Researchers at the University of Washington have designed a convenient and natural product that uses proteins to rebuild tooth enamel and treat dental cavities. The method takes inspiration from the body’s own natural tooth-forming proteins and is detailed in a new paper by lead author Mehmet Sarikaya (MSE, ChemE).
GEMSEC researchers, in collaboration with colleagues at Tokyo Institute of Technology, in Japan, examined the self-organization behavior of the genetically engineered docdecapeptides on graphene surface using electrical bias. Supported by NSF's Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), research out of GEMSEC Labs aims for practical implementations in biosensing, bioelectronics and biophotonics applications and next generation biology-guided, solid state devices in future technology and medicine.
Authors are Takakazu Seki, Christopher R. So,* Tamon R. Page*, David Starkebaum,* Yuhei Hayamizu, and Mehmet Sarikaya*. (*GEMSEC members).
Research into renewable energy has taken an exciting new direction in recent years with new lost-cost high-efficiency solar cells made from perovskites. Methylammonium lead perovskite solar cell research heads a list of the most prominent scientific topics on SciVal from 2014-2017, and UW MSE Professor Emeritus Alex Jen is listed as one of the top ten most productive researchers in the field worldwide. The University of Washington is the number four global institution publishing the most highly cited perovskite solar cell research.
Materials Science & Engineering graduate student Robert Masse is passionate about renewable energy technology and its potential contribution to addressing climate change. His business, Astrolabe Analytics (formerly Cloud Instruments), focuses on improving battery analytics to assist the quest for better batteries. Masse recently won the Global Student Entrepreneur Award and is featured in GeekWire as a "Geek of the Week."
The outsized impact of materials science on today’s world has prompted UW and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to create the Northwest Institute for Materials Physics, Chemistry and Technology — or NW IMPACT. The new joint research endeavor will power discoveries and advancements in materials that transform energy, telecommunications, medicine, information technology and other fields.
For the last decade, Aaron Feaver has used his entrepreneurial drive to pioneer the development of new low-carbon dioxide energy sources. His commitment to developing solutions in clean energy has solidified Washington state as a leader in the movement to reduce carbon dioxide in the environment, a driver of climate change. In 2003, Aaron left a career at Boeing to build a company in the field of renewable energy. He chose to pursue a degree in materials science and engineering to develop the technology. As a Ph.D. student, he researched low-cost carbon materials for hydrogen storage, laying the foundation for the energy start-up EnerG2. More about Aaron Feaver »
The 2018 Diamond Awards will be held on Thursday, May 10, 6–9 p.m.
EpiForAll started as an idea in UW Engineering's Engineering Innovation in Health class and is now on the path toward commercialization -- and bringing down skyrocketing cost of life-saving medicine.
EpiForAll won a first-place prize in the UW Buerk Center’s Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge, which came with a $15,000 award. That gave the EpiForAll team a high profile, as well as money to keep the project working.
Peter Pauzauskie, an assistant professor in MSE, leads a research team that has developed a fast, inexpensive method to make electrodes for supercapacitors, with applications in electric cars, wireless telecommunications and high-powered lasers. The team published a paper in the journal Nature Microsystems and Nanoengineering describing their supercapacitor electrode and their novel production method that starts with carbon-rich materials dried into a low-density matrix, or aerogel. This aerogel on its own can act as a crude electrode, but Pauzauskie’s team more than doubled its capacitance. "One gram of aerogel contains about as much surface area as one football field," said Pauzauskie.
"If you want to interface electronics and biology, you need a material that effectively communicates across those two realms," says David Ginger, senior author of a paper published in Nature Materials. UW researchers directly measured a thin film made of a single type of conjugated polymer — a conducting plastic — as it interacted with ions (in biology) and electrons (technology). Variations in the polymer layout yielded rigid and non-rigid regions of the film, and these regions could accommodate electrons or ions — but not both equally.
MSE Associate Professor and co-author Christine Luscombe, along with her team at the UW’s Clean Energy and Molecular Engineering and Science institutes, made new poly(3-hexylthiophene) films that had different levels of rigidity based on variations in polymer arrangement to confirm that structural variations in the polymer were the cause of variations in electrochemical properties of the film.
Bruce Hinds' research group is pioneering efforts in "active" membranes that selectively electro-pump target bio-molecules. During dialysis, this will allow recovery of important nutrients and proteins for chemical balance, and can be contained in a compact device. Read more »
The UW Clean Energy Institute (CEI) created the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds to increase the rate at which breakthrough science and engineering discoveries turn into market-adopted clean energy technologies. The state-of-the-art user facility has labs for manufacturing prototypes, testing devices, and integrating systems. CEI unveiled the Testbeds on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at a celebration with Washington Governor Jay Inslee, cleantech leaders, and clean energy researchers. Materials Science & Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Professor J. Devin MacKenzie — a seasoned cleantech entrepreneur and global expert in electronic materials and emerging manufacturing methods for energy devices, displays, and communication — will lead the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds.
Photo credit: Matt Hagen
Current whitening products typically contain hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient, which remove discoloration by dissolving stained minerals from the surface of teeth. Although this chemical-etching process reveals a fresh surface, it is often at the expense of removing healthy enamel — the fully mineralized crown of teeth which provides protection and cannot regenerate. As a consequence, the inner layer, dentin, becomes exposed — creating complications, such as hypersensitivity and increased susceptibility to caries (cavities), which, taken together, far outweigh the cosmetic benefits.
Newly developed tooth-whitening lozenges dissolve in saliva recruiting calcium and phosphate ions to the surface of teeth and create a new mineral layer through a restorative process thereby eliminating undesirable stains. When fully developed through the Catalyst Project, whitening lozenges will be used, clinically and over-the-counter product worldwide, for both therapeutic (remineralization) and cosmetic (whitening) purposes providing a safer alternative to the existing peroxide-containing corrosive treatments.
The Whitening Lozenge Team members (l to r): Sanaz Saadat (grad student, Oral Health Sciences), Sami Dogan (Assistant Professor and Clinician, Restorative Dentistry), Mehmet Sarikaya (Professor and PI, MSE), Deniz Yucesoy (MSE grad student and The Catalyst Lead, MSE), and Hanson Fong (Research Scientist, MSE).
MSE associate professor Xiaodong Xu, along with Arka Majumdar, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics, and their team have discovered an important first step towards building electrically pumped nanolasers (or light-based sources). These lasers are critical in the development of integrated photonic based short-distance optical interconnects and sensors. Short distance optical interconnects can improve the performance of data centers, allowing them to be energy-efficient and support high performance parallel computing. The results were published in a recent edition of Nano Letters.