Founded in 1870, as a land-grant university and ninth university in Ohio with the Morrill Act of 1862, the university was originally known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The college began with a focus on training students in various agricultural and mechanical disciplines but was developed into a comprehensive university under the direction of Governor Rutherford B. Hayes and by 1878, the college changed its name to its current name. It has since grown into the third largest university campus in the United States. In 2007, Ohio State was officially designated as the flagship institution of Ohio’s public universities as part of the newly centralized University System of Ohio. Along with its main campus in Columbus, Ohio State also operates a regional campus system with regional campuses in Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark, and Wooster.
The university is also home to an extensive student life program, with over 1,000 student organizations; intercollegiate, club and recreational sports programs; student media organizations and publications, fraternities and sororities; and an active student government association.
Ohio State University research articles from Innovation Toronto
- Young women in STEM fields earn up to one-third less than men – May 11, 2016
- Computers in your clothes? A milestone for wearable electronics – April 14, 2016
- New tools for harvesting wind energy may soon look less like giant windmills and more like tiny leafless trees – February 2, 2016
- Two-in-one packaging may increase drug efficacy and reduce side effects – January 12, 2016
- Tooth fillings of the future may incorporate bioactive glass – December 27, 2015
- Eco-friendly Battery and Solar Cell All-in-One – December 9, 2015
- How DNA and a supercomputer can help sustain honey bee populations – November 15, 2015
- Could flu someday be prevented without a vaccine? – August 12, 2015
- New design brings world’s first solar battery to performance milestone – August 2, 2015
- Scientists develop mesh that captures oil—but lets water through – April 17, 2015
- A Virtual Patient: Avatar Shows Emotions as He Talks to Med Students – March 2, 2015
- The future of electronics—now in 2D – February 15, 2015
- Making Old Lungs Look New Again – October 8, 2014
- Batteries Included: A Solar Cell that Stores its Own Power – October 3, 2014
- Over-the-counter pain reliever may restore immune function in old age – September 3, 2014
- World’s Smallest, Leadless Heart Pacemaker Implanted – May 3, 2014
- Tapping a Valuable Resource or Invading the Environment? Research Examines the Start of Fracking in Ohio
- University Hospitals Eye Institute to offer ‘first bionic eye’ retinal chip for blind
- VIDEO: Can We Turn Unwanted Carbon Dioxide Into Electricity? | energy technologies
- Study Reveals Potential Breakthrough in Hearing Technology
- New Drug Candidate Found for Deadly Fungal Lung Infections
- New Kind of Ultraviolet LED could Lead to Portable, Low-Cost Devices
- Competition Changes How People View Strangers Online
- Nano Drug Crosses Blood-Brain Tumor Barrier, Targets Brain Tumor Cells and Blood Vessels
- Farming Carbon: Study Reveals Potent Carbon-Storage Potential of Human-Made Wetlands
- Researchers Move Closer to Low-Cost, Implantable Electronics
- The Body Electric: Researchers Move Closer to Low-Cost, Implantable Electronics
- Redesigned Material Could Lead to Lighter, Faster Electronics
- New Coal Technology Harnesses Energy Without Burning, Captures 99% of CO2
- An Apple a Day Lowers Level of Blood Chemical Linked to Hardening of the Arteries
- Robotic Surgery Through The Mouth Safe For Removing Tumors Of The Voice Box, Study Shows
- Study in Mice Discovers Injection of Heat-Generating Cells Reduces Belly Fat
- Scientists Dramatically Reduce Plaque-Forming Substances in Mice with Alzheimer’s Disease
- Genetically Engineered Algae for Biofuel Pose Potential Risks That Should Be Studied
- One Step Closer to New Kind of Thermoelectric ‘Heat Engine’
- Oral Cancer Expert Finds Unexpected Treatment Breakthrough From Raspberries and Old Breast Cancer Therapy
- Plant With ‘Eggbeater’ Texture Inspires Waterproof Coating
- Antennas in Your Clothes? New Design Could Pave the Way
- New finding could lead to sunburn-healing drugs
- Self-taught metallurgist creates lighter, stronger steel in a flash
- 3D microscope lens developed
- ‘M8′ Earthquake Simulation Breaks Computational Records, Promises Better Quake Models
- Researchers demonstrate first plastic spintronic computer memory device
- NASA Demonstrates Tsunami Prediction System
- Researchers Boost Production Of Biofuel That Could Replace Gasoline
- Researchers Develop Device to Mitigate Blackouts, Prevent Equipment Damage
- The Seeds That Federal Money Can Plant
- New nanocrystals let solar panels generate electricity and hydrogen gas
- Race Against the Machine
- Beamed core antimatter propulsion – more efficient, but don’t hold your breath!
- Publishers vs. Libraries: An E-Book Tug of War
- Anonymity and the Dark Side of the Internet
Composite material yields 10 times—or higher—voltage output
The same researchers who pioneered the use of a quantum mechanical effect to convert heat into electricity have figured out how to make their technique work in a form more suitable to industry.
In Nature Communications, engineers from The Ohio State University describe how they used magnetism on a composite of nickel and platinum to amplify the voltage output 10 times or more—not in a thin film, as they had done previously, but in a thicker piece of material that more closely resembles components for future electronic devices.
Many electrical and mechanical devices, such as car engines, produce heat as a byproduct of their normal operation. It’s called “waste heat,” and its existence is required by the fundamental laws of thermodynamics, explained study co-author Stephen Boona.
But a growing area of research called solid-state thermoelectrics aims to capture that waste heat inside specially designed materials to generate power and increase overall energy efficiency.
“Over half of the energy we use is wasted and enters the atmosphere as heat,” said Boona, a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State. “Solid-state thermoelectrics can help us recover some of that energy. These devices have no moving parts, don’t wear out, are robust and require no maintenance. Unfortunately, to date, they are also too expensive and not quite efficient enough to warrant widespread use. We’re working to change that.”
In 2012, the same Ohio State research group, led by Joseph Heremans, demonstrated that magnetic fields could boost a quantum mechanical effect called the spin Seebeck effect, and in turn boost the voltage output of thin films made from exotic nano-structured materials from a few microvolts to a few millivolts.
In this latest advance, they’ve increased the output for a composite of two very common metals, nickel with a sprinkling of platinum, from a few nanovolts to tens or hundreds of nanovolts—a smaller voltage, but in a much simpler device that requires no nanofabrication and can be readily scaled up for industry.
Heremans, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Nanotechnology, said that, to some extent, using the same technique in thicker pieces of material required that he and his team rethink the equations that govern thermodynamics and thermoelectricity, which were developed before scientists knew about quantum mechanics. And while quantum mechanics often concerns photons—waves and particles of light—Heremans’ research concerns magnons—waves and particles of magnetism.
“Basically, classical thermodynamics covers steam engines that use steam as a working fluid, or jet engines or car engines that use air as a working fluid. Thermoelectrics use electrons as the working fluid. And in this work, we’re using quanta of magnetization, or ‘magnons,’ as a working fluid,” Heremans said.
Research in magnon-based thermodynamics was up to now always done in thin films—perhaps only a few atoms thick—and even the best-performing films produce very small voltages.
In the 2012 paper, his team described hitting electrons with magnons to push them through thermoelectric materials. In the current Nature Communications paper, they’ve shown that the same technique can be used in bulk pieces of composite materials to further improve waste heat recovery.
Instead of applying a thin film of platinum on top of a magnetic material as they might have done before, the researchers distributed a very small amount of platinum nanoparticles randomly throughout a magnetic material—in this case, nickel. The resulting composite produced enhanced voltage output due to the spin Seebeck effect. This means that for a given amount of heat, the composite material generated more electrical power than either material could on its own. Since the entire piece of composite is electrically conducting, other electrical components can draw the voltage from it with increased efficiency compared to a film.
While the composite is not yet part of a real-world device, Heremans is confident the proof-of-principle established by this study will inspire further research that may lead to applications for common waste heat generators, including car and jet engines. The idea is very general, he added, and can be applied to a variety of material combinations, enabling entirely new approaches that don’t require expensive metals like platinum or delicate processing procedures like thin-film growth.
Nanotech enables powerful and portable sterilization equipment
For the first time, researchers have created light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on lightweight flexible metal foil.
Engineers at The Ohio State University are developing the foil based LEDs for portable ultraviolet (UV) lights that soldiers and others can use to purify drinking water and sterilize medical equipment.
In the journal Applied Physics Letters, the researchers describe how they designed the LEDs to shine in the high-energy “deep” end of the UV spectrum. The university will license the technology to industry for further development.
Deep UV light is already used by the military, humanitarian organizations and industry for applications ranging from detection of biological agents to curing plastics, explained Roberto Myers, associate professor of materials science and engineering at Ohio State.
The problem is that conventional deep-UV lamps are too heavy to easily carry around.
“Right now, if you want to make deep ultraviolet light, you’ve got to use mercury lamps,” said Myers, who is also an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. “Mercury is toxic and the lamps are bulky and electrically inefficient. LEDs, on the other hand, are really efficient, so if we could make UV LEDs that are safe and portable and cheap, we could make safe drinking water wherever we need it.”
He noted that other research groups have fabricated deep-UV LEDs at the laboratory scale, but only by using extremely pure, rigid single-crystal semiconductors as substrates—a strategy that imposes an enormous cost barrier for industry.
Foil-based nanotechnology could enable large-scale production of a lighter, cheaper and more environmentally friendly deep-UV LED. But Myers and materials science doctoral student Brelon J. May hope that their technology will do something more: turn a niche research field known as nanophotonics into a viable industry.
“People always said that nanophotonics will never be commercially important, because you can’t scale them up. Well, now we can. We can make a sheet of them if we want,” Myers said. “That means we can consider nanophotonics for large-scale manufacturing.”
In part, this new development relies on a well-established semiconductor growth technique known as molecular beam epitaxy, in which vaporized elemental materials settle on a surface and self-organize into layers or nanostructures. The Ohio State researchers used this technique to grow a carpet of tightly packed aluminum gallium nitride wires on pieces of metal foil such as titanium and tantalum.
The individual wires measure about 200 nanometers tall and about 20-50 nanometers in diameter—thousands of times narrower than a human hair and invisible to the naked eye.
In laboratory tests, the nanowires grown on metal foils lit up nearly as brightly as those manufactured on the more expensive and less flexible single-crystal silicon.
The researchers are working to make the nanowire LEDs even brighter, and will next try to grow the wires on foils made from more common metals, including steel and aluminum.
New research in Science and Technology of Advanced Materials discovers that nanoscale manipulation on the surface of materials could stimulate cells to differentiate into specific tissues – eliminating the use of growth or transcription factors.
Researchers are trying to find ways to control cellular response in vitro using engineered materials in a continuous pursuit to regenerate injured or diseased tissues. Recent studies have found that nanoscale structure of the materials, on which such cells are cultured, affect how well they proliferate and develop into the tissues they are meant to become.
Scientists from the University of Malaya in Malaysia, Dr. Belinda Pingguan-Murphy et al., together with Prof. Sheikh Ali Akbar of Ohio State University, reviewed the most recent research on how the nanoscale topographies affect cellular regenerative responses.
For example, human fetal osteoblast cells that are involved in bone formation were found to grow better on materials that had tiny protrusions on their surfaces (11 nanometers in height) compared to surfaces that were either flat or had higher protrusions. They also attached better to surfaces with nanosized pits that were 14 nm or 29 nm deep compared to flat surfaces and surfaces with pits that were 45 nm deep.
Research has also found that the distance between pits or protrusions and whether they are random or highly ordered also affect how osteoblasts and stem cells respond. Additionally, nanoscale grooved surfaces trigger these cells to grow in the direction of the grooves.
Generally, when a material is exposed to a biological fluid, water molecules bind rapidly to the surface followed by the incorporation of chloride and sodium ions. Proteins then adsorb to this surface. The resulting mixture of proteins, as well as their three-dimensional shape and orientation with respect to the surface topography, sends signals to the cells influencing their attachment and spreading.
Further research in this area may lead to the development of clinical prostheses with topographies that can directly modulate stem cell fate, enabling cell growth and development to be tailored to a specific application without using potentially harmful chemicals, write the researchers in their review published in the journal of Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. However, developing low-cost, high-output fabrication techniques that allow for the development of specific nano-topographies is still a limiting factor.
Good news for the millions of people who suffer from skin wounds that won’t heal. A team of researchers at The Ohio State University has brought a potentially transformative solution to the problem by creating a portable adhesive patch that drives a continuous, small electrical current to stimulate healing and reduce the risk of infection.
Nearly 7 million Americans have chronic wounds – typically a result of diabetes, obesity or other conditions that impact circulation – costing the healthcare system nearly $25 billion each year. The non-healing wounds are painful, can permanently damage nerves, prevent mobility and in extreme cases, cause infection that can lead to death.
The patch’s design significantly advances existing FDA-approved wireless electroceutical dressing (WED) that harnesses the body’s innate response to injury to help wounds heal.
“A wound naturally produces its own electrical fields that help reduce bacteria and promote cell regeneration; however, this function is likely impaired in chronic wounds,” said Sashwati Roy, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at Ohio State’s College of Medicine. “The prototype dressing mimics this physiological process, and while it has proven to create an optimal environment where chronic wounds can heal, we are always looking for new ways to keep pathogens under better control.”
Roy notes that chronic wounds are particularly susceptible to infection because bacteria, which at times are free floating within a wound – can sometimes mobilize, creating colonies covered by a thick sticky coating called a biofilm. The immune system cannot penetrate the biofilm, and antibiotics can’t get in either – causing constant inflammation and low-level infection that can further dampen the healing process.
Now, with support from Ohio State’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), researchers from both the College of Engineering and the College of Medicine are taking the technology to the next level. Working with a mechanical and aerospace engineering team led by Shaurya Prakash, PhD and Vish Subramaniam, PhD, the scientists have optimized the bandage’s design and the amount of electrical current delivered. Like present WEDs, the new prototype is flexible, portable and self-contained. Made of silk and silver, the experimental dressing includes a self-contained battery that delivers a continuous, safe, low-level electrical current to the injury.
“We’re hoping this new design may allow electric fields and currents to penetrate more deeply into wounds, and really get to where these biofilms may be hiding,” said Subramaniam, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Ohio State. “The destruction of the biofilm would enable antibiotics to start killing off bacteria, reduce chronic inflammation and allow the body’s natural immune response to work more effectively. Bacteria are known to quickly acquire resistance against antibiotics, but to our knowledge, bacteria do not develop resistance against electroceuticals.”
To test the experimental design, Roy and a team of scientists developed an animal model to mimic the skin function of a person suffering from metabolic syndrome – obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar – which mirrors the type of patient that typically develops chronic wounds. Animal models had skin injuries infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus or Acinetobacter baumannii, three different types of bacteria that commonly infect wounds and develop biofilms that are treatment resistant.
Early results, which were presented at the Wound Healing Society’s Annual Meeting in April 2016 indicate that infected wounds covered by the experimental bioelectric dressing healed better and more quickly than those covered with a plain dressing that is commonly used in the care of wounds today. Scientists hypothesize that the electrical currents may disrupt bacteria in two ways: by interrupting the production of chemical messages that instruct bacteria to develop biofilms and by weakening the molecular structure of existing biofilms, potentially making them more susceptible to antibiotics or the body’s natural immune response.
The team’s next move is to focus on the bioelectric bandage as a treatment for chronic wounds in a patient population; however, the technology could also be used to treat acute injuries. Roy also notes that the U. S. Department of Defense is very interested in the dressing as a temporary measure to help prevent infection in soldiers wounded on the battle front.
“This technology has a long shelf life and is compact enough to be put into any field medical kit. It could be applied immediately to wounds help keep bacteria from mobilizing and start promoting healing until the soldier could be transported to a facility for more intensive medical care.”
The team already has interest from several industry partners, and is hoping to begin testing the new technology in patients before the end of the year to determine optimal treatment duration and more about the healing effects of electrical fields on skin cells on a molecular level.
While most farmers are actively trying to kill weeds, researchers in Ohio are trying to grow them – fast. Taraxacum kok-saghyz, a special variety of dandelion from Kazakhstan — nicknamed “Buckeye Gold” by the researchers studying it — may be the answer to sustainable and U.S.-based rubber-making.
An article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, examines the plants’ potential for revolutionizing the rubber industry.
Melody Bomgardner, a senior editor at C&EN, takes a look at the work of Katrina Cornish, a researcher currently studying Buckeye Gold at the Ohio State University. While it might look like a regular dandelion, this variety’s roots contain 10-15 percent natural rubber. The goal is to cultivate these dandelions to the point where they can become an industrial rubber crop. Currently, rubber trees that grow on plantations in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia take years to grow, making it hard for producers to adapt to changes in the market. Also, transporting the material is costly to both the industry and the environment. With Buckeye Gold, crops can be grown locally, and they mature much faster than rubber trees.
Top scenario is adoption of agricultural best management practices
Harmful algal blooms dangerous to human health and the Lake Erie ecosystem—such as the one that shut down Toledo’s water supply for two days in 2014—could become a problem of the past.
A new report shows that if farmers apply agricultural best management practices (BMPs) on half the cropland in the Maumee River watershed, the amount of total phosphorus and dissolved reactive phosphorus leaving the watershed would drop by 40 percent in an average rainfall year—the amount agreed to in the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the U.S. and Canada.
Scientists believe that a drop of this magnitude would keep algal blooms at safe levels for people and the lake.
“With aggressive adoption of best management practices, it is possible to reduce harmful algal blooms to safe levels while maintaining agricultural productivity,” said Jay Martin, ecological engineer in The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and co-author of the study.
For the first time ever, a paralyzed man can move his fingers and hand with his own thoughts thanks to an innovative partnership between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Battelle.
Ian Burkhart, a 23-year-old quadriplegic from Dublin, Ohio, is the first patient to use Neurobridge, an electronic neural bypass for spinal cord injuries that reconnects the brain directly to muscles, allowing voluntary and functional control of a paralyzed limb. Burkhart is the first of a potential five participants in a clinical study.
“It’s much like a heart bypass, but instead of bypassing blood, we’re actually bypassing electrical signals,” said Chad Bouton, research leader at Battelle. “We’re taking those signals from the brain, going around the injury, and actually going directly to the muscles.”
The Neurobridge technology combines algorithms that learn and decode the user’s brain activity and a high-definition muscle stimulation sleeve that translates neural impulses from the brain and transmits new signals to the paralyzed limb. In this case, Ian’s brain signals bypass his injured spinal cord and move his hand, hence the name Neurobridge.