Tech Exchange

Detection of Pathogens, Environmental Contaminants, and Illicit Materials

The University of Georgia Research Foundation has a portfolio of technologies for the fast and accurate detection and identification of pathogens and chemicals. The technologies provide for a scalable and inexpensive method for the detection of disease agents as well as environmental contaminants, materials of relevance to homeland security, etc.

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Smart Grid Technology for Monitoring Power Generation of Each Solar Panel

The National Institute of AIST in Japan has developed a communication technology that uses the direct current (DC) power line of a solar panel as a communication line. The technology helps monitor the power generation in each solar panel, which is useful for the maintenance of the panel and the prompt detection of malfunctions. The monitoring unit of the developed communication system is small and can be placed in the terminal box of a solar panel. The system does not require additional wiring work because the existing DC power lines from the solar panels are used for communication.

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Biodegradable Silica Gel Fiber Regenerates Cell Tissue

An inorganic, biodegradable silica gel fiber (SGF) acts as a physical scaffold to aid the growth of new cells and the collagen structure that supports them. As a scaffold, it can also be used to deliver drugs over a wide area to aid in healing. The material is integrated into the tissues and resorbed by the body. Unlike collagen, the SGF scaffold stays in the wound for 1–2 weeks before resorption. Dimension as well as degradation speed can be adjusted from millimeters up to several hundred square centimeters.

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Nozzle Produces Ultrafine Droplets

Energy-saving nozzles offer droplet sizes down to 25 microns, at operating pressures as low as 100 psi. Nozzle passages, including metering slots, spin chambers, and exit orifices, are designed to minimize pressure drop, resulting in conservation of pump energy up to the exit orifice.

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Piezoelectric-Actuated Valves Bring Accuracy to Process Control Systems

The PACE Hf, a high-flow proportional valve utilizing a Parker Advanced Technology actuator, delivers 180 slpm of air at 30 psi. The product has low power requirements: steadystate 0.6 Watts max, cycling 15 Hz, 1.2 Watts. The Viva piezoelectric actuator provides repeatability and accuracy for the valve of 0.25% variability in 10 ms cycle times.

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Synthetic Material Offers Touch-Feel of Genuine Leather

A synthetic leather material delivers a durable touch-feel. The design is based on the way that the human fingertip interacts with surfaces along four different axes of material properties. The fingertip determines whether a surface is soft or hard, smooth or coarse, wet or dry, and warm or cold. By discovering the relationship between the fingertip and the sensations produced by feeling high-quality, hide-based material, engineers set the appropriate physical properties.

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Mirror Switches Between Reflective and Transparent States

A flexible mirror film electrically switches between reflective and transparent states. By applying (+) voltages, hydrogenation occurs and creates transparency. When (-) voltages are used, the switchable mirror returns to its original reflective state within 10 seconds. The technology allows switchlevel control of the passage of solar radiation, thereby reducing cooling load.

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