Electronics
Energy Generator Powered by Saliva
Posted in Electronic Components, Power Supplies, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, News, MDB on Wednesday, 09 April 2014
An international team of engineers from Penn state University, University Park, PA, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, have discovered that saliva-powered micro-sized microbial fuel cells can produce minute amounts of energy—enough to run on-chip applications, they say. This technology may be enough to fuel glucose monitoring for diabetics.
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Transient Electronics Dissolve When Triggered
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Environmental Monitoring, Green Design & Manufacturing, Materials, Composites, Plastics, Medical, Lighting, LEDs, Semiconductors & ICs, Defense, News on Friday, 04 April 2014
An Iowa State research team led by Reza Montazami is developing "transient materials" and "transient electronics" that can quickly and completely melt away when a trigger is activated. The development could mean that one day you might be able to send out a signal to destroy a lost credit card.

To demonstrate that potential, Montazami played a video showing a blue light-emitting diode mounted on a clear polymer composite base with the electrical leads embedded inside. After a drop of water, the base and wiring began to melt away.

As the technology develops, Montazami sees more and more potential for the commercial application of transient materials. A medical device, once its job is done, could harmlessly melt away inside a person’s body. A military device could collect and send its data and then disappear, leaving no trace of an intelligence mission. An environmental sensor could collect climate information, then wash away in the rain.

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Also: Read other Electronics & Computers tech briefs.
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Wireless Device Senses Chemical Vapors
Posted in Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Environmental Monitoring, Green Design & Manufacturing, Sensors, Detectors, Medical, Communications, Wireless, RF & Microwave Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs, Nanotechnology, Defense, News on Friday, 04 April 2014
A research team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has developed a small electronic sensing device that can alert users wirelessly to the presence of chemical vapors in the atmosphere. The technology, which could be manufactured using familiar aerosol-jet printing techniques, is aimed at myriad applications in military, commercial, environmental, and healthcare areas.

The current design integrates nanotechnology and radio-frequency identification (RFID) capabilities into a small working prototype. An array of sensors uses carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials to detect specific chemicals, while an RFID integrated circuit informs users about the presence and concentrations of those vapors at a safe distance wirelessly.

Because it is based on programmable digital technology, the RFID component can provide greater security, reliability and range – and much smaller size – than earlier sensor designs based on non-programmable analog technology. The present GTRI prototype is 10 centimeters square, but further designs are expected to squeeze a multiple-sensor array and an RFID chip into a one-millimeter-square device printable on paper or on flexible, durable substrates such as liquid crystal polymer.

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Also: Learn about Extended-Range Passive RFID and Sensor Tags.
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A Graphene-Metal Sandwich Could Improve Electronics
Posted in Electronic Components, Thermal Management, Electronics, Materials, Coatings & Adhesives, Metals, Medical, News, MDB on Thursday, 20 March 2014
Researchers have discovered that creating a graphene-copper-graphene “sandwich” enhances copper’s heat conducting properties, which could help in shrinking electronics. Engineers at the University of California, Riverside, and the University of Manchester, UK, in collaboration, found that adding a layer of graphene, a one-atom thick material on each side of a copper film increased heat conducting properties by up to 24 percent.
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Electrical Stimulus Could Heal Chronic Wounds
Posted in Electronics, Medical, Drug Delivery & Fluid Handling, News, MDB on Monday, 10 March 2014
A team of scientists at the University of Cincinnati, OH, says that an electrical stimulus can promote the growth of blood vessels and help to speed healing in diabetic ulcers and other hard-to-heal chronic wounds. Their research examines the best stimulus parameters, such as frequency and magnitude, for successful therapy.
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Pomegranate Inspires Battery Design
Posted in Batteries, Electronic Components, Power Supplies, Electronics, Medical, News, MDB on Monday, 24 February 2014
Researchers at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has invented an electrode designed like a pomegranate with silicon nanoparticles clustered like seeds in a tough carbon rind, that they say overcomes several obstacles to using silicon for a new generation of lithium-ion batteries.
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Understanding How Piezoelectrics Work
Posted in Electronics, Imaging, Medical, News, MDB on Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Piezoelectrics, which can change mechanical stress to electricity and back again, are widely used in many fields, including computer hard drives, medical ultrasound, and sonar. Even so, understanding exactly they work is less widespread. A team of researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD, in collaboration with Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada, believes they've learned why one of the main classes of these materials, known as relaxors, behaves in distinctly different ways from the rest and exhibits the largest piezoelectric effect.
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