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Image: a hole seals itself; Copyright: MPI for Intelligent Systems

Self-healing soft material outsmarts nature


A soft material that heals itself instantaneously is now reality. A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and at Pennsylvania State University tune the nanostructure of a new stretchable material in such a way that it now entirely recovers its structure and properties at the blink of an eye after being cut or poked.
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Image: graphic of the device’s effectiveness; Copyright: 2020 Konishi et al.

Photonic crystal light converter – new device could be powerful tool for observation


Spectroscopy is the use of light to analyze biological samples. Different kinds of light can provide different kinds of information. Vacuum ultraviolet light is useful as it can aid people in a broad range of research fields, but generation of that light has been difficult & expensive. Researchers created a device to generate this kind of light using an ultrathin film with nanoscale perforations.
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Image: robots during battery production; Copyright: Daniel Messling, KIT

New EU project to boost battery development


The BIG-MAP project, which is funded by the European Union (EU), aims to significantly shorten the time it takes to develop new types of batteries – with a special focus on sustainability. KIT and the Ulm University are participating in the project via the CELEST research platform. At the same time, the project boosts the research activities in the joint POLiS cluster of excellence.
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Image: sketch of a rat with an optical cochlea implant; Copyright: Dr. Daniel Keppeler, Institute for Auditory Neurosciences, UMG

On the way to the optical cochlear implant


The cochlear implant enables worldwide over 700,000 people with reduced hearing and deaf people to hear again. So far, the auditory nerve has been stimulated by electrical impulses. The quality of this artificial hearing differs greatly from natural hearing. Due to the extensive current propagation in the cochlea, large groups of nerve cells are activated instead of just a few nerve cells.
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Image: additively manufactured Hairpin traction motor; Copyright: Additive Drives

EXIST research transfer: more powerful electric motors with 3D printing


Using a novel 3D printing process, four spin-offs of the newly launched EXIST research transfer "Additive Drives" at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg want to increase the performance and efficiency of current electric machines.
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Image: lithium electrodes hold by hands in blue gloves; Copyright: Bastian Krueger

A look inside a battery


What happens inside a battery at the microscopic level during charging and discharging processes? A team of scientists led by Prof. Gunther Wittstock of the University of Oldenburg's Chemistry Department recently presented a new technique for live observation of processes that until now have been largely unobservable in the scientific journal ChemElectroChem.
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Image: Long doorhandle in a hospital; Copyright: PantherMedia /

Surface coating inactivates virus that causes COVID-19


A chemical engineering professor at Virginia Tech has developed a surface coating that, when painted on common objects, inactivates SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
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Image: A black and white drawing of a cochlear implant; Copyright: PantherMedia/olga kuchevska

Improved cochlear implant allows MRI in children without discomfort


A study from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago found that children with a MED-EL Synchrony cochlear implant device can undergo MRI safely, with no discomfort and reduced need for sedation or anesthesia. Findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Laryngoscope.
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Image: Facemasks of different shape, color and material; Copyright: PantherMedia/Maridav (YAYMicro)

Masks: the best (and worst) materials


It is intuitive and scientifically shown that wearing a face covering can help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. But not all masks are created equal, according to new University of Arizona-led research.
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Image: Microchip in beige on a white plate; Copyright: Bernd Müller/Fraunhofer IBMT

VISION - A microfluidic chip system as an alternative to animal experiments


Since mid-2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT has been developing an analysis platform as an alternative to animal experiments in drug development as partner in the BMBF-funded project "VISION", coordinated by Saarland University.
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