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Dr Yang Bai and co-workers from the Microelectronics Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland, have presented a perovskite-based ceramic material which is able to collect three ambient energy sources and convert them to electricity. Energies which are normally wasted can be collected and converted to electricity, and with this could potentially help to power portable and wearable devices, from biometric sensors to smart watches. This technology is called energy harvesting (EH). The research – funded by Horizon 2020 under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – discovered a single perovskite material called KNBNNO, which is able to harness three forms of energy simultaneously. KNBNNO is synthesised by doping a sufficient amount of BNNO – a perovskite with oxygen vacancies present in its microstructure – into KNN – a widely used lead-free material which exhibits positive piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties. Experiments revealed that KNBNNO has a narrow band gap which can induce positive photovoltaic properties which have the ability to harvest sunlight. KNBNNO’s 3-in-1 property has outweighed all other counterpart materials, including silicon-based solar cells and conventional piezoelectric/pyroelectric materials – PZT. The discovery is a large development in both fields of narrow band gap semiconductors and strong ferroelectric. A material was considered difficult to yield both good properties from them; however, it has now been proved practical. A future application of the material could be its use in supplementing the batteries of electronic devices, subsequently improving energy efficiency and reducing how often the batteries need to be recharged. Moreover, multi-energy harvesting may mean that in the future plug-in charging may no longer be required for gadgets, and therefore batteries for small devices could become obsolete. The post H2020 boosts energy harvesting appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Heart surgeons will have access to an innovative 3D visualisation of the cardiac conduction system. The Horizon 2020-funded technique could improve patient safety and improve the surgical outcomes of those suffering from heart disease. The 3D disposition of the human conduction system – which is responsible for generating a heartbeat – will provide detailed information to cardiologists, meaning that heart surgeries will be more informed. ‘High resolution 3-Dimensional imaging of the human cardiac conduction system from microanatomy to mathematical modelling’ was recently published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports by Robert Stephenson. The paper was released in collaboration with a team of researchers from Liverpool John Moores University, University of Manchester and Newcastle University, UK. Stephenson said: “We have generated the first 3D visualisation of the human conduction system; this has important implications for procedures in which cardiologists need to place a heart valve prosthesis just a few millimetres from the heart’s conduction system. These results show unprecedented details beyond those available using traditional methods.” Further, the researchers emphasise that it is not only clinicians and their patients who will benefit from 3D visualisation, but also students learning about the cardiac conduction system and its relationship with heart anatomy and function. Disrupted or disturbed activity in the conduction system can be caused by disease or injury, and consequently the heart could then operate at a marked increase or decreased pump function, and potentially irregular pumping patterns. In the long term, these abnormal conditions can result in less effective blood circulation in the body, system clots, and arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation. Professor Michael Pederson from the Comparative Medicine Lab, Department of Clinical Medicine, added: “Currently, the researchers have ‘only’ presented 3D data from a healthy human heart, but we will in future reveal the conduction system in diseased hearts, including those suffering from congenital heart diseases and in the aged population.” The study is financially supported by Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Liverpool, through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, alongside the British Heart Foundation. The post H2020 supports 3D visualisations of the heart appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Heart surgeons will have access to an innovative 3D visualisation of the cardiac conduction system. The Horizon 2020-funded technique could improve patient safety and improve the surgical outcomes of those suffering from heart disease. The 3D disposition of the human conduction system – which is responsible for generating a heartbeat – will provide detailed information to cardiologists, meaning that heart surgeries will be more informed. ‘High resolution 3-Dimensional imaging of the human cardiac conduction system from microanatomy to mathematical modelling’ was recently published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports by Robert Stephenson. The paper was released in collaboration with a team of researchers from Liverpool John Moores University, University of Manchester and Newcastle University, UK. Stephenson said: “We have generated the first 3D visualisation of the human conduction system; this has important implications for procedures in which cardiologists need to place a heart valve prosthesis just a few millimetres from the heart’s conduction system. These results show unprecedented details beyond those available using traditional methods.” Further, the researchers emphasise that it is not only clinicians and their patients who will benefit from 3D visualisation, but also students learning about the cardiac conduction system and its relationship with heart anatomy and function. Disrupted or disturbed activity in the conduction system can be caused by disease or injury, and consequently the heart could then operate at a marked increase or decreased pump function, and potentially irregular pumping patterns. In the long term, these abnormal conditions can result in less effective blood circulation in the body, system clots, and arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation. Professor Michael Pederson from the Comparative Medicine Lab, Department of Clinical Medicine, added: “Currently, the researchers have ‘only’ presented 3D data from a healthy human heart, but we will in future reveal the conduction system in diseased hearts, including those suffering from congenital heart diseases and in the aged population.” The study is financially supported by Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Liverpool, through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, alongside the British Heart Foundation. The post H2020 supports 3D visualisations of the heart appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Producer of port Symington Family Estates has helped to trial a new robot which has been designed to monitor vines in areas where human labour is reduced. The ‘VineScout’ is a co-operative effort between Spanish universities, Valencia and La Rioja, the Wall-YE Robots and Software company, France, UK-based Sundance Multiprocessor Technologies and Symington Family Estates. The robot received further funding from Horizon 2020 under the European Union’s ‘Fast Track to Innovation’ scheme. VineScout is designed to be autonomous and is capable of monitoring temperatures and collecting other readings in order to help viticulturists and winemakers manage vineyards. It is intended that the robot will be deployed in areas where de-population of the countryside – as younger people move to cities – is making labour harder and more expensive to find. The technology was field-tested at the historic Port producer’s Douro vineyards – Symington’s Quinta do Ataíde Grape Variety Project – at the end of August. The project co-ordinator, Francisco Rovira-Más, and Fernando Alves, the Symington viticulture R&D manager, reflected that they were satisfied with the results. Symington is part of the five-member pan-European consortium which is developing the robot over a three-year period. The consortium intends to have the VineScout ready for series production from 2019-2020. The post Symington tests vineyard robots appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Producer of port Symington Family Estates has helped to trial a new robot which has been designed to monitor vines in areas where human labour is reduced. The ‘VineScout’ is a co-operative effort between Spanish universities, Valencia and La Rioja, the Wall-YE Robots and Software company, France, UK-based Sundance Multiprocessor Technologies and Symington Family Estates. The robot received further funding from Horizon 2020 under the European Union’s ‘Fast Track to Innovation’ scheme. VineScout is designed to be autonomous and is capable of monitoring temperatures and collecting other readings in order to help viticulturists and winemakers manage vineyards. It is intended that the robot will be deployed in areas where de-population of the countryside – as younger people move to cities – is making labour harder and more expensive to find. The technology was field-tested at the historic Port producer’s Douro vineyards – Symington’s Quinta do Ataíde Grape Variety Project – at the end of August. The project co-ordinator, Francisco Rovira-Más, and Fernando Alves, the Symington viticulture R&D manager, reflected that they were satisfied with the results. Symington is part of the five-member pan-European consortium which is developing the robot over a three-year period. The consortium intends to have the VineScout ready for series production from 2019-2020. The post Symington tests vineyard robots appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Professor Donald Martin of the Université Grenoble Alpes discusses how Nature provides the inspiration behind medical biotechnology. The multidisciplinary research team SyNaBi, working within the TIMC-IMAG laboratory at the Université Grenoble Alpes, France, has taken a bio-inspired approach to develop innovative biotechnologies that provide alternative energy supplies for implanted medical devices. The SyNaBi team has pioneered the successful implantation of bioelectrodes and biofuel cells that function for long periods inside a mammal. A bio-inspired approach An active, implanted medical device requires an electrical power source to provide a stimulatory, pumping, transmitting or amplification assistance to an organ with reduced function. Such implanted medical devices include, for example, pacemakers, cochlear implants, implanted bladder stimulators, insulin pumps, implantable wireless pressure sensors and neurostimulators. The power for such active systems is provided by lithium-based storage batteries. Although a lithium battery is currently the first choice in supplying power to electronic medical implants, one disadvantage is the limited capability to miniaturise this storage battery and still be able to provide large power levels. There is also the problem of removal and disposal for the lithium storage batteries that are implanted directly inside the heart along with the lead-less pacemaker. The bio-inspired approach of SyNaBi has created an alternative power supply, which is a prototype biofuel cell that produces power of around 1μW/μL from molecules continuously available in the internal body fluids. For example, the power required for a pacemaker is provided by a biofuel cell of 40μL in volume, which is less than 1% of the volume of the standard lithium battery used for a pacemaker. The biofuel cell does not need to be inside blood vessels to produce that power. The breakthrough of the SyNaBi team was the development of the biotechnology to create simple yet highly efficient bio-electrodes for the biofuel cell (Fig. 1). The bio-electrodes for this biofuel cell have functioned continuously for more than six months inside a rabbit, for more than a month inside a sheep, and have also functioned in cows and pigs. One major advantage is the capability for miniaturisation with the advantage of providing more than ten times the power-to-volume output of a lithium storage battery. This advantage is due to the biofuel cell utilising molecules supplied continuously from the internal body fluids in order to convert chemical reactions into electrical power, and without the need to store all of these needed fuel molecules (as does a lithium storage battery). The form of those bioelectrodes is not fixed, but is adaptable to a multitude of shapes and sizes to meet the needs for implantation and the required power output. The ongoing development of the SyNaBi team is now improving the bioelectrodes to produce much higher power-to-volume output, which augurs well for even greater levels of miniaturisation. Advanced bio-inspired biotechnology Nature is full of complex, elegant things. Inspiration from such elegant natural processes provides a path to develop new biotechnology systems that produce power, and to create new medical, diagnostic and therapeutic devices. The path is complex, but successful biomimicry of biological processes usually results in highly sensitive biotechnology devices, including for example, protein-based biosensors to better mimic the biological needs to detect bio-active molecules. From its understanding of protein-lipid interactions, the SyNaBi team has pioneered the production of power using biological membrane transport proteins incorporated in a biomimetic lipid bilayer membrane. An important universal component at the core of this type of bio-inspired biotechnology is the biomimetic lipid bilayer membrane, which is self-assembled using principles derived from natural biology. The SyNaBi team is now able to reproduce self-assembled biological transport systems as prototypes for highly miniaturised and very powerful biofuel cells, as well as for cancer diagnostic devices. The current prototype for this biomimetic biofuel cell provides about 4W/kg of power from such a bio-inspired, self-assembled system. The SyNaBi approaches have utilised the knowhow of biophysics, biochemistry and molecular biology in unravelling the secrets of biological self-assembly for proteins in lipid bilayer membranes. An example from that research is shown in Fig. 2. The challenge for any biomimetic membrane technology based on lipid membranes is to ensure the stability and durability of the lipid membranes. Although challenging to engineer, good stability and durability is usually achieved using lipid bilayers that are tethered to or supported by a substrate that may be non-porous (e.g. gold, silicon) or porous (e.g. polymer, gel), rather than using suspended lipid bilayers. Bio-inspired biotechnology for cancer diagnostics The SyNaBi team has used its skills in biomimetic nanobiotechnology to develop a biomimetic membrane that enables the UroLOC 3-dimensional lab-on-chip environment.1 This 3D environment mimics the normal organised structure in glands of mixed populations of epithelial cells supported by stromal cells. The biomimetic membrane enables the 3D cell culture lab-on-chip environment of UroLOC to collect, in real time, the nanolitre volumes of secretions directly from living cells growing in this native tissue-like environment. UroLOC is designed to detect changes in the secretions (e.g. proteins, genes, RNAs and low-molecular-weight peptides) from epithelial cells that are potentially tumorigenic. The UroLOC device is designed to provide a functional ‘liquid biopsy’ from those living cells. The diagnostic advantage is that the secretions are already in a concentrated form, which improves the sensitivity. The UroLOC device does not require a priori knowledge of a particular biomarker to achieve this sensitive diagnostic result.2 Concluding remarks The results from the SyNaBi team show that a bio-inspired approach to develop innovative biotechnologies has several advantages. These include an improved biocompatibility for implanted devices, an improved sensitivity for the detection of biological molecules, an improved power-to-volume efficiency for energy production, and the elegance of a bio-inspired approach for miniaturisation. Further reading 1          Martin DK, Picollet-d’hahan N (2016). ‘Puce de co-culture cellulaire et son procède de fabrication’, 1654213 FR 2          Martin DK, Picollet-d’hahan N (2016). ‘Méthode de diagnostic de cancers urologiques’, 1654215 FR 3          Soranzo T, Martin DK, Lenormand JL, Watkins EB (2017). Coupling neutron reflectivity with cell-free protein synthesis to probe membrane protein structure in supported bilayers. Scientific Reports, 7: 3399, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-03472-8 4          Maccarini M, Watkins EB, Stidder B, Alcaraz JP, Cornell BA, Martin DK (2016). Nanostructural determination of a lipid bilayer tethered to a gold substrate. European Physical Journal E, 39:123 5          El Ichi-Ribault S, Zebda A, Laaroussi A, Reverdy-Bruas N, Chaussy D, Belgacem MN, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2016). Laccase-based biocathodes: comparison of chitosan and nafion. Analytica Chimica Acta, 937:43-52 6          Picollet-d’hahan N, Dolega ME, Liguori L, Marquette C, Le Gac S, Gidrol X, Martin DK (2016). A 3D toolbox to enhance the physiological relevance of human tissue models. Trends in Biotechnology, 34:757-769 7          Alcaraz JP, El Ichi-Ribault S, Cortella L, Guimier-Pingault C, Zebda A, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2016). La biopile enzymatique à glucose/oxygène : Quelques nuances de Grays. Médecine/Sciences, 32:771-773 8          Liguori L, Stidder B, Alcaraz JP, Lenormand JL, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2016). Cell-free production of VDAC directly into liposomes for integration with biomimetic membrane systems. Preparative Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 46:546-551 9          El Ichi S, Zebda A, Alcaraz JP, Laaroussi, A, Boucher F, Boutonnat J, Reverdy-Bruas N, Chaussy D, Belgacem MN, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2015). Bioelectrodes modified with chitosan for long-term energy supply from the body. Energy Environmental Science. 8:1017-1026 10        El Ichi S, Zebda A, Laaroussi A, Reverdy-Bruas N, Chaussy D, Belgacem MN, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2014). Chitosan improves stability of carbon nanotube biocathods for glucose biofuel cells. Chemical Communications, 50:14535-1438 11        Zebda A, Cosnier S, Alcaraz JP, Holzinger M, Le Goff A, Gondran C, Boucher F, Giroud F, Gorgy K, Lamraoui H, Cinquin P (2013). Single glucose biofuel cells implanted in rats power electronic devices. Scientific Reports, 3:1516, DOI:10.1038/srep01516 12        Stidder B, Alcaraz JP, Liguori L, Khalef N, Bakri A, Watkins E, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2012). Biomimetic membrane system composed of a composite interpenetrating hydrogel film and lipid bilayer. Advanced Functional Materials, 20:4259-4267 13        Zebda A, Gondran C, Le Goff A, Holzinger M, Cinquin P, Cosnier S (2011). Mediatorless high-power glucose biofuel cells based on compressed carbon nanotube-enzyme electrodes. Nature Communications, 2:370, DOI:10.1038/ncomms1365 14        Cinquin P, Gondran C, Giroud F, Mazabrard S, Pellissier A, Boucher F, Alcaraz JP, Gorgy K, Lenouvel F, Mathé S, Porcu P, Cosnier S (2010). A glucose biofuel cell implanted in rats. PLoS One, 5(5);e10476, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0010476 15        Battle AR, Valenzuela SM, Mechler A, Nichols RJ, Praporski S, di Maio IL, Islam H, Girard-Egrot AP, Cornell BA, Prashar J, Caruso F, Martin LL, Martin DK. (2009). Novel engineered ion channel provides controllable ion permeability for polyelectrolyte microcapsules coated with a lipid membrane. Advanced Functional Materials, 19:201-208       The post Bio-inspired biotechnology appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
Professor Donald Martin of the Université Grenoble Alpes discusses how Nature provides the inspiration behind medical biotechnology. The multidisciplinary research team SyNaBi, working within the TIMC-IMAG laboratory at the Université Grenoble Alpes, France, has taken a bio-inspired approach to develop innovative biotechnologies that provide alternative energy supplies for implanted medical devices. The SyNaBi team has pioneered the successful implantation of bioelectrodes and biofuel cells that function for long periods inside a mammal. A bio-inspired approach An active, implanted medical device requires an electrical power source to provide a stimulatory, pumping, transmitting or amplification assistance to an organ with reduced function. Such implanted medical devices include, for example, pacemakers, cochlear implants, implanted bladder stimulators, insulin pumps, implantable wireless pressure sensors and neurostimulators. The power for such active systems is provided by lithium-based storage batteries. Although a lithium battery is currently the first choice in supplying power to electronic medical implants, one disadvantage is the limited capability to miniaturise this storage battery and still be able to provide large power levels. There is also the problem of removal and disposal for the lithium storage batteries that are implanted directly inside the heart along with the lead-less pacemaker. The bio-inspired approach of SyNaBi has created an alternative power supply, which is a prototype biofuel cell that produces power of around 1μW/μL from molecules continuously available in the internal body fluids. For example, the power required for a pacemaker is provided by a biofuel cell of 40μL in volume, which is less than 1% of the volume of the standard lithium battery used for a pacemaker. The biofuel cell does not need to be inside blood vessels to produce that power. The breakthrough of the SyNaBi team was the development of the biotechnology to create simple yet highly efficient bio-electrodes for the biofuel cell (Fig. 1). The bio-electrodes for this biofuel cell have functioned continuously for more than six months inside a rabbit, for more than a month inside a sheep, and have also functioned in cows and pigs. One major advantage is the capability for miniaturisation with the advantage of providing more than ten times the power-to-volume output of a lithium storage battery. This advantage is due to the biofuel cell utilising molecules supplied continuously from the internal body fluids in order to convert chemical reactions into electrical power, and without the need to store all of these needed fuel molecules (as does a lithium storage battery). The form of those bioelectrodes is not fixed, but is adaptable to a multitude of shapes and sizes to meet the needs for implantation and the required power output. The ongoing development of the SyNaBi team is now improving the bioelectrodes to produce much higher power-to-volume output, which augurs well for even greater levels of miniaturisation. Advanced bio-inspired biotechnology Nature is full of complex, elegant things. Inspiration from such elegant natural processes provides a path to develop new biotechnology systems that produce power, and to create new medical, diagnostic and therapeutic devices. The path is complex, but successful biomimicry of biological processes usually results in highly sensitive biotechnology devices, including for example, protein-based biosensors to better mimic the biological needs to detect bio-active molecules. From its understanding of protein-lipid interactions, the SyNaBi team has pioneered the production of power using biological membrane transport proteins incorporated in a biomimetic lipid bilayer membrane. An important universal component at the core of this type of bio-inspired biotechnology is the biomimetic lipid bilayer membrane, which is self-assembled using principles derived from natural biology. The SyNaBi team is now able to reproduce self-assembled biological transport systems as prototypes for highly miniaturised and very powerful biofuel cells, as well as for cancer diagnostic devices. The current prototype for this biomimetic biofuel cell provides about 4W/kg of power from such a bio-inspired, self-assembled system. The SyNaBi approaches have utilised the knowhow of biophysics, biochemistry and molecular biology in unravelling the secrets of biological self-assembly for proteins in lipid bilayer membranes. An example from that research is shown in Fig. 2. The challenge for any biomimetic membrane technology based on lipid membranes is to ensure the stability and durability of the lipid membranes. Although challenging to engineer, good stability and durability is usually achieved using lipid bilayers that are tethered to or supported by a substrate that may be non-porous (e.g. gold, silicon) or porous (e.g. polymer, gel), rather than using suspended lipid bilayers. Bio-inspired biotechnology for cancer diagnostics The SyNaBi team has used its skills in biomimetic nanobiotechnology to develop a biomimetic membrane that enables the UroLOC 3-dimensional lab-on-chip environment.1 This 3D environment mimics the normal organised structure in glands of mixed populations of epithelial cells supported by stromal cells. The biomimetic membrane enables the 3D cell culture lab-on-chip environment of UroLOC to collect, in real time, the nanolitre volumes of secretions directly from living cells growing in this native tissue-like environment. UroLOC is designed to detect changes in the secretions (e.g. proteins, genes, RNAs and low-molecular-weight peptides) from epithelial cells that are potentially tumorigenic. The UroLOC device is designed to provide a functional ‘liquid biopsy’ from those living cells. The diagnostic advantage is that the secretions are already in a concentrated form, which improves the sensitivity. The UroLOC device does not require a priori knowledge of a particular biomarker to achieve this sensitive diagnostic result.2 Concluding remarks The results from the SyNaBi team show that a bio-inspired approach to develop innovative biotechnologies has several advantages. These include an improved biocompatibility for implanted devices, an improved sensitivity for the detection of biological molecules, an improved power-to-volume efficiency for energy production, and the elegance of a bio-inspired approach for miniaturisation. Further reading 1          Martin DK, Picollet-d’hahan N (2016). ‘Puce de co-culture cellulaire et son procède de fabrication’, 1654213 FR 2          Martin DK, Picollet-d’hahan N (2016). ‘Méthode de diagnostic de cancers urologiques’, 1654215 FR 3          Soranzo T, Martin DK, Lenormand JL, Watkins EB (2017). Coupling neutron reflectivity with cell-free protein synthesis to probe membrane protein structure in supported bilayers. Scientific Reports, 7: 3399, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-03472-8 4          Maccarini M, Watkins EB, Stidder B, Alcaraz JP, Cornell BA, Martin DK (2016). Nanostructural determination of a lipid bilayer tethered to a gold substrate. European Physical Journal E, 39:123 5          El Ichi-Ribault S, Zebda A, Laaroussi A, Reverdy-Bruas N, Chaussy D, Belgacem MN, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2016). Laccase-based biocathodes: comparison of chitosan and nafion. Analytica Chimica Acta, 937:43-52 6          Picollet-d’hahan N, Dolega ME, Liguori L, Marquette C, Le Gac S, Gidrol X, Martin DK (2016). A 3D toolbox to enhance the physiological relevance of human tissue models. Trends in Biotechnology, 34:757-769 7          Alcaraz JP, El Ichi-Ribault S, Cortella L, Guimier-Pingault C, Zebda A, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2016). La biopile enzymatique à glucose/oxygène : Quelques nuances de Grays. Médecine/Sciences, 32:771-773 8          Liguori L, Stidder B, Alcaraz JP, Lenormand JL, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2016). Cell-free production of VDAC directly into liposomes for integration with biomimetic membrane systems. Preparative Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 46:546-551 9          El Ichi S, Zebda A, Alcaraz JP, Laaroussi, A, Boucher F, Boutonnat J, Reverdy-Bruas N, Chaussy D, Belgacem MN, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2015). Bioelectrodes modified with chitosan for long-term energy supply from the body. Energy Environmental Science. 8:1017-1026 10        El Ichi S, Zebda A, Laaroussi A, Reverdy-Bruas N, Chaussy D, Belgacem MN, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2014). Chitosan improves stability of carbon nanotube biocathods for glucose biofuel cells. Chemical Communications, 50:14535-1438 11        Zebda A, Cosnier S, Alcaraz JP, Holzinger M, Le Goff A, Gondran C, Boucher F, Giroud F, Gorgy K, Lamraoui H, Cinquin P (2013). Single glucose biofuel cells implanted in rats power electronic devices. Scientific Reports, 3:1516, DOI:10.1038/srep01516 12        Stidder B, Alcaraz JP, Liguori L, Khalef N, Bakri A, Watkins E, Cinquin P, Martin DK (2012). Biomimetic membrane system composed of a composite interpenetrating hydrogel film and lipid bilayer. Advanced Functional Materials, 20:4259-4267 13        Zebda A, Gondran C, Le Goff A, Holzinger M, Cinquin P, Cosnier S (2011). Mediatorless high-power glucose biofuel cells based on compressed carbon nanotube-enzyme electrodes. Nature Communications, 2:370, DOI:10.1038/ncomms1365 14        Cinquin P, Gondran C, Giroud F, Mazabrard S, Pellissier A, Boucher F, Alcaraz JP, Gorgy K, Lenouvel F, Mathé S, Porcu P, Cosnier S (2010). A glucose biofuel cell implanted in rats. PLoS One, 5(5);e10476, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0010476 15        Battle AR, Valenzuela SM, Mechler A, Nichols RJ, Praporski S, di Maio IL, Islam H, Girard-Egrot AP, Cornell BA, Prashar J, Caruso F, Martin LL, Martin DK. (2009). Novel engineered ion channel provides controllable ion permeability for polyelectrolyte microcapsules coated with a lipid membrane. Advanced Functional Materials, 19:201-208       The post Bio-inspired biotechnology appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
A new project aimed at creating a garment that can act as a communicative interface for deafblind people is expected to begin in early 2018. The University of Borås, Sweden, co-ordinates the project with universities and companies from seven different countries. The deafblind are a group in society dependent on other people, such as family members or assistants to sense the world. Now, researchers in the EU project ‘SUITCEYES’ will develop a prototype made from smart textiles to provide the deafblind with new communication opportunities. Project co-ordinator Nasrine Olson said: “By using sensors and other technologies, the garment will take in information about what happens around the person. This will enable linguistic communication, and it will also enhance learning as well as add something fun for the bearer.” The idea is that the garments will transfer information to the bearers through haptic language, i.e. a language of touch and movements, and can tell the bearers if someone is looking at them or where the ball they dropped is in the room. Nils-Krister Persson, research leader of Smart Textiles at the University of Borås, said: “Smart textiles are perfect to use when we develop the interface, as our body is constantly in contact with textiles. It’s more or less just in the shower that it isn’t.” The project is expected to start in early 2018 and last for three years. At the end of the project, hopefully there will be a prototype that could be developed into a product of the participating companies. Olson added: “We believe that the garment could be used in other areas as well, such as sports, so a trainer can monitor an athlete’s movements, or divers or firefighters in areas with limited vision who need their hands free.” The post Project to assist the deafblind appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
A new project aimed at creating a garment that can act as a communicative interface for deafblind people is expected to begin in early 2018. The University of Borås, Sweden, co-ordinates the project with universities and companies from seven different countries. The deafblind are a group in society dependent on other people, such as family members or assistants to sense the world. Now, researchers in the EU project ‘SUITCEYES’ will develop a prototype made from smart textiles to provide the deafblind with new communication opportunities. Project co-ordinator Nasrine Olson said: “By using sensors and other technologies, the garment will take in information about what happens around the person. This will enable linguistic communication, and it will also enhance learning as well as add something fun for the bearer.” The idea is that the garments will transfer information to the bearers through haptic language, i.e. a language of touch and movements, and can tell the bearers if someone is looking at them or where the ball they dropped is in the room. Nils-Krister Persson, research leader of Smart Textiles at the University of Borås, said: “Smart textiles are perfect to use when we develop the interface, as our body is constantly in contact with textiles. It’s more or less just in the shower that it isn’t.” The project is expected to start in early 2018 and last for three years. At the end of the project, hopefully there will be a prototype that could be developed into a product of the participating companies. Olson added: “We believe that the garment could be used in other areas as well, such as sports, so a trainer can monitor an athlete’s movements, or divers or firefighters in areas with limited vision who need their hands free.” The post Project to assist the deafblind appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.
The European Commission has confirmed a €3.7m investment for a new programme in physics and biomedicine. 14 scientists are set to study healthy ageing under the microscope. They will be developing new optical procedures to study the liver with high-resolution microscopy. The aim is to find out how medical drugs affect the liver and how the organ changes with ageing. The project DeLIVER, co-ordinated by Bielefeld University, Germany, will start in January 2018. The scientists will be carrying out research for their doctorates at six European partner universities and at companies in a total of nine countries. Dr Thomas Huser from Bielefeld University’s Faculty of Physics, said: “In the new project, researchers from physics and biomedicine are co-ordinating their analyses and their advances and jointly addressing healthy ageing – one of the greatest challenges to society today. It is the close link between the two disciplines that makes this programme special.” Huser’s research group ‘Biomolecular Photonics’ is developing high-resolution microscopes that can make structures in body cells visible and accessible to research that traditional optical microscopes are unable to show. He added: “DeLIVER offers young doctoral students an opportunity to work together with experienced scientists and to use advanced technology and the most modern methods in physics. “This prepares them specifically for both the academic and non-academic labour market.” This is now the seventh Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) at Bielefeld University. The post Project to study healthy ageing appeared first on Horizon 2020 Projects.

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