The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Results - Devices & sensors

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Economical Surface Treatment for Harvesting Epithelial Cells from Biological Fluids
This invention provides economical, bio-interactive surfaces and surface treatment methods for selective capture of targeted epithelial cells or other cell types from cell mixtures or complex biological fluids. Preparation or fabrication of the engineered surfaces provided by this technology does not require the use of expensive and unstable biomolecular materials, and the resulting surfaces can distinguish different cell types or cells that express different levels of the same surface adhesion marker. Such engineered surfaces can be used as economical tools for assessment of cancer risk, cancer diagnosis, and tracking of the effectiveness of cancer treatments, among other potential applications.
Published: 8/13/2020   |   Inventor(s): Maria Santore, Kathleen Arcaro, Surachate Kalasin
Category(s): Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Diagnostic technology, Devices & sensors, Life Sciences, Healthcare, Research tools
RENEWABLE SURFACES FOR CAPTURE, KILLING AND RELEASE OF BACTERIA
This invention provides economical, renewable surfaces and related methods for selective capture of bacteria in a fluid medium and for killing and/or release of the captured bacteria. The fabrication of these surfaces or surface-treated substrate materials does not require the use of expensive biomolecules and toxic chemicals. The surfaces capture and kill bacteria on contact without leaching any toxic antimicrobial agents. The surfaces can rapidly release captured or killed bacteria via mechanical means, and thus are easily renewable for subsequent round of bacterial capture, killing and release, which makes them ideal for use in on-line bacterial sensor systems. In addition, the surfaces can be engineered to selectively capture bacteria from complex fluid media or selectively capture one bacterial strain over another.
Published: 8/13/2020   |   Inventor(s): Maria Santore, Bing Fang
Category(s): Material science, Biotechnology, Devices & sensors
Cavitation Rheology for Measuring Local Mechanical Properties in Biologically Relevant Soft Materials
Measuring the mechanical properties of a complex biological tissue is crucial to developing knowledge about its physiology. Determining these physical properties in vivo is essential to innovation in tissue engineering, as well as to investigating the effects of aging and disease. Due to the heterogeneous structure of complex tissues, localized testing is necessary since probing surface properties only provides an incomplete picture of a tissue’s mechanical properties. Cavitation Rheology Technique (CRT), a novel methodology that originated in Dr. Alfred J. Crosby’s lab, succeeds where traditional techniques fall short. CRT involves measuring the pressure to induce cavitation at the tip of a needle within a soft material. This pressure is quantitatively related to the local modulus of the material. This allows for localized testing of non-transparent materials and tissues. Furthermore, CRT adopts a simple device and system design and requires only minimal amounts of sample material and testing time. This technique has been successfully demonstrated in a broad range of synthetic hydrogels and natural tissues, and can be applied in vivo.
Published: 8/13/2020   |   Inventor(s): Alfred Crosby, Jessica Zimberlin Eastman (pat agent)
Category(s): Biotechnology, Healthcare, Devices & sensors, Devices, Diagnostic technology, Material science
On-body Sensing of Cocaine Craving, Euphoria and Drug-Seeking Behavior
Illicit drug use, such as cocaine, imposes an enormous financial burden on the U.S. healthcare system, more than $600 billion annually. Better treatments are desperately sought, and important in that search is a better understanding of the factors influencing drug use: drug craving, drug-seeking behavior, and drug-induced euphoria. Wearable mobile health technologies open the door to continuous monitoring of drug users, providing a wealth of valuable data compared to current brief, in-person appointments of addicts at clinics. While other studies have examined modeling addiction with wearable health monitors for other substances or in animals, none have done so for cocaine addiction in humans.

 

Here, the inventors have developed a machine learning model based on ECG and respiratory data, common measurables in commercially available wearable chest bands, that can, for the first time, predict cocaine craving, euphoria, and drug-seeking behavior in humans. With the ability to predict these various addiction states, just-in-time interventions for cocaine addicts become possible.

Published: 9/17/2019   |   Inventor(s): Deepak Ganesan, Tauhidur Rahman, Bhanu Teja Gullapalli, Gustavo Angarita, Robert Malison
Category(s): Devices & sensors, Healthcare, Research tools
High-Yield High-Quality Graphene by exfoliation of graphite
Graphene sheets are prized for their unusual but exciting properties, including extremely high mechanical strength and ability to efficiently conduct heat and electricity. These properties open up a myriad of applications in medicine, electronics, energy, and sensors. However, the production of graphene, which is derived from the exfoliation of graphite, is currently challenged by low efficiency and long exfoliation times.

This invention uniquely combines two techniques, flow and sonication, to overcome these challenges. A graphite suspension is first subjected to a flow process, where it is mixed with zirconium oxide pebbles. Collisions between the graphite and the pebbles modify the graphite’s surface, making it easier for the solvent molecules to “wedge” in between layers during subsequent sonication, significantly increasing graphene exfoliation time-efficiency.

Published: 9/12/2019   |   Inventor(s): H. Winter, Christos Dimitrakopoulos
Category(s): Engineering, Electronics, Devices & sensors, Clean Energy
Hierarchically Ordered Nanoscale Electric Field Concentrators for Embedded Thin Film Devices
Resistance switching devices, also known as memristive devices, represent the next generation in computing. With a typical metal-oxide-metal structure, memristors change resistance under different external biases and retain this new resistance even when power is turned off. This allows memristors to store data without needing constant power like in traditional computer memory. Memristors have other desirable properties such as low power consumption, fast switching speed, and multistate logic potential. These properties open up next generation computing applications in non-volatile memory, reconfigurable switches, bio-inspired neuromorphic computing, and radiofrequency switches. However, before these applications are enabled, significant technical challenges in memristors must be overcome. These include cycle-to-cycle instabilities in operating voltage and resistance states, which cause memory retention and device endurance issues.

 

Professor Stephen Nonnenmann and his laboratory address these instability issues by embedding highly ordered metal nanoislands in the memristor’s oxide switching layer. Through a unique template-directed nanoisland embedding procedure, the nanoisland diameter, spacing, and area density can be precisely controlled. The Nonnenmann lab found that through precise control of these variables, the growth of conductive filaments formed through the memristor’s oxide layer, which enable its unique properties, can be more precisely controlled, leading to a nearly 100% improvement in uniformity performance in one device case.

Published: 5/20/2019   |   Inventor(s): Stephen Nonnenmann, Jiaying Wang
Category(s): Computers, Electronics, Engineering, Nanotechnology, Material science, Devices & sensors
Simple and Rapid Optical Detection of Bacteria Using a Mobile Device
This invention provides cost-effective substrates and a rapid method for detection of bacteria in food, water or other materials, or on material surfaces using a mobile device, such as a smartphone attached to an inexpensive smartphone microscope.
Published: 5/17/2018   |   Inventor(s): Lili He, Brooke Pearson
Category(s): Food technology & plant science, Nanotechnology, Research tools, Devices & sensors
WearID: RFID Wristband Reader
Advances in RFID technology are opening up a myriad of commercial applications related to identifying and interacting with objects, from home automation and health and wellness to augmented reality and tele-rehabilitation. Passive UHF RFID readers are a particularly attractive option due to their low cost and no maintenance; however, their limited range necessitates the use of many readers to cover a single large room, an expensive and labor-intensive process.

This invention, known as WearID, overcomes the traditional limitations of UHF RFID readers through end-to-end design innovation, optimizing the wearable reader for low power, form-factor, and performance. WearID is able to detect grasping, releasing, touching, and passing near tagged objects.

Published: 5/2/2018   |   Inventor(s): Deepak Ganesan, Pan Hu, Jeremy Gummeson, Ali Kiaghadi
Category(s): Devices & sensors, Communications & internet, Electronics, Engineering, Software & information technology, Healthcare
Novel Systems for Improved Backscatter Tag Communications
A new fully asymmetric backscatter communication, which allows for battery-less sensors and readers, protocol where nodes blindly transmit data as and when they sense. This model enables fully flexible node designs, from extraordinarily power efficient backscatter radios that consume barely a few micro-watts to high-throughput radios that can stream at hundreds of Kbps while consuming a paltry tens of micro-watts.

Published: 8/11/2017   |   Inventor(s): Deepak Ganesan, Pan Hu, Pengyu Zhang
Category(s): Communications & internet, Devices & sensors, Electronics, Engineering, Software & information technology
Patterning of 3-D and 2-D Metal Oxide Nanostructures
This invention provides a simple and robust method for the fabrication of high-quality, high-aspect ratio, and dimensionally stable metal oxide nanostructures for a board range of applications. The method involves the use of an additive imprinting-planarization-imprinting approach to generate complex structures.
Published: 8/9/2017   |   Inventor(s): James Watkins, Rohit Kothari
Category(s): Material science, Nanotechnology, Physical Science, Devices & sensors, Engineering
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