blog postsEngineers on a roll toward smaller, more efficient radio frequency transformersMay 14, 2018 10:00 am901 views The future of electronic devices lies partly within the “internet of things” – the network of devices, vehicles and appliances embedded within electronics to enable connectivity and data exchange. University of Illinois engineers are helping realize this future by minimizing the size of one notoriously large element of integrated circuits used for wireless communication – the transformer.Elastic microspheres expand understanding of embryonic development and cancer cellsMay 14, 2018 6:00 am415 views A new technique that uses tiny elastic balls filled with fluorescent nanoparticles aims to expand the understanding of the mechanical forces that exist between cells, researchers report. A University of Illinois-led team has demonstrated the quantification of 3-D forces within cells living in petri dishes as well as live specimens. This research may unlock some of the mysteries related to embryonic development and cancer stem cells, i.e., tumor-repopulating cells.New polymer manufacturing process saves 10 orders of magnitude of energyMay 9, 2018 12:00 pm914 views Makers of cars, planes, buses – anything that needs strong, lightweight and heat resistant parts – are poised to benefit from a new manufacturing process that requires only a quick touch from a small heat source to send a cascading hardening wave through a polymer. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new polymer-curing process that could reduce the cost, time and energy needed, compared with the current manufacturing process.New CRISPR technology ‘knocks out’ yeast genes with single-point precisionMay 7, 2018 10:00 am717 views The CRISPR-Cas9 system has given researchers the power to precisely edit selected genes. Now, researchers have used it to develop a technology that can target any gene in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and turn it off by deleting single letters from its DNA sequence.Prosthetic arms can provide controlled sensory feedback, study findsApr 26, 2018 2:45 pm1856 views Losing an arm doesn’t have to mean losing all sense of touch, thanks to prosthetic arms that stimulate nerves with mild electrical feedback. University of Illinois researchers have developed a control algorithm that regulates the current so a prosthetics user feels steady sensation, even when the electrodes begin to peel off or when sweat builds up. Laser light show machine teaches students math, computer programmingApr 20, 2018 8:00 am675 views Laser light shows are no longer just the stage dressing for rock concerts. They’re also a fun way for local middle school students to learn the fundamentals of mathematics from educators and scientists at the University of Illinois.Illinois architecture professor designs transformable, adaptive structuresApr 11, 2018 8:30 am1923 views University of Illinois architecture professor Sudarshan Krishnan designs lightweight and transformable structures that can expand and collapse to adapt to a user’s needs.New camera gives surgeons a butterfly’s-eye view of cancerApr 5, 2018 9:00 am2536 views Cancer lurking in tissue could be more easily found when looking through a butterfly’s eye.Shrimp-inspired camera may enable underwater navigationApr 4, 2018 1:00 pm1022 views 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. Researchers develop model to show how bacteria grow in plumbing systemsMar 29, 2018 11:45 am1193 views Bacteria in tap water can multiply when a faucet isn’t used for a few days, such as when a house is vacant over a week’s vacation, a new study from University of Illinois engineers found. The study suggests a new method to show how microbial communities, including those responsible for illnesses like Legionnaires’ disease, may assemble inside the plumbing systems of homes and public buildingsResearchers demonstrate existence of new form of electronic matterMar 14, 2018 1:00 pm3431 views Researchers have produced a “human scale” demonstration of a new phase of matter called quadrupole topological insulators that was recently predicted using theoretical physics. These are the first experimental findings to validate this theory.Ag robot speeds data collection, analyses of crops as they growMar 12, 2018 8:45 am2455 views A new lightweight, low-cost agricultural robot, developed by a team of scientists at the University of Illinois, could transform data collection and field scouting for agronomists, seed companies and farmers. Three Illinois professors named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 15, 2018 9:00 am8377 views Three Illinois scientists are among 126 recipients of the 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. According to the foundation, the awards “honor early career scholars whose achievements mark them as among the very best scientific minds working today.” Winners receive a two-year $65,000 fellowship to further their research.Tiny drug-delivering capsules could sustain transplanted insulin-producing cells for diabeticsFeb 12, 2018 9:15 am1140 views A drug-carrying microsphere within a cell-bearing microcapsule could be the key to transplanting insulin-secreting pig pancreas cells into human patients whose own cells have been destroyed by type I diabetes.Shape-shifting organic crystals use memory to improve plastic electronicsJan 25, 2018 9:45 am2047 views 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.Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communicationJan 22, 2018 10:00 am1848 views 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.Basar named College of Engineering interim deanDec 19, 2017 1:30 pm3498 views Tamer Basar has been named the interim dean of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's College of Engineering effective Jan. 16, subject to approval of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.Drug-delivering nanoparticles seek and destroy elusive cancer stem cellsNov 27, 2017 10:15 am2378 views Researchers are sending tiny drug-laden nanoparticles on a mission to seek and destroy cancer stem cells.Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activityNov 17, 2017 9:45 am1854 views Specially tailored, ultrafast pulses of light can trigger neurons to fire and could one day help patients with light-sensitive circadian or mood problems, according to a new study in mice at the University of Illinois.Shape-shifting agent targets harmful bacteria in the stomachNov 13, 2017 2:00 pm1169 views A new shape-shifting polymer can target and kill Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the stomach without killing helpful bacteria in the gut.Researchers put new spin on old technique to engineer better absorptive materialsNov 13, 2017 8:15 am584 views 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.Stem cells from muscle could address diabetes-related circulation problemsNov 6, 2017 10:45 am1700 views 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.Electrostatic force takes charge in bioinspired polymersNov 2, 2017 7:00 am915 views Researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have taken the first steps toward gaining control over the self-assembly of synthetic materials in the same way that biology forms natural polymers. This advance could prove useful in designing new bioinspired, smart materials for applications ranging from drug delivery to sensing to remediation of environmental contaminants.Researchers look to patterns to envision new engineering fieldOct 26, 2017 8:00 am1149 views The phenomenon that forms interference patterns on television displays when a camera focuses on a pattern like a person wearing stripes has inspired a new way to conceptualize electronic devices. Researchers at the University of Illinois are showing how the atomic-scale version of this phenomenon may hold the secrets to help advance electronics design to the limits of size and speed. Stemlike cells at tumor perimeter promote new blood vessels to feed tumor growthOct 25, 2017 1:00 pm668 views Stemlike cells at the edge of melanoma tumors secrete factors to promote blood-vessel growth, allowing the cancer to grow and spread.Illinois scientist named Packard FellowOct 18, 2017 12:30 pm2055 views Pinshane Huang, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is among 18 early career researchers to receive 2017 Packard Fellowships from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.Mantis shrimp-inspired camera enables glimpse into hidden worldOct 12, 2017 3:15 pm4382 views By mimicking the eye of the mantis shrimp, Illinois researchers have developed an ultra-sensitive camera capable of sensing both color and polarization. The bioinspired imager can potentially improve early cancer detection and help provide a new understanding of underwater phenomena, the researchers said.Researchers make headway in desalination technologyOct 12, 2017 2:00 pm829 views Engineers at the University of Illinois have taken a step forward in developing a saltwater desalination process that is potentially cheaper than reverse osmosis and borrows from battery technology. In their study, the researchers are focusing on new materials that could make desalination of brackish waters economically desirable and energy efficient.New methods tackle a perplexing engineering conceptOct 9, 2017 2:00 pm1275 views Researchers at the University of Illinois are working to turn a complex materials design problem into an intuitive concept, understandable to engineers from novice to advanced experience levels. The group developed guidelines to help understand materials engineered to become thicker when stretched. This highly useful property, which is not commonly found in nature, has applications for protective sports equipment, body armor and biomedical devices.Tiny aquariums put nanoparticle self-assembly on displayOct 2, 2017 8:15 am1241 views Seeing is believing when it comes to nanoparticle self-assembly. A team of University of Illinois engineers is observing the interactions of colloidal gold nanoparticles inside tiny aquariumlike sample containers to gain more control over the self-assembly process of engineered materials.Large, crystalline lipid scaffolds bring new possibilities to protein, drug researchOct 2, 2017 8:00 am681 views Proteins and drugs are often attached to lipids to promote crystallization or ensure delivery to targeted tissues within the body, but only the smallest proteins and molecules fit within these fat structures. A new study reveals a lipid structure that can support much larger proteins and molecules than before, potentially increasing the variety of drugs that can be attached to these fat molecules.Click beetles inspire design of self-righting robotsSep 25, 2017 8:30 am2496 views Robots perform many tasks that humans can’t or don’t want to perform, getting around on intricately designed wheels and limbs. If they tip over, however, they are rendered almost useless. A team of University of Illinois mechanical engineers and entomologists are looking to click beetles, who can right themselves without the use of their legs, to solve this robotics challenge.Changes in nonextreme precipitation may have not-so-subtle consequencesSep 18, 2017 7:45 am1034 views Major floods and droughts receive a lot of attention in the context of climate change, but University of Illinois researchers analyzed over five decades of precipitation data from North America to find that changes in nonextreme precipitation are more significant than previously realized and larger than those in extreme precipitation. These changes can have a strong effect on ecosystems, agriculture, infrastructure design and resource management, and point to a need to examine precipitation in a more nuanced, multifaceted way.Congressional redistricting less contentious when resolved using computer algorithmSep 11, 2017 8:30 am2775 views Concerns that the process of U.S. congressional redistricting may be politically biased have fueled many debates, but a team of University of Illinois computer scientists and engineers has developed a new computer algorithm that may make the task easier for state legislatures and fairer for their constituents.Study: Biomarkers as predictive of sepsis as lengthy patient monitoringSep 7, 2017 8:15 am2467 views 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.Researchers develop dynamic templates critical to printable electronics technologyJul 13, 2017 4:00 am3297 views When it comes to efficiency, sometimes it helps to look to Mother Nature for advice – even in technology as advanced as printable, flexible electronics. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed bio-inspired dynamic templates used to manufacture organic semiconductor materials that produce printable electronics. It uses a process similar to biomineralization – the way that bones and teeth form. This technique is also eco-friendly compared with how conventional electronics are made, which gives the researchers the chance to return the favor to nature. Engineers find way to evaluate green roofsJul 5, 2017 9:45 am2410 views Green infrastructure is an attractive concept, but there is concern surrounding its effectiveness. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using a mathematical technique traditionally used in earthquake engineering to determine how well green infrastructure works and to communicate with urban planners, policymakers and developers.Quick test finds signs of sepsis in a single drop of bloodJul 3, 2017 7:30 am4927 views A new portable device can quickly find markers of deadly, unpredictable sepsis infection from a single drop of blood.Corn better used as food than biofuel, study findsJun 20, 2017 9:00 am3991 views Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs.Increased number of female engineers in managerial roles brings unintended consequencesJun 5, 2017 12:45 pm2045 views Increased female representation in the managerial ranks of engineering organizations may add another layer of sex segregation on top of the one it’s intended to mitigate, says a new paper from U. of I. labor professor M. Teresa Cardador.Metal-ion catalysts and hydrogen peroxide could green up plastics productionJun 5, 2017 9:15 am626 views Researchers at the University of Illinois are contributing to the development of more environmentally friendly catalysts for the production of plastic and resin precursors that are often derived from fossil fuels. The key to their technique comes from recognizing the unique physical and chemical properties of certain metals and how they react with hydrogen peroxide.Chemical array draws out malignant cells to guide individualized cancer treatmentMay 26, 2017 11:00 am846 views Melanoma is a particularly difficult cancer to treat once it has metastasized, spreading throughout the body. University of Illinois researchers are using chemistry to find the deadly, elusive malignant cells within a melanoma tumor that hold the potential to spread.Study: Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity ratesMay 16, 2017 10:30 am2894 views 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.Self-healing tech charges up performance for silicon-containing battery anodesMay 15, 2017 8:30 am1384 views 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.Electroplating delivers high-energy, high-power batteriesMay 12, 2017 2:00 pm1625 views The process that makes gold-plated jewelry or chrome car accents is now making powerful lithium-ion batteries.Researchers develop transistors that can switch between two stable energy statesMay 9, 2017 8:30 am1329 views Engineers are unveiling an upgrade to the transistor laser that could be used to boost computer processor speeds – the formation of two stable energy states and the ability to switch between them quickly. A little support from their online friends calms test-anxious studentsApr 27, 2017 10:00 am1258 views Reading supportive comments, “likes” and private messages from social media friends prior to taking a test may help college students who have high levels of test-anxiety reduce their nervousness by 21 percent and improve their scores, researchers at the University of Illinois found.Engineers shine light on deadly landslideApr 26, 2017 12:30 pm634 views A new report by University of Illinois civil and environmental engineering professor Tim Stark and colleagues details the factors that led to the deadliest landslide on record in the continental United States, along with steps that can be taken to mitigate landslide consequences and risk in the Pacific Northwest.Science at Illinois feeds the world, furthers health, protects the planetApr 17, 2017 8:30 am1251 views 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.Nanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancerApr 12, 2017 10:00 am1213 views Detecting cancer early, just as changes are beginning in DNA, could enhance diagnosis and treatment as well as further our understanding of the disease. A new study by University of Illinois researchers describes a method to detect, count and map tiny additions to DNA called methylations, which can be a warning sign of cancer, with unprecedented resolution.