CULLEN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

Research Breakthrough

Researchers Report High Performance Solid-State Sodium-Ion Battery

ORGANIC CATHODE OFFERS MORE RELIABLE CONTACT WITH ELECTROLYTE, A KEY TO STABILITY

 

Solid-state sodium-ion batteries are far safer than conventional lithium-ion batteries, which pose a risk of fire and explosions, but their performance has been too weak to offset the safety advantages. Researchers Friday reported developing an organic cathode that dramatically improves both stability and energy density.

Imaging Technology Will Offer New Clues to Embryonic Development

Researchers from the University of Houston and Baylor College of Medicine are developing a new technology to allow simultaneous imaging of both embryonic structural development and the molecular underpinnings that occur in the developing circulatory system.

Better Understanding Could Lead to New Prevention and Treatment for Birth Defects

 

Soon after conception, an embryo’s circulatory system connects to that of its mother. Complications that occur at this critical time can result in miscarriage or birth defects with long-term chronic conditions. Unfortunately, limitations in imaging technologies prevent researchers from fully understanding the cellular-level events leading up to this crucial point.

Researchers Report New Light-Activated Micro Pump

Researchers have announced the discovery of a laser-driven photoacoustic microfluidic pump, capable of moving fluids in any direction without moving parts or electrical contacts.

Pump Works Without Moving Parts, Electrical Contacts

 

Even the smallest mechanical pumps have limitations, from the complex microfabrication techniques required to make them to the fact that there are limits on how small they can be. Researchers have announced a potential solution – a laser-driven photoacoustic microfluidic pump, capable of moving fluids in any direction without moving parts or electrical contacts.

Lean Electrolyte Design is a Game-Changer for Magnesium Batteries

Researchers from the University of Houston and the Toyota Research Institute of America have discovered a promising new version of high-energy magnesium batteries. Photo: Getty Images

Chloride-Free Electrolyte and Organic Cathode Boosted Energy Density, Stability

 

Researchers from the University of Houston and the Toyota Research Institute of America have discovered a promising new version of high-energy magnesium batteries, with potential applications ranging from electric vehicles to battery storage for renewable energy systems.

‘Smart’ Robotic System Could Offer Home-Based Rehabilitation

While early prototypes of robotic rehabilitation systems controlled by the user's own brain required the use of skullcaps embedded with sensors, researchers are developing a simpler version that can be used at home.

Industry Partnership Supports Faster Track to Commercialize Accessible Healthcare

 

Researchers in Houston and elsewhere have shown that robotic systems controlled by the user’s own brain activity can help patients recovering from stroke and other disabling injuries. But the demonstrations have taken place in highly controlled settings, and none of the systems have been approved for use in clinics or patient’s homes.

Researchers Create Smartphone System to Test for Lead in Water

UH researchers built a self-contained smartphone microscope that can operate in both fluorescence and dark-field imaging modes and paired it with an inexpensive Lumina 640 smartphone with an 8-megapixel camera.

Unlike Most Commercially Available Tests, It Can Detect Levels Below EPA Standards

 

The discovery of lead in Flint, Michigan’s drinking water drew renewed attention to the health risks posed by the metal. Now researchers at the University of Houston have created an inexpensive system using a smartphone and a lens made with an inkjet printer that can detect lead in tap water at levels commonly accepted as dangerous.

Wearable Technology to Track Brain, Predict Illness

With a $175,000 award from the National Science Foundation, UH electrical engineer Rose T. Faghih will examine whether wrist-worn wearable devices can transform how mental-stress-related diseases are diagnosed and treated.

University of Houston researcher examines skin to predict stress, illness

University of Houston electrical engineer Rose T. Faghih has been awarded $175,000 by the National Science Foundation to examine whether wrist-worn wearable devices, like fitbits or Apple watches, can be used to peer into the brain. She thinks they can.

Nature Magazine Features UH Professor’s Work to Address Paralysis

Nature features University of Houston Professor Jose Contreras-Vidal, known for his work to improve prostheses using brain-machine interfaces.

About 3.5 million people in America are living with some degree of paralysis related to stroke, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy. Nature magazine this month published an article about scientists developing technological solutions, such as neural prostheses or devices that read brain signals and help restore movement in paralyzed patients.

Unexpected Discovery Leads to New Theory of Liquid Streaming

Yanan Wang, a post-doctoral researcher at UH, is co-first author on a paper describing the discovery of a new principle of optofluidics

UH Researchers Generate a Liquid Stream with a Pulsed Laser

Researchers at the University of Houston were studying the nonlinear transmission of light through an aqueous suspension of gold nanoparticles when they noticed something unexpected. A pulse laser appeared to have forced the movement of a stream of liquid in a glass laboratory cuvette.

Researchers Report Breakthrough in Magnesium Batteries

This schematic shows the structural evolution of titanium disulfide at different stages of intercalation. Interlayers are expanded or distorted as different amounts of pillaring molecules, complex cations and solvents are intercalated into the van der Waals gap of a host material at each stage.

Nanostructured Cathode, Understanding of New Electrolyte Lead to Greater Efficiency

Magnesium batteries offer promise for safely powering modern life – unlike traditional lithium ion batteries, they are not flammable or subject to exploding – but their ability to store energy has been limited.

Use of Brain-Computer Interface & Virtual Avatar Offers New Hope to Patients with Gait Disabilities

Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal, Cullen College professor of electrical and computer engineering

Researchers Demonstrate Non-Invasive Method Can Help People Re-Learn to Walk

Researchers from the University of Houston have shown for the first time that the use of a brain-computer interface augmented with a virtual walking avatar can control gait, suggesting the protocol may help patients recover the ability to walk after stroke, some spinal cord injuries and certain other gait disabilities.

Stanko Brankovic Wins Top Award in Field of Chemical Engineering

Stanko Brankovic's work in electrochemicals electrifies leading organization

If there were Academy Awards in the field of electrochemical material science, Stanko Brankovic, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Cullen College and past chair of the materials science division of the International Society of Electrochemistry, would be taking home an Oscar.

Inexpensive Organic Material Gives Safe Batteries a Longer Life

Yan Yao's Discovery Could Benefit Renewable Energy, Transportation, Personal Electronics

Modern batteries power everything from cars to cell phones, but they are far from perfect – they catch fire, they perform poorly in cold weather and they have relatively short lifecycles, among other issues. Now researchers from the University of Houston have described a new class of material that addresses many of those concerns in Nature Materials.

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