AUTM Newsbrief
Jul. 3, 2012

Spray-on 'Jelly' Conducts Electricity
Stanford University via Futurity
Researchers have invented a Jell-O-like material that conducts electricity, is easy to make, and can be patterned onto surfaces with an inkjet printer. The material, created by a team at Stanford University, is a kind of conducting hydrogel — a jelly that feels and behaves like biological tissues, but conducts electricity like a metal or semiconductor. That combination of characteristics holds enormous promise for biological sensors and futuristic energy storage devices, but has proven difficult to manufacture until now. The research appears this month in the journal PNAS.More

Dancing Robot Does More than Just 'Shimi' to the Beat
Georgia Institute of Technology via R&D Magazine
Wedding DJs everywhere should be worried about job security now that a new robot is on the scene. Shimi, a musical companion developed by Georgia Institute of Technology's Center for Music Technology, recommends songs, dances to the beat, and keeps the music pumping based on listener feedback. The smartphone-enabled, one-foot-tall robot is billed as an interactive "musical buddy." "Shimi is designed to change the way that people enjoy and think about their music," said Professor Gil Weinberg, director of Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology and the robot's creator. More

Cambridge NanoTech, Ghent University Sign License Deal to Commercialize ALD Particle Coating Technology
The A to Z of Materials and AZojomo
Developer of atomic layer deposition (ALD) systems, Cambridge NanoTech, has entered into a licensing agreement with Ghent University for the commercialization of its ALD particle coating technology labeled the Cyrus system. The new technology would augment Cambridge Nanotech's existing portfolio of ALD systems and would address the coating requirements of powders, particles and plasma and non-plasma based 3-D objects. Ghent University professor Christophe Detavernier emphasized on the emergence of applications that necessitate uniform and ultra-thin layers of nanocoating for powders and particles. He stated that ALD has been demonstrated as a reliable technique for such deposition of nanocoating on powders. More

Plasma Startup Creates High-energy Light to Make Smaller Microchips
A University of Washington lab has been working for more than a decade on fusion energy, harnessing the energy-generating mechanism of the sun. But in one of the twists of scientific discovery, on the way the researchers found a potential solution to a looming problem in the electronics industry. To bring their solution to market two UW engineers have launched a startup, Zplasma, that aims to produce the high-energy light needed to etch the next generation of microchips.More

Experience Weight Loss Through Rose-colored Goggles
Goggles that trick the wearer into thinking the plain snack in their hand is a chocolate cookie — or that make cookies appear larger — have been unveiled, offering hope to weak-willed dieters. University of Tokyo researchers use tech wizardry and augmented reality in devices that fool the senses to make users feel satisfied with smaller — or less appealing — treats. Goggle-mounted cameras send images to a computer that magnifies the apparent size of a cookie, which the wearer is holding, while keeping their hands the same size.More

Rice University Develops Spray-on Battery Prototype
Researchers at Rice University in Houston have developed a prototype spray-on battery that could allow engineers to rethink the way portable electronics are designed. The rechargeable battery boasts similar electrical characteristics to the lithium ion batteries that power almost every mobile gadget, but it can be applied in layers to almost any surface with a conventional airbrush, said Neelam Singh, a Rice University graduate student who led a team working on the technology for more than a year. Current lithium ion batteries are almost all variations on the same basic form: an inflexible block with electrodes at one end. Because they cannot easily be shaped, they sometimes restrict designers, particularly when it comes to small gadgets with curved surfaces, but the Rice prototypes could change that.More

Printing Living Tissues: 3-D Printed Vascular Networks Made of Sugar
Researchers are hopeful that new advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine could one day make a replacement liver from a patient's own cells, or animal muscle tissue that could be cut into steaks without ever being inside a cow. Bioengineers can already make 2D structures out of many kinds of tissue, but one of the major roadblocks to making the jump to 3D is keeping the cells within large structures from suffocating; organs have complicated 3D blood vessel networks that are still impossible to recreate in the laboratory.More

New Technique Controls Graphite to Graphene Transition
University of Arkansas physicists have found a way to systematically study and control the transition of graphite, the "lead" found in pencils, to graphene, one of the strongest, lightest and most conductive materials known, an important step in the process of learning to use this material in modern day technology. Peng Xu, Paul Thibado, Yurong Yang, Laurent Bellaiche and their colleagues report their findings in the journal Carbon. Physicists at the University of Manchester first isolated graphene, a one atom thick sheet of carbon atoms, by using Scotch tape to lift only the top layer off of the other layers of graphite. Electrons moving through graphite have mass and encounter resistance, but electrons moving through graphene are massless and encounter almost no resistance, which makes graphene an excellent candidate material for future energy needs and for quantum computing for enormous calculations while using little energy.More

AUTM 2013 Foundation Scholarship Deadlines
The AUTM Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications from students, scholars and new professionals pursuing a career in academic technology transfer.

Upcoming deadlines:

Howard Bremer Scholarship
Application Deadline: Aug. 31

Scholarships for New Technology Transfer Professionals from Developing Economies
Application Deadline: Sept. 12

Academic Tech Transfer and Commercialization Graduate Student Literature Review Prize
Application Deadline: Sept. 28More

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