Bonnie Gray

Bonnie Gray, professor at Simon Fraser University.

Editors’ Choice—Development of Screen-Printed Flexible Multi-Level Microfluidic Devices with Integrated Conductive Nanocomposite Polymer Electrodes on Textiles

Bonnie Gray, a professor at Simon Fraser University’s school of engineering science, was inspired by the city of Vancouver in British Columbia in her latest work.

“Vancouver is well-known for its technical clothing, and I have a lot of friends in the film industry who work in costume design. A combination of these influences and my own engineering background caused me to look further into integrating clothing with technology. That’s how I went on to become involved in developing screen-printed flexible multi-level microfluidic devices on textiles,” said Gray, which led to the fruition of her and lead author Daehan Chung‘s research paper, “Development of Screen-Printed Flexible Multi-Level Microfluidic Devices with Integrated Conductive Nanocomposite Polymer Electrodes on Textiles.”

In their open access paper, published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, the pair “present a flexible plastisol-based microfluidic process integrated with conductive nanoparticle composite polymer (C-NCP) electrodes for flexible active microfluidic devices on textile substrates.”

According to Gray, flexible and wearable microfluidic devices are among the newest wearable devices for applications in health monitoring, drug delivery systems, and bio-signal sensing. (more…)

Technical Editor Ajit Khosla and Guest Editors Nick Wu, Peter Hesketh, Muthukumaran Packirisamy, Praveen Kumar Sekhar, Aicheng Chen, Shekhar Bhansali, Jessica Koehne, Larry Nagahara, Thomas Thundat, Netz Arroyo, Kumkum Ahmed, Trisha Andrew, Rangachary Mukundan, and Jeffrey Halpern invite you to submit to the Journal of The Electrochemical Society focus issue on sensor reviews.

Submission deadline | September 18, 2019

Submit manuscripts

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Interface magazinesAdvertise with ECS

The fall issue of Interface, our quarterly membership magazine, is the perfect opportunity to get your organization’s brand in front of over 6,000 electrochemistry and solid state scientists and engineers! This publication contains technical articles about the latest developments in the field and presents news and information about and for members of ECS. (more…)

Sushanta Mitra, lead author, mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor at the University of Waterloo, and executive director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology.

“There are a lot of sensors that have been made, a lot of reliable sensors which work really well independently; however, the decision-making always requires a human,” said Ajit Khosla, sensors technical editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) and chair of The Electrochemical Society’s Sensor Division. Which is why the paper, “Artificial Intelligence Based Mobile Application for Water Quality Monitoring” piqued Khosla’s interest in particular.

“AI powered sensors are the future.”

“This is the first time that we have received and accepted a journal paper which involves artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, water quality management, and sensors,” said Khosla. “This work represents an example of one of those initial steps towards a smart technology driven sustainable society where data acquired by sensors helps AI make human-like decisions or human-like operations. Quantum sensors, quantum computing, and AI will transform the way we live and will play an integral role in achieving sustainability and a sustainable world. AI powered sensors are the future.” (more…)

The recent fatal crash of a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft is forcing officials to take a closer look at the airplanes safety system. The accident—which happened just minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 passengers aboard the Ethiopian Airline—is suspected of being a result of a faulty sensory system built to stabilize the aircraft in flight, known as Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), according to USA Today.

Why was the MCAS added?

Boeing had originally added the MCAS after redesigning its 737 platform for the Max, changing the placement and size of the aircraft’s engines, consequently altering how the jet handled in flight. As a result, the Max tended to raise its nose in flight; a movement called pitch. If a plane pitches too high, it could lead to crashing or stalling of the aircraft—something the MCAS was installed to detect and prevent. (more…)

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According to some scientists, humans are born with an innate sixth sense. And no, it’s not the ability to see ghosts like in the 1999 horror film. It’s the sense of proprioception: the perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body. This sense is what helps us coordinate our movements. For example, if you close your eyes, there remains a sense of awareness of where your muscles and body parts are located, the distance between them, and the perception of how they’re moving relative to one another, according to SingularityHub.

This complex sense is one that is difficult to recreate in robots, as solid state sensors traditionally used in robotics are unable to capture the high-dimensional deformations of soft systems. However, embedded soft resistive sensors have the potential to address this challenge. Using this approach, scientists are getting closer to overcoming the challenge with new techniques that involve an array of sensory material and machine-learning algorithms. (more…)

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On a Friday afternoon in 2011, residents of northeastern Japan were hit by a six minute earthquake—shifting the country’s main island by eight feet— triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached up to 120 feet in height, according to Futurity.

Tsunami warnings had initially broadcasted minutes before its arrival; unfortunately, underestimating its size. Many failed to evacuate to higher ground as a result; a total of 15,894 deaths resulted from the natural disaster. Japan has since installed a network of seismic and pressure sensors on the ocean floor that have raised the bar for tsunami early-warning systems worldwide.

New research, which appears in Geophysical Research Letters, suggests how warnings could be more accurate by combining data streaming in real-time from sensors, like those in Japan, with tsunami simulations.

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When it comes to growing crops, it’s a balancing act. You need just the right amount of sun, water, and soil composition to keep plants happy and blooming.

Researchers have recently discovered that light sensors might be able to help with that. According to New Food, the sensors work by actively measuring the various wavelengths of light coming off of crop leaves. These measurements are then used to calculate how much nitrogen crops need for optimal health. (more…)

Credit: ACS Publications

Most of us don’t stop to think about it, but the skin on our body is pretty remarkable. The largest organ in the body can detect pressure, temperature changes, pain, and touch, all made possible thanks to the many nerves and receptors underneath our skin. With all that said, it’s easy to understand why it’s hard to duplicate this unique organ. But, according to ScienceDaily, researchers are working to do just that. Their goal is to reproduce and transfer these qualities into a manmade electronic skin technology that can be used in prosthetic devices, wearable health monitors, robotics, and virtual reality. (more…)

30 Under 30 in Energy

Perk up people, this is the Forbes list 30 under 30 in energy edition. According to Forbes, each year their reporters spend months combing through possible contestants. Questionnaires, online digging, contact recommendations, and a panel of expert judges all help sift through to the top remaining candidates.

This year, Forbes focused on the movers and shakers of the battery field. With a worldwide $200 billion a year investment in wind and solar power generation projects, the revolution in renewables, and the transition to low-carbon energy sources is undeniable. And for that reason, we highlight three—just the tip of the iceburg—from the top thirty list.

Meghana Bollimpalli

Meghana Bollimpalli/Credit: Forbes

I don’t know what you were doing when you were 17, but Meghana Bollimpalli, a student at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas was inspired by a seminar on energy storage. Bollimpalli began working towards figuring out a way to make supercapacitors from cheaper materials. She discovered a mixture of tea powder, molasses, and tannin, with a pinch of phosphorous and nitrogen, could achieve the same performance as a platinum-based electrode, for just $1 each, taking home the 2018 Intel Foundation Young Scientist award. Not bad for a high school student. (more…)

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