Oakland University offers COVID-19 sensing, tracking devices to students, staff amid rising cases

The first batch of BioButtons has arrived at Oakland University as cases of COVID-19 increase on campus and throughout Michigan.

The university received 1,500 of the wearable devices for students and faculty and began distributing them at the beginning of the week, said David Stone, OU’S chief research officer.

The devices, purchased from Denver-based BioIntelliSense for $90,000, are being used for early detection of the coronavirus by measuring temperature and vital signs. Funded through federal CARES Act money, they are being offered free of charge to OU students and employees.

“This is a way to limit outbreaks,” Stone said. “We want to keep one case in a dorm from becoming 50.”

COVID-19 cases tied to OU remained in the single digits this fall until the last week in October, when 29 commuter students tested positive for the coronavirus, according to university data. The following week, OU had an outbreak on campus with 13 residential students testing positive along with another 47 commuters.

Many colleges and universities in Michigan became coronavirus hot spots when classes resumed in late August and early September. That caused Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to temporarily suspend in-person learning and some schools, including University of Michigan, to tell students to stay home in the winter.

Nearly all classes at Oakland this fall have been online, although 1,700 students remain living on campus. The university has yet to decide what proportion of classes will be conducted in-person for winter, Stone said.

OU contemplated making the BioButton devices mandatory for those on campus but quickly scrapped the idea. Stone said the more students who do opt into wearing the BioButton, the better the chances of containing outbreaks and keeping campus open.

The biggest hurdle will be getting students comfortable with the idea of wearing a data tracker, he said.

“We’ve done very little marketing, and we certainly haven’t knocked down a lot of concerns about student privacy,” he said. “We’re trying to get students to understand that their health data isn’t compromised… We really did design this in a way that the university does not get anybody’s data.”

Here’s how the BioButton works: The medical grade device about the size of a half dollar sticks to the upper chest and connects via Bluetooth to a mobile phone app, which alerts users to potential symptoms of the coronavirus. Additionally, if someone wearing a BioButton tests positive for the virus, the app alerts other BioButton users who were in close proximity to that individual.

The device is used for contact tracing, but it does not track the movement of students, Stone said. The BioButton has a lifespan of about 90 days.

A couple hundred of the devices have been claimed so far. Stone said he expects more to be distributed next week when classes resume after Thanksgiving. He said the university expects to purchase more to meet demand.

“We have lots of students going home to families,” he said. “We still think there’s real value individually to people knowing their status.”


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Tailoring 2-D materials to improve electronic and optical devices

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

New possibilities for future developments in electronic and optical devices have been unlocked by recent advancements in two-dimensional (2-D) materials, according to Penn State researchers.

The researchers, led by Shengxi Huang, assistant professor of electrical engineering and biomedical engineering at Penn State, recently published the results of two separate but related discoveries regarding their success with altering the thin 2-D materials for applications in many optical and electronic devices. By altering the material in two different ways—atomically and physically—the researchers were able to enhance light emission and increase signal strength, expanding the bounds of what is possible with devices that rely on these materials.

In the first method, the researchers modified the atomic makeup of the materials. In commonly used 2-D materials, researchers rely on the interaction between the thin layers, known as van der Waals interlayer coupling, to create charge transfer that is then used in devices. However, this interlayer coupling is limited because the charges are traditionally distributed evenly on the two sides of each layer.

In order to strengthen the coupling, the researchers created a new type of 2-D material known as Janus transition metal dichalcogenides by replacing atoms on one side of the layer with a different type of atoms, creating uneven distribution of the charge.

“This [atomic change] means the charge can be distributed unevenly,” Huang said. “That creates an electric field within the plane, and can attract different molecules because of that, which can enhance light emission.”

Also, if van der Waals interlayer coupling can be tuned to the right level by twisting layers with a certain angle, it can induce superconductivity, carrying implications for advancements in electronic and optical devices.

In the second method of altering 2-D materials to improve their capabilities, the researchers strengthened the signal that resulted from an energy up-conversion process by taking a layer of MoS2, a common 2-D material that is usually flat and thin, and rolling it into a roughly cylindrical shape.

The energy conversion process that takes place with the MoS2 material is part of a nonlinear optical effect where, if a light is shined into an object, the frequency is doubled, which is where the energy conversion comes in.

“We always want to double the frequency in this process,” Huang said. “But the signal is usually very weak, so enhancing the signal is very important.”

By rolling the material, the researchers achieved a more than 95 times signal improvement.

Now, Huang plans to put these two advances together.

“The next step for our research is answering how we can combine atomic engineering and shape engineering to create better optical devices,” she said.

A paper on the research of the atomic structure, “Enhancement of van der Waals Interlayer Coupling through Polar Janus MoSSe,” was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The paper on the research of rolling the materials, “Chirality-Dependent Second Harmonic Generation of MoS2 Nanoscroll with Enhanced Efficiency,” was published recently in ACS Nano.


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Global Atherectomy Devices Industry

Global Atherectomy Devices Market to Reach $1. 7 Billion by 2027. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for Atherectomy Devices estimated at US$1. 2 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$1.

New York, Oct. 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “Global Atherectomy Devices Industry” – https://www.reportlinker.com/p05797934/?utm_source=GNW
7 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 5% over the analysis period 2020-2027. Directional Atherectomy Devices, one of the segments analyzed in the report, is projected to record a 5.5% CAGR and reach US$644.9 Million by the end of the analysis period. After an early analysis of the business implications of the pandemic and its induced economic crisis, growth in the Orbital Atherectomy Devices segment is readjusted to a revised 4.7% CAGR for the next 7-year period.

The U.S. Market is Estimated at $319.9 Million, While China is Forecast to Grow at 7.7% CAGR

The Atherectomy Devices market in the U.S. is estimated at US$319.9 Million in the year 2020. China, the world`s second largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of US$341.7 Million by the year 2027 trailing a CAGR of 7.7% over the analysis period 2020 to 2027. Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 2.7% and 4.5% respectively over the 2020-2027 period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 3.1% CAGR.

Photo-Ablative Atherectomy Devices Segment to Record 4.8% CAGR

In the global Photo-Ablative Atherectomy Devices segment, USA, Canada, Japan, China and Europe will drive the 4.3% CAGR estimated for this segment. These regional markets accounting for a combined market size of US$132.9 Million in the year 2020 will reach a projected size of US$178.9 Million by the close of the analysis period. China will remain among the fastest growing in this cluster of regional markets. Led by countries such as Australia, India, and South Korea, the market in Asia-Pacific is forecast to reach US$220.4 Million by the year 2027, while Latin America will expand at a 5.8% CAGR through the analysis period. We bring years of research experience to this 4th edition of our report. The 377-page report presents concise insights into how the pandemic has impacted production and the buy side for 2020 and 2021. A short-term phased recovery by key geography is also addressed.

Competitors identified in this market include, among others,

  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Avinger, Inc.
  • B. Braun Melsungen AG
  • Biomerics, LLC
  • Biotronik SE & Co. KG
  • Boston Scientific Corporation
  • C.R Bard, Inc.
  • Cardinal Health, Inc.
  • Koninklijke Philips NV
  • Medtronic PLC
  • Minnetronix, Inc.
  • Ra Medical Systems, Inc.
  • Straub Medical AG
  • Terumo Corporation

Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05797934/?utm_source=GNW



A Prelude to Atherectomy
Popular Atherectomy Devices Currently Available in the Market
Atherectomy Devices Market to Witness Significant Growth
Growing Incidence of Peripheral Arterial Disease to Bolster the
Atherectomy Devices Market
Global Competitor Market Shares
Atherectomy Devices Competitor Market Share Scenario

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On-surface synthesis of graphene nanoribbons could advance quantum devices

On-surface synthesis of graphene nanoribbons could advance quantum devices
Scientists synthesized graphene nanoribbons, shown in yellow, on a titanium dioxide substrate, in blue. The lighter ends of the ribbon show magnetic states. The inset drawing shows how the ends have up and down spin, suitable for creating qubits. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

An international multi-institution team of scientists has synthesized graphene nanoribbons—ultrathin strips of carbon atoms—on a titanium dioxide surface using an atomically precise method that removes a barrier for custom-designed carbon nanostructures required for quantum information sciences.

Graphene is composed of single-atom-thick layers of carbon taking on ultralight, conductive and extremely strong mechanical characteristics. The popularly studied material holds promise to transform electronics and information science because of its highly tunable electronic, optical and transport properties.

When fashioned into nanoribbons, graphene could be applied in nanoscale devices; however, the lack of atomic-scale precision in using current state-of-the-art “top-down” synthetic methods—cutting a graphene sheet into atom-narrow strips—stymie graphene’s practical use.

Researchers developed a “bottom-up” approach—building the graphene nanoribbon directly at the atomic level in a way that it can be used in specific applications, which was conceived and realized at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, or CNMS, located at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

This absolute precision method helped to retain the prized properties of graphene monolayers as the segments of graphene get smaller and smaller. Just one or two atoms difference in width can change the properties of the system dramatically, turning a semiconducting ribbon into a metallic ribbon. The team’s results were described in Science.

ORNL’s Marek Kolmer, An-Ping Li and Wonhee Ko of the CNMS’ Scanning Tunneling Microscopy group collaborated on the project with researchers from Espeem, a private research company, and several European institutions: Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Jagiellonian University and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.

ORNL’s one-of-a-kind expertise in scanning tunneling microscopy was critical to the team’s success, both in manipulating the precursor material and verifying the results.

“These microscopes allow you to directly image and manipulate matter at the atomic scale,” Kolmer, a postdoctoral fellow and the lead author of the paper, said. “The tip of the needle is so fine that it is essentially the size of a single atom. The microscope is moving line by line and constantly measuring the interaction between the needle and the surface and rendering an atomically precise map of surface structure.”

In past graphene nanoribbon experiments, the material was synthesized on a metallic substrate, which unavoidably suppresses the electronic properties of the nanoribbons.

“Having the electronic properties of these ribbons work as designed is the whole story. From an application point of view, using a metal substrate is not useful because it screens the properties,” Kolmer said. “It’s a big challenge in this field—how do we effectively decouple the network of molecules to transfer to a transistor?”

The current decoupling approach involves removing the system from the ultra-high vacuum conditions and putting it through a multistep wet chemistry process, which requires etching the metal substrate away. This process contradicts the

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