News - 2015

12/21/2015

For the first time, scientists have demonstrated a simple charge-based mechanism for regulating the formation and dissolution of liquid-like structures inside cells. The research provides a first step in deciphering how these poorly-understood structures, which lack outer membranes, function in the cell -- and how they may have evolved. A paper describing the research by Penn State scientists will appear on Dec. 21 as an advance online publication of the journal Nature Chemistry.

12/15/2015

A new material that is both highly transparent and electrically conductive could make large screen displays, smart windows and even touch screens and solar cells more affordable and efficient, according to materials scientists and engineers at Penn State who have discovered just such a material.

12/04/2015

A pilot program in Penn State's College of Engineering is providing financial support to faculty to transition their early-stage research results through a proof-of-concept phase, with the ultimate objective of forming a start-up company or licensing the technology to an established business.

The College of Engineering ENGineering for Innovation & ENtrepreneurship (ENGINE) grant program is currently funding four projects.

12/02/2015

The development of a reusable microfluidic device for sorting and manipulating cells and other micro/nano meter scale objects will make biomedical diagnosis of diseases cheaper and more convenient in regions where medical facilities are sparse or cost is prohibitive. Researchers at Penn State have recently filed a patent to develop such a device.

11/19/2015

A new symmetry operation developed by Penn State researchers has the potential to speed up the search for new advanced materials that range from tougher steels to new types of electronic, magnetic, and thermal materials. With further developments, this technique could also impact the field of computational materials design.

11/03/2015

An international team of researchers, led by Penn State, has developed ultrasensitive gas sensors based on the infusion of boron atoms into the tightly bound matrix of carbon atoms known as graphene. The group is composed of researchers from six countries and includes the 2010 Noble laureate and graphene pioneer Konstantin Novoselov, and Morinobu Endo, the discoverer of carbon nanotubes.

10/26/2015
10/12/2015

An accidental discovery of a "quantum Etch-a-Sketch" that may lead to the next generation of advanced computers and quantum microchips has been made by team of scientists from Penn State University and the University of Chicago. The researchers accidentally discovered a new way of using beams of light to draw and erase quantum-mechanical circuits on topological insulators, a unique class of materials with intriguing electronic properties.

10/12/2015

The tiny transistor is the heart of the electronics revolution, and Penn State materials scientist have just discovered a way to give the workhorse transistor a big boost, using a new technique to incorporate vanadium oxide, one of a family of materials called functional oxides, into the device.

10/08/2015

The winners of the first annual MRI Humanitarian Materials Initiative awards, sponsored by Covestro LLC (formerly Bayer MaterialScience LLC) and the Materials Research Institute (MRI), were announced at Materials Day 2015 on the University Park campus.

09/22/2015

Commercially available cell sorters can rapidly and accurately aid medical diagnosis and biological research, but they are large and expensive, present a biohazard and may damage cells. Now a team of researchers has developed a cell sorter based on acoustic waves that can compete with existing fluorescence-activated cell sorters and is an inexpensive lab on a chip.

09/03/2015

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets still stick to them. Now, Penn State researchers have developed nano/micro-textured, highly slippery surfaces able to outperform these naturally inspired coatings, particularly when the water is a vapor or tiny droplets.

09/01/2015

A drop of water self-heals a multiphase polymer derived from the genetic code of squid ring teeth, which may someday extend the life of medical implants, fiber-optic cables and other hard to repair in place objects, according to an international team of researchers.

07/29/2015

A device to mix liquids utilizing ultrasonics is the first and most difficult component in a miniaturized system for low-cost analysis of sputum from patients with pulmonary diseases such as tuberculosis and asthma.

06/19/2015

A quantum mechanical transport phenomenon demonstrated for the first time in synthetic, atomically-thin layered material at room temperature could lead to novel nanoelectronic circuits and devices, according to researchers at Penn State and three other U.S. and international universities.

05/11/2015

DFT is a powerful quantum theory developed by Walter Kohn, Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner in 1998. Researchers have applied DFT to a range of problems including materials choices for batteries, hydrogen storage, superconductivity and catalysis. It is a crucial component in the recently announced Materials Genome Initiative, which emphasizes efforts to train American innovators to discover, develop, manufacture and deploy advanced materials in a more expeditious and economical way.

04/27/2015

A model of a malaria-infected red blood cell may lead to better ways to treat malaria, according to a team of engineers and molecular biologists who investigated how this parasite infection causes the red blood cells to stiffen.

04/06/2015

Separating circulating cancer cells from blood cells for diagnostic, prognostic and treatment purposes may become much easier using an acoustic separation method and an inexpensive, disposable chip, according to a team of engineers.

03/17/2015

University Park, Pa. -- An atomically thin membrane with microscopically small holes may prove to be the basis for future hydrogen fuel cells, water filtering and desalination membranes, according to a group of 15 theorists and experimentalists, including three theoretical researchers from Penn State.

02/05/2015

A device for precisely positioning small objects using acoustic waves has now been used to position fragile protein crystals a few micrometers or less in size in the path of a crystallography X-ray beam. This technique will make it possible to collect data on previously intractable samples and will expand the scope of what is now possible with X-ray crystallography.

01/16/2015

An interdisciplinary team of mathematicians and physicists has developed a new quantitative approach to understanding the mysterious properties of the materials called glasses. The study is described in a paper in the Nature Publishing Group journal Scientific Reports on January 16, 2015.

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