blog posts Physician innovators' new bedside table keeps comfort, safety close at hand Jan 25, 2023 2:00 pm Carle Illinois College of Medicine students have redesigned the common bedside table to make it more stable, flexible, and easier to use. It hopes to improve both patient care and medical professional's workspace. Geothermal 'battery' repurposes abandoned oil and gas well in Illinois Jan 25, 2023 2:00 pm Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have successfully demonstrated efficient geothermal heat storage while simultaneously repurposing an abandoned oil and gas well. Click beetle-inspired robots jump using elastic energy Jan 23, 2023 3:30 pm U of I professor Sameh Tawfick led a new study introducing click beetle-sized robots small enough to fit into tight spaces, powerful enough to maneuver over obstacles and fast enough to match an insect’s rapid escape time. Microelectronics provide a remote control for biological robots Jan 18, 2023 12:15 pm Rashid Bashir’s research group pioneered the development of biobots - tiny biological robots powered by mouse muscle tissue. They demonstrated walking biobots in 2012 and light-activation in 2016. Now they're introducing remote control. U of I researchers working to convert biowaste into pavement Jan 17, 2023 12:00 pm '(Our process) mimics petroleum formation in nature, where biowaste buried deep underground gradually turns into crude oil over millions of years. In the HTL reactor, the process takes less than an hour,' says principal investigator Yuanhui Zhang. Center based at U of I will develop distributed computing tech for 2030 and beyond Jan 5, 2023 3:00 pm Illinois will lead the ACE Center for Evolvable Computing, which will advance distributed computing technology, from cloud-based datacenters to edge nodes, so it operates with orders of magnitude more energy efficiency than today. Team streamlines DNA collection, analysis for elephant conservation Jan 12, 2023 9:00 am U. of I. researchers developed a new, more efficient approach to obtaining DNA from wild animals without disturbing the animals or putting researchers’ lives at risk. How to harvest an untapped source of fresh water Dec 6, 2022 8:45 am A new study from Illinois is the first to suggest an investment in new infrastructure capable of harvesting oceanic water vapor as a solution to limited supplies of fresh water Organizing nanoparticles into pinwheel shapes offers new twist on engineered materials Nov 28, 2022 11:00 am These pinwheel-shaped structures self-assemble from nanoparticles and exhibit a characteristic called chirality – one of nature’s strategies to build complexity into structures at all scales, from molecules to galaxies. Previously unseen processes reveal path to better rechargeable batteries Nov 9, 2022 11:00 am This U of I study is the first to map out altered domains inside rechargeable ion batteries at the nanoscale – a 10-fold or more increase in resolution over current X-ray and optical methods. Magic lamps: Microcavity plasma devices Nov 10, 2022 11:15 am The most prominent application of microcavity plasma devices to date has been producing ozone for drinking water disinfection. Microcavity plasmas developed in Eden’s lab overcome raditional barriers of cost and power consumption. Artificial intelligence and molecule machine join forces to generalize automated chemistry Oct 28, 2022 12:45 pm By combining powerful artificial intelligence and a molecule-making machine created at Illinois, researchers are finding the best conditions for automated complex chemistry. U of I's new Center for Sustainable Aviation: Not just about reducing carbon emissions Oct 19, 2022 2:30 pm Conversations about making aviation more sustainable typically land on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuel resources. Those are primary factors, but Center director Phillip Ansell is taking a more holistic approach. U of I joins five tech industry leaders in new Speech Accessibility Project Oct 3, 2022 10:30 am 'This task...requires a lot of infrastructure, ideally the kind that can be supported by leading tech companies, so we’ve created a(n) interdisciplinary team with expertise in linguistics, speech, AI, security, and privacy to help us meet this challenge.' Wearable tech offers up-close look at infant development Sep 28, 2022 10:00 am Illinois researchers have developed a tool to measure stress regulation and parent-child bonding in young children. The device enables infants as young as one month to provide useful information from the comfort of their own home. Experimental composer headlines events examining art-science connections Sep 27, 2022 11:45 am David Rosenboom, a pioneer in experimental music, will lecture, perform and conduct workshops with students during a two-week series of events, 'Experimental Arts & Sciences at UIUC,' beginning Oct. 3. New digital ag degree prepares candidates for highly skilled technology careers Sep 14, 2022 10:30 am 'Agriculture is entering a transformative age, where advanced technology will change how we support a growing healthy population and will serve as a catalyst for collaborative work across engineering and agricultural disciplines.' Illinois lands finalist spot in U.S. DOE prize Sep 2, 2022 1:45 pm The Grainger College of Engineering and Xerion Battery Corps.' team, SelectPureLi, is a finalist in the U.S. DOE's American-Made Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize. A huge leap forward: Photosynthesis hack boosts soybean yield 20% Aug 18, 2022 2:15 pm U of I-led team of RIPE researchers prove bioengineering better photosynthesis increases yields in food crops for the first time ever. New smartphone clip-on can detect Zika virus in blood samples Jul 29, 2022 3:00 pm Up next, devices that will simultaneously detect other mosquito-borne viruses and making the devices even smaller. 'Our clip-on detector is pretty small, (but) a lot of space is taken up by the batteries. The next version... will be powered by the phone's battery.' A fruitful partnership in agricultural robotics Jul 25, 2022 9:00 am Being at the nexus of ag technology is great for startups and students. The ability to teach agricultural and robotics students a mere mile from campus at the Illinois Autonomous Farm testbed provides meaningful research experiences for all. National Cancer Institute funds expansion of mantis shrimp-inspired surgical visualization tech Jul 12, 2022 10:00 am An innovative camera technology developed by Cancer Center at Illinois scientists, has the potential to transform intraoperative surgical procedures for cancer patients, giving clinicians more information during biopsies and detection procedures. U of I researchers create first high-yield plastic microprocessors that cost under a penny each Jun 23, 2022 9:15 am Researchers developed the first flexible plastic microprocessor chips that can be manufactured at scale for less than a penny per unit. They could help even everyday objects become 'smart' - including your beer. iVenture Accelerator welcomes eighth and largest cohort Jun 8, 2022 1:30 pm The university's iVenture Accelerator—powered by Gies College of Business—has admitted 16 startups into its eighth and largest cohort ever. This year’s group consists of 55 full-time students across 30 fields of study. New polymer property could give accessible solar power a boost Jun 7, 2022 10:30 am A new Illinois discovery could help enhance flexible solar cell design and increase access to affordable renewable energy. Generating the disruptive ideas needed to achieve sustainable flight by 2050 Jun 1, 2022 1:00 pm A U of I study considers the aircraft configuration needed to support a liquid hydrogen/fuel cell electric propulsion system in a single-aisle, transport-class aircraft having the consistent performance capability of a Boeing 737-800. NCSA names May grad winner of 2022 Fiddler Innovation Fellowship May 25, 2022 12:00 pm Gabe Tavas is the latest recipient of the $10,000 Fiddler Innovation Fellowship for developing a sustainable wood alternative to combat deforestation. Tavas graduated this spring with a degree in Sustainable Design. U of I team develops automated platform for plasmid production May 16, 2022 2:45 pm These small, circular DNA molecules are well known for their applications in the production of therapeutic proteins like insulin, but designing and constructing them has been one of the most time-consuming, labor-intensive steps in biology research. Students develop wearable ultrasonic scanner for improved ‘sight’ May 18, 2022 9:30 am The Carle Illinois College of Medicine student team's handheld device uses ultrasound technology to allow people with poor vision to comprehensively scan their environment for obstacles to avoid hazards. Study tests rotary blade designs in quest for quieter copters, drones May 18, 2022 11:15 am Researchers at Illinois are testing the limits of rotary blade design to find an efficient, but quieter option for helicopters and drones. Noise is one of the key bottlenecks for the urban air mobility market. Artificial intelligence produces a recipe for lower-carbon concrete May 4, 2022 10:30 am 'We designed new formulations that nearly halve the carbon requirements of concrete yet are just as strong or stronger than traditional formulations. Given the popularity of concrete, there is a global scale of potential applications.' First major breakthrough for U of I's Molecule Maker Lab May 3, 2022 2:00 pm It would have been a tedious process using conventional methods. The Molecule Maker Lab made it easier because it’s designed to facilitate molecular discovery research that requires testing of large numbers of molecules. Flying taxi cabs in the near future? Researcher Naira Hovakimyan says, 'Heads up' Apr 27, 2022 9:45 am For years, Hovakimyan's L1 adaptive flight control system has provided maneuverability and safety in airplanes, vastly outperforming human pilots in challenging conditions. This technology is key to making trustworthy small autonomous aircraft. Technology to absorb CO₂ at power plants is promising Apr 25, 2022 11:45 am Testing has proved the biphasic solvent-based process can achieve greater than 90% capture efficiency and greater than 95% CO₂ purity and has the potential to significantly increase energy efficiency and reduce CO₂ capture cost. Portable, point-of-care COVID-19 test discerns alpha variant from earlier strains Apr 19, 2022 11:30 am A point-of-care COVID-19 test developed by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign can now detect and differentiate the alpha variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from earlier strains in saliva samples. Research could enable assembly line synthesis of prevalent amine-containing drugs Apr 15, 2022 9:30 am An Illinois research team has discovered a way to produce a special class of molecule that could open the door for new drugs to treat currently untreatable diseases. Researchers develop fast, low-cost blood test for detecting early-stage liver cancer Mar 17, 2022 12:00 pm This low-cost, portable, point-of-care technology is about the size of a toaster and is capable of diagnosing early-stage liver cancer within 30 minutes. Illinois professor Brian Cunningham led the research team. Researchers explore wireless charging of pacemakers via wearable metasurface Mar 15, 2022 9:15 am 'People keep thinking about how to change the source to be able to charge a device more efficiently. Now we change the way how we receive the source to charge it efficiently,' said Professor Yang Zhao. DOE funds project to create bioplastic packaging that's infinitely recyclable Mar 11, 2022 9:15 am The Department of Energy has granted $2 million over three years to the U of I, Braskem America, and Princeton University to develop plastic that can be recycled perpetually, reducing waste and pollution from single-use plastics. Researchers are making DNA the next massive data storage solution Mar 3, 2022 11:30 am Because this team is the first to use chemically modified nucleotides for information storage in DNA, they also had to design a first-of-its-kind DNA sequence readout processing method using machine learning and artificial intelligence. New approach to flexible robotics, metamaterials design mimics nature, encourages sustainability Feb 28, 2022 2:00 pm An algorithm-based design process called topology optimization, also known as digital synthesis, creates composite structures that can precisely achieve complex prescribed mechanical responses. Team uses MRI to image epigenetics in the brain Feb 28, 2022 2:45 pm Epigenetics is a key mechanism by which gene expression is regulated. This new approach – eMRI – will open up new avenues of research into how such changes mold the brain, allowing it to grow, learn and respond to stress. Circadian rhythm and the blood-brain barrier Feb 24, 2022 3:15 pm What is the best time to take your medications? How much does time of day affect the blood-brain barrier's permeability to hormones, drugs? U of I researchers will design a chip from human stem cells to model the blood-brain interface. Illinois musicians, chemists use sound to better understand science Feb 17, 2022 11:00 am Music and chemistry researchers at Illinois have teamed up to use sonification – the use of sound to convey information – to depict biochemical processes and better understand how they happen. New set of chemical building blocks makes complex 3D molecules in a snap Feb 8, 2022 10:30 am 'This has been the secret chamber that onlychemists with decades of experience can enter. This new advance blows that door wide open. Now everyone can come in and play in the sandbox, because very complex molecules become very accessible.' New accelerated cancer biomarker detection for point of care diagnostics Jan 28, 2022 10:30 am '(This test) can be used for detecting cancer, monitoring cancer treatment effectiveness, and following up with treatment. We envision (it) being used in a health clinic so you wouldn't have to take a sample, send it to a lab, and wait several days.' Seizure-monitoring baseball cap created by med students Jan 21, 2022 11:45 am A seizure-monitoring baseball cap could help doctors diagnose patients with epilepsy more quickly, comprehensively. “Epicap is essentially an EEG (electroencephalogram) inside of a baseball cap,' Carle Illinois student Jennifer Cortes said. Leaf-like veins provide structure, transport fluids in foamed polymers Jan 13, 2022 9:30 am Illinois researchers equip polymeric foam with a vascular system that mimicks the structure of trees. Organizing the channeled system in a parallel structure enables the transport of fluids in a single, predetermined direction. Med students design bionic knee brace to empower cerebral palsy patients Jan 12, 2022 3:30 pm The bionic knee brace couples a power generator with built-in bio-feedback sensors. When the sensors detect muscle contraction, the system triggers the power generator to help move the stiffened/spastic muscles.