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Lighting, OLEDs, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs, News on Wednesday, 18 June 2014
Researchers from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have developed a flexible, energy-efficient hybrid circuit combining carbon nanotube thin film transistors with other thin film transistors. The hybrid could take the place of silicon as the traditional transistor material used in electronic chips, since carbon nanotubes are more transparent, flexible, and can be processed at a lower cost.

The hybridization of carbon nanotube thin films and IGZO (indium, gallium and zinc oxide) thin films was achieved by combining their types, p-type and n-type, respectively, to create circuits that can operate complimentarily, reducing power loss and increasing efficiency. The inclusion of IGZO thin film transistors provided power efficiency to increase battery life.

The potential applications for the integrated circuitry are numerous, including Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs), digital circuits, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, sensors, wearable electronics, and flash memory devices. Even heads-up displays on vehicle dashboards could soon be a reality.

The new technology also has major medical implications. Currently, memory used in computers and phones is made with silicon substrates, the surface on which memory chips are built. To obtain medical information from a patient such as heart rate or brainwave data, stiff electrode objects are placed on several fixed locations on the patient’s body. With the new hybridized circuit, however, electrodes could be placed all over the patient’s body with just a single large but flexible object.

Source

Also: Learn about an Integral Battery Power Limiting Circuit for Intrinsically Safe Applications.
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Printing Electronic Circuits and Sensors Directly onto 3D Surfaces
Posted in Electronic Components, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics, Medical, News, MDB on Tuesday, 17 June 2014
Digital printing technologies play an important role in microelectronics, microsystems engineering, and sensor systems. Recently, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Bremen, Germany, have discovered that they can use various printing methods to produce electronic components and sensors. The tiny resistors, transistors, circuit paths, and capacitors are first designed on screen and then printed directly onto 2Dand 3D substrates. Instead of paper inks, they are using “functional inks,” electronic materials in liquid or paste form.
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Thin Films Self-Assemble in One Minute
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Photonics, Optics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Materials, Coatings & Adhesives, Composites, Nanotechnology, News on Thursday, 12 June 2014
Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have devised a technique whereby self-assembling nanoparticle arrays can form a highly ordered thin film over macroscopic distances in one minute.
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