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New Records from a 3D-printed Thermoelectric device

The Specific Innovation and Knowledge Centre at Swansea University claims that they have been able to produce a thermoelectric device that is approximately 50 percent more efficient than a standard device. The team added additve manufacturing techniques to a standard thermoelectric device which not only can prove to reach this new record, but will still be cheap enough to produce in bulk. Created using Tin Selenide, the device has a high potential for thermoelectric behaviour. Industries that could benefit from such materials include steelmaking, which generates huge amounts of heat and also requires electrical power. Tata Steel is about to support a PhD researcher on the Swansea team to explore the industrial applications of their technology. “Turning waste heat into electri

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New MOANA headset to link thoughts to computers

MOANA, a four year project, has been led by a team at Rice University in Texas to design and develop a new headset to link human brains and our thoughts to machines and computers, non surgically. The overall need to design a link between machines and brains is to allow the transmission of visual images to blind patients. The project has been funded by a programme known as DARPA, who are also developing more wearable interfaces which can communicate with the brain. “In four years, we hope to demonstrate direct, brain-to-brain communication at the speed of thought and without brain surgery,” said Rice’s Jacob Robinson, the lead investigator on the $18m project, which was announced on May 20, 2019 as part of DARPA’s Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program.

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Transplant organ delivered for the first time by drone

The University of Maryland and their School of Medicine counterpart devised and developed a custom built drone which would become the first unmanned aerial system of its kind to deliver a transplant organ. Due to the importance of transplant organs, the drone has been created with a backup power distributor, dual batteries, backup propellors and even a parachute system to ensure that whatever happens in an emergency, the drone is able to maintain and monitor the human organ.  “We built in a lot of redundancies, because we want to do everything possible to protect the payload,” said Anthony Pucciarella, director of operations at the UMD UAS Test Site. The process was devised with simply everything in the mind. The drone was developed with temperature, barometric pressure, GP

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Virtual Reality for training at Rolls Royce & Qatar Airways

Rolls-Royce and Qatar Airways have begun investigating ways to bring virtual reality technology into their training programs to help ease the demand of engineers. The number of engineers needed to repair aircraft is rising daily, and could be said to double by 2036. As a result, both companies want to find an innovative way to build skills and refresh skills of aircraft engineers.  The IntelligentEngine vision uses HTC Vive VR equipment to allow the engineers to become fully immersed in an engineering virtual reality, where they can use touch, sight and sound to separate parts of an engine.  “We developed a fully-immersive VR version of the engine,” said Moss. “In fact, everything that you can do in real life is remodelled in the engine, so you can take the engine to pie

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New Hydrogel Patch developed to reduce heart attack damage

Soochow, China, Fudan University and Brown University, US, have collaborated to design and create a hydrogel patch which can reduce the amount of damage caused from the aftermath of a heart attack and publishing it in Nature Biomedical Engineering. Created used food starch, the new hydrogel patch is adhesive, meaning that is can be placed and stick directly on to the heart.  It is said to work by preventing the heart from remodelling, which can occur as the result of a heart attack, and also reduces the function of the heart’s main pumping chamber. The international team tried to create a patch which has the perfect thickness and stiffness to create a supportive cure, which isn’t too restrictive.  “Part of the reason that it’s hard for the heart to recover after a

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Real Time Sweat Monitor has launched

Sweati, alongside the Imperial College London, have developed and now launched their non-invasive device. The new real-time sweat monitor can track glucose, lactate and hydration, by using microfluidics and chip technology. The device itself is relatively small, fitting in the palm of your hand and about two credit cards in thickness and has been designed with athletes, soldiers and diabetics in mind. “Imagine a device that will be able to tell you when to fuel, when to hydrate and what pace to run at,” said Sweati founder and CEO James Mayo. “That means no more hitting the dreaded ‘wall’ whilst running a marathon. Sweati will make working out enjoyable and efficient. “For diabetics, it would mean no more blood draws interrupting their day as the patch will continuou

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New toilet seat to monitor heart health

The Rochester Institute of Technology in the US have developed a toilet seat that is capable of monitor the patient’s heart health. Able to monitor blood pressure, oxygen levels and heart rate - as well as the different types of activity on the heart - the device is said to be able to help patients monitor signs for heart failures, strokes and weight.  As a result, patients are able to determine whether or not hospital admission is necessary, and detect symptoms and signs of a condition before the patient has begun noticing. Therefore, healthcare systems will be more likely to treat the condition as early as possible, and thus has have a better chance to treating it.  “Typically, within 30 days of hospital discharge, 25 per cent of patients with congestive heart failur

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Skin cells to be printed directly onto wounds with new mobile bio printer

Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have developed a device which can print skin cells that would be able to help treat wounds such as burns and diabetic ulcers.  The device is able to scan a location of the body (the wound) which can then send data to a software. As a result, the bio printer can then print cells - created using a combination of the patient’s skin cells and a hydrogel which when mixed creates a printable biomaterial - and administer them directly onto the wound, layer by layer.  “The unique aspect of this technology is the mobility of the system and the ability to provide on-site management of extensive wounds by scanning and measuring them in order to deposit the cells directly where they are needed to create skin,” said

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First prosthetic hand with sensations successfully implanted

A patient with an amputated hand in Sweden has received the first prosthetic, fitted with tactile sensations, researched and developed by Dr Max Ortiz, alongside other key universities such as Essex University. The new prosthetic hand is said to allow recipients to have greater levels of dexterity, not to mention the new ability to feel. It is able to do this by using titanium implants to send electrodes that mimic the ability to feel, sending the identical information to the brain. This is a significant breakthrough in the medical field as current prosthetic hands can only manage a limited amount of movements, such as opening and closing the hand, as well ass a limited amount of sensory feedback. Following this procedure, the patient is now learning how to load the hand alone wit

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