Archive for the ‘materials’ category

Jul 24, 2021

‘Next-Generation’ Total Artificial Heart Successfully Transplanted into First US Patient

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

Late last year, a French company called Carmat received approval in Europe for its total artificial heart. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a heart made of synthetic and biological materials intended for implantation into people who need heart transplants. Now, just half a year later, the first US patient has received one of the hearts.

The transplant took place last week in a 39-year-old man at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. The man didn’t go to the hospital expecting to have a heart transplant, but it ended up saving his life.

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Jul 24, 2021

World’s first 3D-printed steel bridge debuts in Amsterdam’s Red Light District

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI


While Venice may be home to the first 3D-printed concrete footbridge to be constructed entirely sans reinforcement or mortar, the similarly canal laced city of Amsterdam, not to be outdone, has unveiled the world’s first 3D-printed steel pedestrian bridge. The long-awaited project, first announced in 2015, was dedicated on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in the city’s Red Light District on July 15. The ceremony was attended by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands, Máxima, who was assisted by a ribbon-cutting robot during the festivities.

Spanning nearly 40 feet across the canal, the curving 6-ton stainless steel structure was constructed by Amsterdam-based 3D metal printing technology company MX3D using a wire arc additive manufacturing process that marries advanced robotics with welding. With the aid of four robots, the entire printing process took just six months. The completed bridge, designed by Joris Laarman Lab with Arup serving as lead engineer, was first unveiled in October 2018 during Dutch Design Week. Several load-testing rounds followed, the last of which was carried out in the fall of 2019 with plans to install the structure in early 2020. However, ongoing site prep work at the canal delayed the factory-produced bridge’s installation to just last week.

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Jul 23, 2021

Silicon Who? Researchers Develop Arm Microprocessor Built out of Plastic

Posted by in categories: internet, materials

Truly bendable devices pave the way for the Internet of Everything.

Researchers have shown that it is possible to use plastics to create a working Arm microprocessor, creating a new world for truly flexible electronics spanning multiple sectors.

Jul 21, 2021

A new material can turn regular glass into night-vision goggles

Posted by in category: materials

Jul 21, 2021

New smart foam material gives robots the ability to self-repair

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI

Jul 21, 2021

In vitro efficacy of artemisinin-based treatments against SARS-CoV-2

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

Artemisia annua plants grown from a cultivated seed line in Kentucky, USA, were extracted using either absolute ethanol or distilled water at 50 °C for 200 min and analyzed, as described in “Materials and methods” and Supplementary Information (Figures S1 and S2). Solids were removed by filtration and the solvents were evaporated. The extracted materials were dissolved in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) (ethanol extract) or a DMSO: water mixture (3:1 for aqueous extract) and filtered (see supporting information for details). Artemisinin (Fig. 1, (1)) was synthesized and purified following a published procedure or purchased17, while artesunate (Fig. 1, (2)) and artemether (Fig. 1, (3)) were only obtained from commercial sources.

Initial experiments were carried out at FU Berlin, Germany. To initially screen whether extracts and pure artemisinin were active against SARS-CoV-2, their antiviral activity was tested by pretreating VeroE6 cells at different time points during 120 min with selected concentrations of the extracts or compounds prior to infection with the first European SARS-CoV-2 isolated in München (SARS-CoV-2/human/Germany/BavPat 1/2020). The virus-drug mixture was then removed and cells were overlaid with medium containing 1.3% carboxymethylcellulose to prevent virus release into the medium. DMSO was used as a negative control. Plaque numbers were determined either by indirect immunofluorescence using a mixture of antibodies to SARS-CoV N protein18 or by staining with crystal violet19. The addition of either ethanolic or aqueous A. annua extracts prior to virus addition resulted in reduced plaque formation in a concentration dependent manner, while artemisinin exhibited little antiviral activity (Supplemental Tables S1 S8).

Concentration–response experiments were carried out at Copenhagen University Hospital-Hvidovre. In these experiments the Danish SARS-CoV-2 isolate SARS-CoV-2/human/Denmark/DK-AHH1/2020 was used employing a 96-well plate based concentration–response antiviral treatment assay, allowing for multiple replicates per concentration, as described in “Materials and methods” and Supplementary Information (Figures S3 and S4)20,21. Seven replicates were measured at each concentration and a range of concentrations was evaluated to increase data accuracy when compared to the plaque-reduction assay, which was carried out in duplicates. Extracts or compounds were added to VeroE6 cells either 1.5 h prior to (pretreatment (pt)) or 1 h post infection (treatment (t)), respectively, followed by a 2-day incubation of virus with extracts or compounds. Both protocols yielded similar results, with slightly lower median effective concentration (EC50) values observed for treatment assays.

Jul 20, 2021

Concrete Buildings Could Be Turned into Rechargeable Batteries

Posted by in category: materials

But for now, a square meter of the building material holds roughly the energy of two AA batteries.

Jul 14, 2021

Ultralight material withstands supersonic microparticle impacts

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

A new study by engineers at MIT, Caltech, and ETH Zürich shows that “nanoarchitected” materials—materials designed from precisely patterned nanoscale structures—may be a promising route to lightweight armor, protective coatings, blast shields, and other impact-resistant materials.

The researchers have fabricated an ultralight material made from nanometer-scale carbon struts that give the material toughness and mechanical robustness. The team tested the material’s resilience by shooting it with microparticles at , and found that the material, which is thinner than the width of a human hair, prevented the miniature projectiles from tearing through it.

The researchers calculate that compared with steel, Kevlar, aluminum, and other impact-resistant of comparable weight, the new material is more efficient at absorbing impacts.

Jul 12, 2021

NASA is Testing out new Composite Materials for Building Lightweight Solar Sail Supports

Posted by in categories: materials, space

Space exploration is driven by technology – sometimes literally in the case of propulsion technologies. Solar sails are one of those propulsion technologies that has been getting a lot of attention lately. They have some obvious advantages, such as not requiring fuel, and their ability to last almost indefinitely. But they have some disadvantages too, not the least of which is how difficult they are to deploy in space. Now, a team from NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a novel time of composite boom that they believe can help solve that weakness of solar sails, and they have a technology demonstration mission coming up next year to prove it.

The mission, known as the “Advanced Composite Solar Sail System” (ACS3) mission is designed around a 12U CubeSat, which measures in at a tiny 23cm x 23 cm x 34 cm (9 in x 9 in x 13 in). The solar sail it hopes to deploy will come in at almost 200 square meters (527 sq ft), and both it and its composite booms will fit inside the CubeSat enclosure, which is not much larger than a toaster oven.

The booms themselves are made out of a novel composite that is 75% lighter than previous deployable booms, while also suffering from only 1% of the thermal distortion that previous metallic booms were subjected to. They also conveniently roll into a 18 cm diameter spool that can be easily stored and easily deployed once the CubeSat is in space.

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Jul 9, 2021

Scientists Discovered A 2D Material That Is 10X Tougher Than Graphene

Posted by in category: materials

Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is officially the iron man of two-dimensional materials, beating graphene in toughness by 10 times.

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