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  • llinois researchers used a suite of imaging methods to create the first holistic picture of peripheral artery disease recovery. Pictured: postdoctoral student Jamila Hedhli and professor Wawrzyniec Dobrucki.

    Study maps landmarks of peripheral artery disease to guide treatment development

    Novel biomedical advances that show promise in the lab often fall short in clinical trials. For researchers studying peripheral artery disease, this is made more difficult by a lack of standardized metrics for what recovery looks like. A new study from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers identifies major landmarks of PAD recovery, creating signposts for researchers seeking to understand the disease and develop treatments.

  • Study looking at lighter, cooler equipment to reduce firefighter injuries, deaths

    Firefighters battling wildfires like those devastating Southern California, or even a smaller structural fire, have to endure temperatures in the hundreds of degrees. A study at the Illinois Fire Service Institute on the U. of I.'s Urbana campus is examining an enhanced version of personal protective equipment that is lighter, less restrictive and uses a firefighter's exhaled breath to cool the body and help combat heat stress, which researchers believe contributes to many of the on-the-job deaths and injuries firefighters suffer each year.

  • Civil and environmental engineering professor Jeremy Guest, left, and graduate student John Trimmer evaluated the feasibility of using human-derived waste as a safe and valuable nutrient commodity.

    Study: Human wastewater valuable to global agriculture, economics

    It may seem off-putting to some, but human waste is full of nutrients that can be recycled into valuable products that could promote agricultural sustainability and better economic independence for some developing countries.

  • Using public health and transportation data, Illinois professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and colleagues found that higher mass transit use is correlated with lower obesity rates.

    Study: Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity rates

    Healthy mass transit systems could contribute to healthier communities, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers that determined higher mass transit use was correlated with lower obesity rates in counties across the United States.

  • Groundwater from three main aquifers in the United States contributes to food shipped across the country and around the globe, says a new study from civil and environmental engineers at Illinois and Lehigh University.

    Study: Groundwater from aquifers important factor in food security

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Thirsty cities, fields and livestock drink deeply from aquifers, natural sources of groundwater. But a study of three of the most-tapped aquifers in the United States shows that overdrawing from these resources could lead to difficult choices affecting not only domestic food security but also international markets.

  • In many developing countries, food is cooked over traditional biomass-burning cookstoves. Illinois researchers found that how users operate their stoves has a big effect on emissions.

    Study finds emissions from widely used cookstoves vary with use

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The smoke rising from a cookstove fills the air with the tantalizing aroma of dinner - and a cloud of pollutants and particles that threaten both health and the environment. How families in developing countries use their cookstoves has a big effect on emissions from those stoves, and laboratory emission tests don't accurately reflect real-world operations, according to a study by University of Illinois researchers.

  • Civil and environmental engineering professor Ximing Cai, left, and graduate student Xiao Zhang performed a global analysis of marginal land that could produce biofuel crops.

    Study estimates land available for biofuel crops

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Using detailed land analysis, Illinois researchers have found that biofuel crops cultivated on available land could produce up to half of the world's current fuel consumption - without affecting food crops or pastureland.

  • Sheldon H. Jacobson, right, a professor of computer science at Illinois, says legislation banning cell phone use while driving has more of an impact in densely populated urban areas that have a higher number of licensed drivers. Matthew J. Robbins, left, was one of two students who conducted the study with Jacobson.

    Study: Cell-phone bans while driving have more impact in dense, urban areas

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study analyzing the impact of hand-held cell phone legislation on driving safety concludes that usage-ban laws had more of an impact in densely populated urban areas with a higher number of licensed drivers than in rural areas where there are fewer licensed drivers, according to a University of Illinois researcher.

  • Researchers at the University of Illinois worked with physicians at Carle Foundation Hospital in a new study that found one measurement of biomarkers in the blood can predict a patient’s sepsis status as well as monitoring the patient for hours. Pictured, from left: Professors Rashid Bashir and Ruoqing Zhu, Prenosis Inc. employee Ishan Taneja and professor Sihai Dave Zhao.

    Study: Biomarkers as predictive of sepsis as lengthy patient monitoring

    One measurement of key biomarkers in blood that characterize sepsis can give physicians as much information as hours of monitoring symptoms, a new study found.

  • Bioengineering professor Jennifer Amos, seated, and postdoctoral research associate Gabriel Burks standing to her left with a laptop that displays public engagement coordinator Lara Hebert on the screen.

    Students use TikTok to learn about biomechanics during engineering virtual summer camps

    Teens attending the virtual summer camps hosted by the College of Engineering used the video-sharing medium TikTok to learn the principles of biomechanics and the techniques of motion-capture analysis.

  • A key factor in the crash was the curved opening of the bridge. The posted height was the maximum in the center, not the lower curved section above the outer lanes, which the truck hit, which means the databases that shipping companies rely on to plan routes may be inaccurate.

    Structural, regulatory and human error were factors in Washington highway bridge collapse

    When an important bridge collapsed on Interstate 5 near Mount Vernon, Washington, in 2013, questions were raised about how such a catastrophic failure could occur. A new analysis by a team of civil engineering faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign outlines the many factors that led to the collapse, as well as steps that transportation departments can take to prevent such accidents on other bridges of similar design.

  • Stretchable balloon electronics get to the heart of cardiac medicine

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Cardiologists may soon be able to place sensitive electronics inside their patients' hearts with minimal invasiveness, enabling more sophisticated and efficient diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias.

  • Kristopher Kilian and his research team found stemlike cells at the edge of melanoma tumors secrete factors to promote blood-vessel growth, allowing the cancer to grow and spread.

    Stemlike cells at tumor perimeter promote new blood vessels to feed tumor growth

    Stemlike cells at the edge of melanoma tumors secrete factors to promote blood-vessel growth, allowing the cancer to grow and spread.

  • Professors Marni Boppart and Wawrzyniec Lawrence Dobrucki found that stem cells helped alleviate complications from peripheral artery disease in diabetic mice.

    Stem cells from muscle could address diabetes-related circulation problems

    Stem cells taken from muscle tissue could promote better blood flow in patients with diabetes who develop peripheral artery disease, a painful complication that can require surgery or lead to amputation.

  • A microscope image of a bio-bot.

    Spinal cord gives bio-bots walking rhythm

    Miniature biological robots are making greater strides than ever, thanks to the spinal cord directing their steps.

  • Sand deposits were worked into trains of dunes when flood water flowed into the Bonnet Carr Spillway in Lousiana. Once the flood subsided and the spillway was closed, the water drained and dried from the spillway, thereby exposing the dunes. Trees and shrubs near the top of the oblique aerial photograph provide scale.

    Spillways can divert sand from river to rebuild wetlands

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers could have a new method to rebuild wetlands of the Louisiana delta, thanks to a chance finding while monitoring severe flooding of the Mississippi River.

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor Nancy Sottos has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

    Sottos elected to National Academy of Engineering

    Nancy Sottos, an engineering professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. She is one of 87 new members and 18 international members announced by the Academy on Feb. 6.

  • Portrait of researches in laboratory.

    Solid-state batteries line up for better performance

    Solid-state batteries pack a lot of energy into a small space, but their electrodes are not good at keeping in touch with their electrolytes. Liquid electrolytes reach every nook and cranny of an electrode to spark energy, but liquids take up space without storing energy and fail over time. Researchers are now putting solid electrolytes in touch with electrodes made of strategically arranged materials – at the atomic level – and the results are helping drive better solid-state battery technologies.

  • Illinois graduate student Subhro Roy, left, and professor Dan Roth developed software to help computers understand math concepts expressed in text. This will improve data accessibility, search and education.

    Software teaches computers to translate words to math

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If Johnny has five apples and seven oranges, and he wants to share them with three of his friends, can a computer understand the text to figure out how many pieces of fruit each person gets?

  • An ultrathin, electronic patch with the mechanics of skin, applied to the wrist for EMG and other measurements.

    Smart skin: Electronics that stick and stretch like a temporary tattoo

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Engineers have developed a device platform that combines electronic components for sensing, medical diagnostics, communications and human-machine interfaces, all on an ultrathin skin-like patch that mounts directly onto the skin with the ease, flexibility and comfort of a temporary tattoo.

  • A new drug-delivery system that contains crystalized catechin – an antioxidant found in green tea and fruit – can sense trouble and respond by releasing antioxidant to restore a normal heart rate to water fleas undergoing cardiac stress brought on by high oxidant levels

    Smart antioxidant-containing polymer responds to body chemistry, environment

    Oxidants found within living organisms are byproducts of metabolism and are essential to wound-healing and immunity. However, when their concentrations become too high, inflammation and tissue damage can occur. University of Illinois engineers have developed and tested a new drug-delivery system that senses high oxidant levels and responds by administering just the right amount of antioxidant to restore this delicate balance.

  • The graphic illustrates a high power battery technology from the University of Illinois.  Ions flow between three-dimensional micro-electrodes in a lithium ion battery.

    Small in size, big on power: New microbatteries a boost for electronics

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Though they be but little, they are fierce. The most powerful batteries on the planet are only a few millimeters in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cellphone powered by these batteries to jump-start a dead car battery - and then recharge the phone in the blink of an eye.

  • Chi-Hing Christina Cheng, a professor of animal biology, is one of six Illinois professors named AAAS fellows.

    Six professors at Illinois named 2012 AAAS fellows

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Six faculty members at the University of Illinois have been named 2012 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: animal biology professor Chi-Hing Christina Cheng, electrical and computer engineering professor Kent Choquette, psychology professor Neal Cohen, chemistry professor So Hirata, anthropology professor Lisa Lucero and physics professor Philip Phillips.

  • Carl Bernacchi is one of six faculty members from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign named as AAAS Fellows this year.

    Six Illinois faculty members elected AAAS Fellows

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Six professors at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2020 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Evolution, ecology and behavior professor Alison Bell; plant biology professor Carl Bernacchi; bioengineering professor Rohit Bhargava; materials science and engineering professor Paul Braun; chemistry professor Prashant Jain; and materials science and engineering professor Nancy Sottos are among the 489 scientists to be awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow this year.

  • Illinois researchers developed a method to detect cancer markers called microRNA with single-molecule resolution, a technique that could be used for liquid biopsies. From left: postdoctoral researcher Taylor Canady, professor Andrew Smith, graduate student Nantao Li, postdoctoral researcher Lucas Smith and professor Brian Cunningham.

    Single-molecule detection of cancer markers brings liquid biopsy closer to clinic

    A fast, inexpensive yet sensitive technique to detect cancer markers is bringing researchers closer to a “liquid biopsy” – a test using a small sample of blood or serum to detect cancer, rather than the invasive tissue sampling routinely used for diagnosis.

    Researchers at the University of Illinois developed a method to capture and count cancer-associated microRNAs, or tiny bits of messenger molecules that are exuded from cells and can be detected in blood or serum, with single-molecule resolution.

  • A flexible array of LEDs mounted on paper. Hand-drawn silver ink lines form the interconnects between the LEDs.

    Silver pen has the write stuff for flexible electronics

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The pen may have bested the sword long ago, but now it's challenging wires and soldering irons.

  • Illinois researchers are using plastic that shrinks when heated to pack nanowires together for electronics applications.

    Shrinky Dinks close the gap for nanowires

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - How do you put a puzzle together when the pieces are too tiny to pick up? Shrink the distance between them.

  • University of Illinois electrical and computer engineering professor Viktor Gruev led a study demonstrating underwater global positioning made possible by a bio-inspired camera that mimics the eyes of a mantis shrimp.

    Shrimp-inspired camera may enable underwater navigation

    The underwater environment may appear to the human eye as a dull-blue, featureless space. However, a vast landscape of polarization patterns appear when viewed through a camera that is designed to see the world through the eyes of many of the animals that inhabit the water. 

  • Dried ground with mudcracks and grass growing around edges.

    Short-term climate modeling forecasts drought for Southeast US

    Many climate models focus on scenarios decades into the future, making their outcomes seem unreliable and problematic for decision-making in the immediate future. In a proactive move, researchers are using short-term forecasts to stress the urgency of drought risk in the United States and inform policymakers’ actions now.

  • Illinois chemistry and biomolecular engineering professor Ying Diao, right, and graduate student Hyunjoong Chung are part of a team that has identified a mechanism that triggers shape-memory in organic crystals used in plastic electronics.

    Shape-shifting organic crystals use memory to improve plastic electronics

    Researchers have identified a mechanism that triggers shape-memory phenomena in organic crystals used in plastic electronics. Shape-shifting structural materials are made with metal alloys, but the new generation of economical printable plastic electronics is poised to benefit from this phenomenon, too. Shape-memory materials science and plastic electronics technology, when merged, could open the door to advancements in low-power electronics, medical electronics devices and multifunctional shape-memory materials.

  • At normal tissue pH (left), the polymer does not kill bacteria. But in an acidic environment (right), it disrupts the H. pylori bacteria’s membranes to kill it.

    Shape-shifting agent targets harmful bacteria in the stomach

    A new shape-shifting polymer can target and kill Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the stomach without killing helpful bacteria in the gut.

  • Illinois researchers found that the shape of a tumor may play a role in how cancer cells become primed to spread. From left: materials science and engineering professor Kristopher Kilian, graduate student Junmin Lee and veterinary medicine professor Timothy Fan.

    Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasize

    Only a few cells in a cancerous tumor are able to break away and spread to other parts of the body, but the curve along the edge of the tumor may play a large role in activating these tumor-seeding cells, according to a new University of Illinois study.

  • Sottos and White

    Self-healing tech charges up performance for silicon-containing battery anodes

    Researchers at the University of Illinois have found a way to apply self-healing technology to lithium-ion batteries to make them more reliable and last longer.

  • Self-healing electronics. Microcapsules full of liquid metal sit atop a gold circuit. When the circuit is broken, the microcapsules rupture, filling in the crack and restoring the circuit.

    Self-healing electronics could work longer and reduce waste

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - When one tiny circuit within an integrated chip cracks or fails, the whole chip - or even the whole device - is a loss. But what if it could fix itself, and fix itself so fast that the user never knew there was a problem?

  • An atomic force microscope tip scans the surface of a graphene-metal contact to measure temperature with spatial resolution of about 10 nm and temperature resolution of about 250 mK.  Color represents temperature data.

    Self-cooling observed in graphene electronics

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - With the first observation of thermoelectric effects at graphene contacts, University of Illinois researchers found that graphene transistors have a nanoscale cooling effect that reduces their temperature.

  • Researchers led by Founder Professor of Engineering Steve Granick, right, have developed tiny spheres that attract water to form "supermolecule" structures. Team members, from left, Qian Chen, doctoral student in materials science and engineering; Sung Chul Bae, research scientist; and Jonathan Whitmer, doctoral student in physics.

    Self-assembling structures open door to new class of materials

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University have demonstrated bio-inspired structures that self-assemble from simple building blocks: spheres.

  • Professor Sheldon H. Jacobson led a study that found that, though seatbelt use drops as obesity rises, states with primary seatbelt laws saw a drop nearly nine times less than states without such laws.

    Seatbelt laws encourage obese drivers to buckle up

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Obesity is associated with many health risks, including heart disease and diabetes, but University of Illinois researchers have found a possible way to mitigate one often-overlooked risk: not buckling up in the car.

  • An artist rendering of the MacEtch-produced fin array structures in a beta-gallium oxide semiconductor substrate from professor Xiuling Li’s latest project.

    Search for new semiconductors heats up with gallium oxide

    University of Illinois electrical engineers have cleared another hurdle in high-power semiconductor fabrication by adding the field’s hottest material – beta-gallium oxide – to their arsenal. Beta-gallium oxide is readily available and promises to convert power faster and more efficiently than today’s leading semiconductor materials – gallium nitride and silicon, the researchers said.

  • Scott R. White, a pioneer of self-healing materials, died May 28 at age 55.

    Scott R. White, pioneer of self-healing materials, has died

    University of Illinois aerospace engineering professor Scott R. White, an innovator of self-healing and self-regulating materials, died Monday of cancer at age 55.

  • Electrical and computer engineering professor Joseph Lyding has proven that the orientation of atoms along the edges of the graphene lattice would affect the material's electronic properties.

    Scientists prove graphene's edge structure affects electronic properties

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Graphene, a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon, holds remarkable promise for future nanoelectronics applications. Whether graphene actually cuts it in industry, however, depends upon how graphene is cut, say researchers at the University of Illinois.

  • University of Illinois researchers have honed a technique called the Stokes trap, which can handle and test the physical limits of tiny, soft particles using only fluid flow. From left, undergraduate student Channing Richter, professor Charles Schroeder and graduate student Dinesh Kumar.

    Scientists develop gentle, microscopic hands to study tiny, soft materials

    Handling very soft, delicate items without damaging them is hard enough with human hands, let alone doing it at the microscopic scale with laboratory instruments. Three new studies show how scientists have honed a technique for handling tiny, soft particles using precisely controlled fluid flows that act as gentle microscopic hands. The technique allows researchers to test the physical limits of these soft particles and the things made from them – ranging from biological tissues to fabric softeners.

  • Illinois scientists are making advances in pharmaceutical chemistry (1); tracking invasive species (2) and emerging diseases (3); understanding pollinator biology, behavior and population status (4); exploring genomics (5); developing new imaging techniques (6); improving photosynthesis (7) and developing and harvesting biomass for bioenergy production (8).

    Science at Illinois feeds the world, furthers health, protects the planet

    Illinois scientists are helping power plants run more efficiently, designing better, longer-lasting batteries, finding new ways to target cancerous tumors, and developing robots that can aid in construction, in agricultural fields and even inside the human body.

  • Steve Granick, Founder Professor of Engineering, has led colleagues in rethinking Brownian motion.

    Rethinking Brownian motion with the emperor's new clothes

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In the classic fairy tale, "The Emperor's New Clothes," Hans Christian Andersen uses the eyes of a child to challenge conventional wisdom and help others to see more clearly. In similar fashion, researchers at the University of Illinois have now revealed the naked truth about a classic bell-shaped curve used to describe the motion of a liquid as it diffuses through another material.

  • An illustration of rendered experimental data showing the polycrystalline copper surface and the differing graphene coverages. Graphene grows in a single layer on the (111) copper surface and in islands and multilayers elsewhere.

    Research: Graphene grows better on certain copper crystals

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - New observations could improve industrial production of high-quality graphene, hastening the era of graphene-based consumer electronics, thanks to University of Illinois engineers.

  • Illinois mechanical science and engineering student and lead author of a new study Benjamin Sohn holds a device that uses sound waves to produce optical diodes tiny enough to fit onto a computer chip.

    Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication

    Illinois researchers have demonstrated that sound waves can be used to produce ultraminiature optical diodes that are tiny enough to fit onto a computer chip. These devices, called optical isolators, may help solve major data capacity and system size challenges for photonic integrated circuits, the light-based equivalent of electronic circuits, which are used for computing and communications.

  • Chemical and biomolecular engineering researchers Johnny Ching-Wei Lee, left, professor Simon Rogers and collaborators are challenging previous assumptions regarding polymer behavior with their newly developed laboratory techniques that measure polymer flow at the molecular level.

    Researchers unveil how soft materials react to deformation at molecular level

    Before designing the next generation of soft materials, researchers must first understand how they behave during rapidly changing deformation. In a new study, researchers challenged previous assumptions regarding polymer behavior with newly developed laboratory techniques that measure polymer flow at the molecular level.

  • Mechanical sciences engineering professor Gaurav Bahl, left, and graduate student Seunghwi Kim confirmed that backscattered light waves can be suppressed to reduce data loss in optical communications systems.

    Researchers turn off backscattering, aim to improve optical data transmission

    Engineers at the University of Illinois have found a way to redirect misfit light waves to reduce energy loss during optical data transmission. In a study, researchers exploited an interaction between light and sound waves to suppress the scattering of light from material defects – which could lead to improved fiber optic communication. Their findings are published in the journal Optica.

  • University of Illinois engineers devised a method of making thin films of ferroelectric material with twice the strain of traditional methods, giving the films exceptional electric properties. Professor Lane Martin, right, led the work with graduate student Karthik Jambunathan, center, and postdoctoral researcher Vengadesh Mangalam.

    Researchers strain to improve electrical material and it's worth it

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Like turning coal to diamond, adding pressure to an electrical material enhances its properties. Now, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have devised a method of making ferroelectric thin films with twice the strain, resulting in exceptional performance.

  • University of Illinois bioengineers, from left, Ayanjeet Ghosh, professor Rohit Bhargava, Prabuddha Mukherjee and Sanghamitra Deb are using an updated infrared imaging technique to better examine and optimize a group of materials that could help solve some of the world’s most challenging energy, environmental and pharmaceutical challenges.

    Researchers put new spin on old technique to engineer better absorptive materials

    A team of University of Illinois bioengineers has taken a new look at an old tool to help characterize a class of materials called metal organic frameworks – MOFs for short. MOFs are used to detect, purify and store gases, and could help solve some of the worlds most challenging energy, environmental and pharmaceutical challenges – they can even pull water molecules straight from the air to provide relief from droughts.

  • Inspired by nature, Illinois researchers developed synthetic structure-based color materials – like those found in chameleon skin – for polymer inks used in 3D printing.

    Researchers mimic nature for fast, colorful 3D printing

    Brilliantly colored chameleons, butterflies, opals – and now some 3D-printed materials – reflect color by using nanoscale structures called photonic crystals. A new study that demonstrates how a modified 3D-printing process provides a versatile approach to producing multiple colors from a single ink is published in the journal Science Advances.