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  • richardmitnick 10:53 am on November 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Steerable soft robots could enhance medical applications", , Catheter-based surgery has transformed medicine giving doctors a minimally invasive way to do many things in surgical procedures., Catheter-shaped soft robots might even find their own way through semi-autonomous control., , Remotely controlled catheters are only one of many exciting potential applications that this new class of fiber-based soft robots could enable., Researchers from the Laboratory of Photonic Materials and Fiber Devices have created multifunctional catheter-shaped soft robots that when used as catheters could be remotely guided to their destinati, , The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH), To generate long fibers featuring multiple channels along their entire length the researchers had to fine-tune the drawing process parameters.   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “Steerable soft robots could enhance medical applications” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    11.28.12
    Jan Overney

    1
    Borrowing from methods used to produce optical fibers, researchers from EPFL and Imperial College have created fiber-based soft robots with advanced motion control that integrate other functionalities, such as electric and optical sensing and targeted delivery of fluids.

    Over the past decades, catheter-based surgery has transformed medicine, giving doctors a minimally invasive way to do anything from placing stents and targeting tumors to extracting tissue samples and delivering contrast agents for medical imaging. While today’s catheters are highly engineered robotic devices, in most cases, the task of pushing them through the body to the site of intervention continues to be a manual and time-consuming procedure.

    Combining advances in the development of functional fibers with developments in smart robotics, researchers from the Laboratory of Photonic Materials and Fiber Devices in EPFL’s School of Engineering have created multifunctional catheter-shaped soft robots that, when used as catheters, could be remotely guided to their destination or possibly even find their own way through semi-autonomous control. “This is the first time that we can generate soft catheter-like structures at such scalability that can integrate complex functionalities and be steered, potentially, inside the body,” says Fabien Sorin, the study’s principal investigator. Their work was published in the journal Advanced Science [below].

    The researchers created the fibers with the thermal drawing process commonly used to produce fiber optic cables, similar to pulling a long string of cheese from a fondue and letting it harden. Material choice was critical, with elastomers – elastic polymers that return to their original shape when stretched – the preferred candidate: In addition to being flexible, they are soft enough to minimize lesions of delicate body tissues. But, says Andreas Leber, the first author of the study, “Historically, thermal drawing has been restricted to hard materials. Fortunately, our group had identified a class of thermoplastic elastomers that can be drawn and maintain their elastomeric properties after drawing.”

    2
    © Alain Herzog.

    Integrating motion control, sensing, and drug delivery

    To generate long fibers featuring multiple channels along their entire length, the researchers had to fine-tune the drawing process parameters. “An important characteristic of the process is the interplay between the viscosity of the material, which lets you draw a continuous fiber, and the surface tension, which can cause the channels within them to collapse,” says Fabien Sorin.

    By getting the material properties, the drawing speed, and the temperature just right, the team could reliably produce the continuous channels, carefully arranged within the fibers at a micrometer scale, needed to give the fiber its robotic capabilities. For example, by using a motor to pull on one or several tendons introduced into channels – a well-established approach in smart catheters – doctors could control the orientation of the end of the fiber to guide it through the body.

    Besides channels, the fibers can be equipped with a variety of elements using the thermal drawing process. “In addition to the tendons, the fibers can integrate optical guides, electrodes, and microchannels that enable drug delivery, imaging, electrical recording and stimulation, and other tools commonly used in robotics and medical applications,” explains Leber.

    These functional elements also open the door to autonomous fiber-shaped robots. “The integrated optical guides give fibers the sense of sight. They can detect and avoid obstacles in their trajectory and even find targeted objects, such as cavities, all on their own,” continues Leber. Critical to this effort is a sophisticated control algorithm and software user interface developed from the ground up by the team in the lab.

    Highly scalable fabrication

    While it may sound complex, these multi-material fibers are remarkably simple to produce. “We use optical fiber fabrication technology, which is very scalable. You can generate hundreds of kilometers of optical fiber overnight. As a result, our fabrication approach brings a novel, scalable way to make soft catheter-like structures with an unprecedented combination of advanced functionalities.” says Sorin.

    Remotely controlled catheters are only one of many exciting potential applications that this new class of fiber-based soft robots could enable. “The tendon-based approach to motion control is a first step of the development of thermally drawn smart catheters. The next step will involve moving toward electrical or magnetic actuation modes and testing the exciting opportunities of such fibers one step closer to clinical applications,” says Burak Temelkuran, co-author and group leader at the Hamlyn Center for Robotic Surgery at Imperial College.

    Smart mattresses, soft prosthetics, and industrial robots

    Soft robotic fibers also have a wealth of applications outside the human body. Mattresses could be equipped with them to monitor sleep quality or change their material properties in response to sensed pressure and physiological parameters, giving users a better night’s sleep. The fibers could be used to create soft prosthetics capable of responding to excess mechanical stress on a joint by becoming stiffer. And industrial or environmental sensing applications could include self-guiding soft robots that navigate based on information sensed by integrated heat sensors, haptic sensors, and even electrical and optical systems for vision.

    Science paper:
    Advanced Science
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 2:00 pm on November 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "MPR": “multivalent pattern recognition”, "PBL": Programmable Biomaterials Laboratory, "Scientists unlock nature's secret to super-selective binding", A strong connection between one or more groups of atoms – known as ligands – to their corresponding receptor molecule on a surface., , DNA is the perfect model molecule for the "PBL’s" research., , The biophysical process of binding, The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH), When binding is triggered by a threshold density of target receptors we call this “super-selective” binding.   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “Scientists unlock nature’s secret to super-selective binding” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    11.22.22
    Celia Luterbacher

    1
    EPFL researchers have discovered that it is not just molecular density, but also pattern and structural rigidity, that control super-selective binding interactions between nanomaterials and protein surfaces. The breakthrough could help optimize existing approaches to virus prevention and cancer detection.

    So much of biology comes down to the biophysical process of binding: making a strong connection between one or more groups of atoms – known as ligands – to their corresponding receptor molecule on a surface. A binding event is the first fundamental process that allows a virus to infect a host, or chemotherapy to fight cancer. But binding interactions – at least, our understanding of them – have a ‘Goldilocks problem’: too few ligands on one molecule makes it impossible for it to stably bind with the correct target, while too many can result in undesirable side-effects.

    “When binding is triggered by a threshold density of target receptors, we call this “super-selective” binding, which is key to preventing random interactions that could dysregulate biological function,” explains Maartje Bastings, head of the Programmable Biomaterials Laboratory (PBL) in the School of Engineering. “Since nature typically doesn’t overcomplicate things, we wanted to know the minimum number of binding interactions that would still allow for super-selective binding to occur. We were also interested to know whether the pattern the ligand molecules are arranged in makes a difference in selectivity. As it turns out, it does!”

    2
    Schematic depicting different types of binding interactions © Bastings/PBL EPFL.

    Bastings and four of her PhD students have recently published a study in the Journal of the American Chemical Society that identifies the optimal ligand number for super-selective binding: six. But they also found, to their excitement, that the arrangement of these ligands – in a line, circle, or triangle, for example – also significantly impacted binding efficacy. They have dubbed the phenomenon “multivalent pattern recognition” or MPR.

    “MPR opens up a whole new set of hypotheses around how molecular communication in biological and immunological processes might work. For example, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has a pattern of spike proteins that it uses to bind to cell surfaces, and these patterns could be really critical when it comes to selectivity.”

    From coronaviruses to cancer

    Because its double helix structure is so precise and well understood, DNA is the perfect model molecule for the PBL’s research. For this study, the team designed a rigid disk made entirely out of DNA, where the position and number of all ligand molecules could be precisely controlled. After engineering a series of ligand-receptor architectures to explore how density, geometry, and nano-spacing influenced binding super-selectivity, the team realized that rigidity was a key factor. “The more flexible, the less precise,” Bastings summarizes.

    “Our aim was to carve out design principles in as minimalist a way as possible, so that every ligand molecule participates in the binding interaction. What we now have is a really nice toolbox to further exploit super-selective binding interactions in biological systems.”

    The applications for such a “toolbox” are far-reaching, but Bastings sees three immediately valuable uses. “Like it or not,” she says, “the SARS-CoV-2 virus is currently a first thought when it comes to virological applications. With the insights from our study, one could imagine developing a super-selective particle with ligand patterns designed to bind with the virus to prevent infection, or to block a cell site so that the virus cannot infect it.”

    Diagnostics and therapeutics such as chemotherapy could also benefit from super-selectivity, which could allow for more reliable binding with cancer cells, for which certain receptor molecules are known to have a higher density. In this case, healthy cells would remain undetected, drastically reducing side effects.

    Finally, such selectivity engineering could offer key insights into complex interactions within the immune system. “Because we can now play precisely with patterns of what happens at binding sites, we can, in a sense, potentially ‘communicate’ with the immune system,” Bastings says.

    Science paper:
    Journal of the American Chemical Society
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 3:22 pm on October 18, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Machine learning predicts heat capacities of Metal-Organic Framework materials", , , , The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “Machine learning predicts heat capacities of Metal-Organic Framework materials” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    10.18.22
    Nik Papageorgiou

    1
    Chemical engineers at EPFL have developed a machine-learning model that can accurately predict the heat capacity of the versatile metal-organic framework materials. The work shows that the overall energy costs of carbon-capture processes could be much lower than expected.

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of materials that contain nano-sized pores. These pores give MOFs record-breaking internal surface areas, which make them extremely versatile for a number of applications: separating petrochemicals and gases, mimicking DNA, producing hydrogen, and removing heavy metals, fluoride anions, and even gold from water are just a few examples.

    MOFs are the focus of Professor Berend Smit’s research at EPFL School of Basic Sciences, where his group employs machine learning to make breakthroughs in the discovery, design, and even categorization of the ever-increasing MOFs that currently flood chemical databases.

    In a new study [Nature Materials (below)], Smit and his colleagues have developed a machine-learning model that predicts the heat capacity of MOFs. “This is about very classical thermodynamics,” says Smit. “How much energy is needed to heat up a material by one degree? Until now, all engineering calculations have assumed that all MOFs have the same heat capacity, for the simple reason that there is hardly any data available.” Seyed Mohamad Moosavi, a postdoc at Smit’s group, adds: “If there is no data, how can one make a machine-learning model? That looks impossible!”

    The answer is the most innovative aspect of the work: a machine-learning model that predicts how the local chemical environment changes the vibrations of each atom in a MOF molecule. “These vibrations can be related to the heat capacity,” says Smit. “Before, a very expensive quantum calculation would give us a single heat capacity for a single material, but now we get up to 200 data points on these vibrations. So, by doing 200 expensive calculations, we had 40,000 data points to train the model on how these vibrations depend on their chemical environment.”

    The researchers then tested their model against experimental data as a real-life check. “The results were surprisingly poor,” says Smit, “until we realized that those experiments had been done with MOFs that had solvent in their pores. So, we re-synthesized some MOFs and carefully removed the synthesis solvent –measured their heat capacity – and the results were in very good agreement with our model’s predictions!”

    “Our research showcases how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can accelerate solving multi-scale problems,” says Moosavi. AI empowers us to think about our problems in a new way and even sometimes tackle them.”

    To demonstrate the real-world impact of the work, engineers at Heriot-Watt University simulated the MOFs performance in a carbon capture plant. “We used quantum molecular simulations, machine learning, and chemical engineering in process simulations,” says Smit. “The results showed that with correct heat capacity values of MOFs the overall energy cost of the carbon capture process can be much lower than we originally assumed. Our work is a true multi-scale effort, with a huge impact on the techno-economic viability of currently considered solutions to tackle climate change.”

    Science paper:
    Nature Materials

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 10:23 am on October 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "When dangerous toxins teach fundamental biology", Anthrax, , , , Pathogens have evolved to hijack many of their hosts’ cellular processes., , The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “When dangerous toxins teach fundamental biology” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    10.13.22
    Nik Papageorgiou

    1
    Exploring the mechanics of anthrax infection, scientists at EPFL have discovered two proteins that are involved in controlling the levels of cholesterol in the membrane of our cells.

    “What our work shows is how a complex in the center of the cell, the ER-Golgi interaction region, controls plasma membrane cholesterol, which is essential for many cellular functions, if not essential for multicellular life,” says Professor Gisou van der Goot at EPFL’s School of Life Sciences. Her group, working with the group of Giovanni D’Angelo at EPFL, have published a study uncovering how pathogens exploit a key cellular process to intoxicate cells.

    Since pathogens have evolved to hijack many of their hosts’ cellular processes, studying host-pathogen interactions help us better understand fundamental biological processes. Here, the scientists found that the interaction between two key organelles in the cell, the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus, is essential to control which lipids are at the cell membrane. Both organelles play essential roles in synthesizing new proteins and their transport within the cell.

    The researchers set out to find which proteins are important for the toxin from the anthrax bacterium Bacillus anthracis to enter the cell. To do this, they screened a library of 1500 genes that are normally involved in organizing the cell’s organelles as well as its membrane.

    Anthrax infection and ER-Golgi contact sites

    The anthrax toxin is made up of three subunits, a Protective Antigen that allows it to bind receptors on the target cell, and two enzymatic subunits, the lethal factor and the edema factor, which are what actually cause damage to the cell.

    When secreted, the Protective Antigen binds two receptors on the cell’s membrane. It is then cut up by Furin, an enzyme, and finally associates with other Protective Antigens to form a pore. This pore allows the lethal and edema factors to enter the cell, where they wreak havoc. Although this process is fairly well mapped out, we don’t know which molecules within the cell facilitate all its steps.

    From anthrax to biological discovery

    The data from the screened genes landed on two genes and their proteins, called TMED2 and TMED10, both of which are located at the ER-Golgi contact sites, a very unexpected location when studying a toxin that comes from the outside of the cell.

    When the scientists downregulated the genes of TMED2 and TMED10, the anthrax toxin lost its ability to form pores. Further, in-depth analysis uncovered something new in terms of basic cell biology: that the two proteins organize large protein supercomplexes at ER-Golgi membrane contact sites, which are responsible for the transfer of cholesterol between the two organelles. If this transfer does not occur, cholesterol never gets to the membrane of the cell, and is instead stored in fat droplets.

    “Overall, this study of anthrax intoxication led to the discovery that lipid compositional remodeling at ER-Golgi interfaces fully controls the formation of functional membrane nanodomains at the cell surface,” conclude the study’s authors.

    Science paper:
    Developmental Cell
    See the science paper for detailed material with images. A .pdf version is available.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 2:03 pm on October 7, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Stabilizing polarons opens up new physics", A new approach for solving a major shortcoming of a well-established theory that physicists use to study the interactions of electrons in materials: “DFT” - density functional theory., , “DFT” is used in physics; chemistry; and materials science to study the electronic structure of many-body systems like atoms and molecules., , DFT is susceptible to spurious interactions of the electron with its own self – what physicists refer to as the “self-interaction problem”., One of the many peculiarities of quantum mechanics is that particles can also be described as waves., , , Technically a polaron is a quasi-particle made up of an electron “dressed” by its self-induced phonons which represent the quantized vibrations of the crystal., The new work introduces a theoretical formulation for electron self-interaction that solves the problem of polaron localization in density functional theory., The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “Stabilizing polarons opens up new physics” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    10.7.22
    Papageorgiou

    1
    Physicists at EPFL have developed a formulation to solve the longstanding problem of electron self-interaction when studying polarons – quasiparticles produced by electron-phonon interactions in materials. The work can lead to unprecedented calculations of polarons in large systems, systematic studies of large sets of materials, and molecular dynamics evolving over long time periods.

    One of the many peculiarities of quantum mechanics is that particles can also be described as waves. A common example is the photon, the particle associated with light.

    In ordered structures, known as crystals, electrons can be seen and described as waves that spread across the entire system – a rather harmonious picture. As electrons move through the crystal, ions – atoms carrying a negative or positive charge — are periodically arranged in space.

    Now, if we were to add an extra electron to the crystal, its negative charge could make the ions around it move away from their equilibrium positions. The electron charge would localize in space and couple to the surrounding structural – “lattice” – distortions of the crystal, giving rise to a new particle known as a polaron.

    “Technically, a polaron is a quasi-particle, made up of an electron “dressed” by its self-induced phonons, which represent the quantized vibrations of the crystal,” says Stefano Falletta at EPFL’s School of Basic Sciences. He continues: “The stability of polarons arises from a competition between two energy contributions: the gain due to charge localization, and the cost due to lattice distortions. When the polaron destabilizes, the extra electron delocalizes over the entire system, while the ions restore their equilibrium positions.”

    2
    A polaron forming in magnesium oxide atoms. Credit: S. Falletta (EPFL)

    Working with Professor Alfredo Pasquarello at EPFL, they have published two papers in Physical Review Letters [below] and Physical Review B [below] describing a new approach for solving a major shortcoming of a well-established theory that physicists use to study the interactions of electrons in materials. The method is called density functional theory or DFT, and is used in physics, chemistry, and materials science to study the electronic structure of many-body systems like atoms and molecules.

    DFT is a powerful tool for performing ab-initio calculations of materials, by simplified treatment of the electron interactions. However, DFT is susceptible to spurious interactions of the electron with its own self – what physicists refer to as the “self-interaction problem”. This self-interaction is one of the greatest limitations of DFT, often leading to incorrect description of polarons, which are often destabilized.

    “In our work, we introduce a theoretical formulation for the electron self-interaction that solves the problem of polaron localization in density functional theory,” says Falletta. “This gives access to accurate polaron stabilities within a computationally-efficient scheme. Our study paves the way to unprecedented calculations of polarons in large systems, in systematic studies involving large sets of materials, or in molecular dynamics evolving over long time periods.”

    Science papers:
    Physical Review Letters
    Physical Review B

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 9:49 am on October 5, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Lightweight ultra-connected seaborne containers", AELER - an EPFL startup, , Cargo ships carrying containers in a rainbow of colors have been a feature of maritime transport for over 50 years., Thanks to the "Internet of Things" (IoT) shipping containers have gone high-tech in recent years., The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “Lightweight ultra-connected seaborne containers” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    10.5.22
    Cécilia Carron

    1
    The composite containers developed by AELER – an EPFL startup, deliver better performance across the board: they’re stronger, have a bigger payload, are better insulated, allow for enhanced tracking and can help cut carbon emissions. More than 60 of the containers are currently crossing oceans around the world, and the firm hopes to grow this number substantially starting next year.

    Cargo ships carrying containers in a rainbow of colors have been a feature of maritime transport for over 50 years. These containers provide a low-cost, standardized way of shipping goods and are a linchpin of global trade – some 80% of products worldwide are transported via this method. And thanks to the “Internet of Things” (IoT) shipping containers have gone high-tech in recent years: IoT technology helps lower the financial losses from stolen merchandise, misplaced articles and perishable foodstuffs. AELER has taken these advances one step further with its revolutionary Unit One containers. While these units still meet industry-standard specifications for size, their structure has been improved to provide a bigger payload, greater strength and better insulation. The Unit One design includes a smooth exterior and embedded sensors that send data directly to an application, enabling operators to track goods, monitor shipping conditions and streamline fleet management. The startup raised CHF 7.5 million in an initial funding round and plans to carry out a second one soon. With over 60 Unit One containers already sailing the high seas, the prospects are bright for the young firm to grow rapidly starting next year.

    Stronger and better insulated walls

    The startup cofounder David Baur, an entrepreneur at heart, has long been convinced of the potential for improving standard metal containers. During his Master’s project at EPFL’s Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites (LPAC), headed by Véronique Michaud, Baur began developing and testing a composite framework made of fiberglass and resin. “When David first spoke to me about his idea, I doubted it could work,” says Michaud. “But his enthusiasm won me over. That wasn’t the first time I’d agreed to a research project that initially seemed a little crazy!” Baur then refined the structure, which resulted in containers that were stronger and much better insulated. With standard metal containers, the wall strength comes from their crenellated structure. But with Baur’s model, the strength comes from the fiberglass and resin composite. That makes his containers lighter and able to carry more goods; they can transport 11% more cargo than a regular refrigerated container and 17% more than containers for liquids. “Because our Unit One containers have such a resistant structure, they don’t bulge under the pressure from liquids,” says Baur. Prof. Michaud is proud of their work. “Our lengthy discussions about the right material have paid off! It’s exciting to see what Baur and his fellow entrepreneurs have done,” she says, patting the huge container.

    We don’t often think about it, but it can get really hot inside metal containers sitting in the sun all day. And the temperature can drop quickly at night. These temperature swings can lead to condensation within the payload, which is problematic for goods like foodstuffs. “Moisture-related losses can run into the hundreds of thousands of Swiss francs,” says Baur. “That’s especially true when the cargo contains pharmaceuticals.” Unit One containers, with their passive insulation, go a long way towards tackling this problem.

    The company estimates that its containers can reduce carbon emissions from maritime transport by 20% owing to their bigger payload – meaning fewer containers are needed to ship a given amount of cargo – and smooth, aerodynamic shape. By the same token, when Unit One containers are used on trucks, they can lower the fuel requirement by 4%.

    A frontrunner in the logtech industry

    Technology has been transforming the field of logistics for several years, giving rise to the portmanteau “logtech.” And here too, the company is breaking new ground. “Our technology is the only one of its kind in the industry, because its embedded devices let operators see exactly what’s going on inside a container,” says Baur. Unit One is opening up new possibilities for connectivity, automation and security. The system’s artificial intelligence programs can make sense out of vast amounts of data so that shipping companies can make faster, better-informed decisions about the optimal routes for their containers. This brings cost savings as well as environmental benefits. AELER’s system also includes an application for tracking input from containers’ embedded sensors as well as a fleet-management program.

    The process for manufacturing Unit One containers is more expensive than that for standard metal ones. But the technology offers advantages for the transport of many kinds of goods, from drugs and liquids to luxury goods and personal care products. The startup, founded in 2018, is poised to grab a significant share of the market – millions of containers are currently being used around the world. The company already plans to attend all the major maritime-transport industry conferences this fall. “This is the perfect time for Unit One to hit the market, since the industry is ripe for change,” says Baur.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 11:12 am on September 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Time-reversal methods can make power transformers more reliable", A fairly recent technique called time reversal which stems from the ‘reversibility’ of physics equations., , , Engineers can locate the source of a partial discharge and act quickly to solve the problem., , Replacing the “t”(ime) variable in physics equations which represents time with its negative: ”–t”(ime). Theoretically that allows us to go back in time.”, The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “Time-reversal methods can make power transformers more reliable” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    9.21.22
    Leila Ueberschlag

    1
    Engineers at EPFL’s Electromagnetic Compatibility Laboratory have developed a revolutionary method for detecting and locating partial discharges, which disrupt the functioning of power transformers.

    Transformers play a central role in power distribution systems, making it possible to carry electric power over long distances with minimal risk and losses. They’re crucial for ensuring the stability and reliability of power grids. When problems occur in transformers, grid operators need to be able to detect them rapidly and determine exactly where they’re located. “Sometimes, disturbances known as partial discharges occur inside a transformer,” says Farhad Rachidi, adjunct professor at EPFL and head of the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Laboratory. “If operators don’t do anything to fix them, the discharges can result in serious damage over time and even cause the transformer to explode.”

    Time-reversed equations

    There are a number of systems that can detect partial discharges, but they aren’t very effective in pinpointing where they originate. “With our method, engineers can locate the source of a partial discharge and act quickly to solve the problem,” says Hamid Reza Karami, scientist at the EPFL EMC Lab. “It’s based on a fairly recent technique called time reversal which stems from the ‘reversibility’ of physics equations. Just about all physics equations have a time variable and consider it as a value going forward. But most equations also work with its negative. So our technique entails replacing the “t” variable in physics equations which represents time with its negative: “–t”. Theoretically that allows us to go back in time.”

    Reconstructing waves in the opposite direction

    Partial discharges inside a transformer generate two kinds of waves: acoustic and electromagnetic. In the EPFL system, the waves are captured by a sensor and converted into digital format. An algorithm then analyses the waves and feeds them into a computer model of a transformer. The model reconstructs the waves by working backwards, in the opposite direction of travel, until it reaches the source of the discharge. That gives engineers precise information on where the discharge comes from.

    Rachidi’s team is developing their technology jointly with Sparks Instruments, a Fribourg-based company that supplies systems for detecting partial discharges, and with HEIG-VD. “EPFL’s Technology Transfer Office put us in touch with the people at Sparks,” says Rachidi. “We also received support from enable, an EPFL program to encourage R&D, which allowed us to test and validate our system. Our technology has now been patented and we’re working with Sparks to find the best way to take it to market.”

    Huge potential

    Time-reversal-based methods have considerable potential in a host of applications – and this isn’t the first breakthrough by Rachidi and the engineers at his lab. In 2018, they patented an application that can locate short circuits in power grids in record time. “We were the first to use time reversal for this kind of application,” he says. And they’re applying their knowledge in other fields too: “We’ve filed a patent application for a system that can pinpoint the origin of cardiac arrythmia, and we’re working with Prof. Marcos Rubinstein and his group at HEIG-VD to develop a device that can locate lightning.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 9:39 am on September 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Intelligent microscopes for detecting rare biological events", , , , The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “Intelligent microscopes for detecting rare biological events” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    9.11.22


    EPFL biophysicists have developed control software that optimizes how fluorescence microscopes collect data on living samples. Their control loop, used to image mitochondrial and bacterial sites of division in detail, is released as an open source plug-in and could inspire a new generation of intelligent microscopes.

    Imagine you’re a PhD student with a fluorescent microscope and a sample of live bacteria. What’s the best way use these resources to obtain detailed observations of bacterial division from the sample?

    You may be tempted to forgo food and rest, to sit at the microscope non-stop and acquire images when bacterial finally division starts. (It can take hours for one bacterium to divide!) It’s not as crazy as it sounds, since manual detection and acquisition control is widespread in many of the sciences.

    Alternatively, you may want to set the microscope to take images indiscriminately and as often as possible. But excessive light depletes the fluorescence from the sample faster and can prematurely destroy living samples. Plus, you’d generate many uninteresting images, since only a few would contain images of dividing bacteria.

    Another solution would be to use artificial intelligence to detect precursors to bacterial division and use these to automatically update the microscope’s control software to take more pictures of the event.

    Drum roll… yes, EPFL biophysicists have indeed found a way to automate microscope control for imaging biological events in detail while limiting stress on the sample, all with the help of artificial neural networks. Their technique works for bacterial cell division, and for mitochondrial division. The details of their intelligent microscope are described in Nature Methods [below].

    “An intelligent microscope is kind of like a self-driving car. It needs to process certain types of information, subtle patterns that it then responds to by changing its behavior,” explains principal investigator Suliana Manley of EPFL’s Laboratory of Experimental Biophysics. “By using a neural network, we can detect much more subtle events and use them to drive changes in acquisition speed.”

    2
    Suliana Manley in one of the labs of EPFL’s Laboratory of Experimental Biophysics. © 2022 EPFL / Hillary Sanctuary.

    Manley and her colleagues first solved how to detect mitochondrial division, more difficult than for bacteria such as C. crescentus. Mitochondrial division is unpredictable, since it occurs infrequently, and can happen almost anywhere within the mitochondrial network at any moment. But the scientists solved the problem by training the neural network to look out for mitochondrial constrictions, a change in shape of mitochondria that leads to division, combined with observations of a protein known to be enriched at sites of division.

    When both constrictions and protein levels are high, the microscope switches into high-speed imaging to capture many images of division events in detail. When constriction and protein levels are low, the microscope then switches to low-speed imaging to avoid exposing the sample to excessive light.

    3
    One of Manley’s fluorescence microscopes. © Hillary Sanctuary 2022/EPFL.

    With this intelligent fluorescent microscope, the scientists showed that they could observe the sample for longer compared to standard fast imaging. While the sample was more stressed compared to standard slow imaging, they were able to obtain more meaningful data.

    “The potential of intelligent microscopy includes measuring what standard acquisitions would miss,” Manley explains. “We capture more events, measure smaller constrictions, and can follow each division in greater detail.”

    The scientists are making the control framework available as an open source plug-in for the open microscope software Micro-Manager, with the aim of allowing other scientists to integrate artificial intelligence into their own microscopes.

    3
    Artboard by Willi Stepp © 2022 EPFL.

    4
    © Hillary Sanctuary 2022/EPFL.

    Science paper:
    Nature Methods

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 8:34 am on August 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "With new solar modules greenhouses run on their own energy", , , Farmers have to carefully balance crop yields and economics with environmental concerns., In Switzerland growing tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers and other light- and heat-intensive vegetables requires building a greenhouse – but operating one consumes a huge amount of power., Pilot tests of the new system have showed that they should be able to cut the greenhouses’ CO2 emissions in half., Plants use light waves from only a portion of the spectrum for photosynthesis – the remainder can be recovered and used to generate solar power., The first vegetables grown under Voltiris’ system were harvested this summer through pilot tests carried out at two greenhouses in the cantons of Valais and Graubünden., The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH), The Swiss federation of fruit & vegetable growers which cultivate several thousand hectares across the country has set a target of eliminating all fossil-fuel-based energy from its farming process, The system developed by Voltiris can go a long way towards reaching the goal., The Voltiris system consists of dichroic mirrors which show a different coloration depending on the observation condition.   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “With new solar modules greenhouses run on their own energy” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    8.26.22
    Cécilia Carron

    1
    Plants use light waves from only a portion of the spectrum for photosynthesis – the remainder can be recovered and used to generate solar power. That’s the idea behind the solar modules developed by EPFL startup Voltiris. Following encouraging preliminary results, a new pilot installation was recently installed in Graubünden.

    In Switzerland growing tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers and other light- and heat-intensive vegetables requires building a greenhouse – but operating one consumes a huge amount of power. Farmers have to carefully balance crop yields and economics with environmental concerns. “It costs more than CHF 1.5 million a year to heat a 5-hectare greenhouse,” says Nicolas Weber, the CEO of Voltiris. “And a greenhouse of that size emits roughly the same amount of CO2 per year as 2,000 people.” The Swiss federation of fruit & vegetable growers which cultivate several thousand hectares across the country has set a target of eliminating all fossil-fuel-based energy from its farming processes by 2040. The system developed by Voltiris can go a long way towards reaching that goal. Its technology is based on the fact that plants don’t use all of the waves contained in sunlight; the remaining ones can be concentrated onto photovoltaic (PV) cells to generate solar power. Voltiris’ system is lightweight and designed to track the sun’s movement across the sky, and boasts daily yields on par with conventional solar panels. The first vegetables grown under Voltiris’ system were harvested this summer through pilot tests carried out at two greenhouses in the cantons of Valais and Graubünden.

    3
    Red and blue for plants, and the rest for PV cells.

    Sunlight is essential for growing crops, as plants need it for not just photosynthesis but also phototropism (what causes plants to grow in the direction of light) and photoperiodism (how organisms react to seasonal changes in the length of the day). But plants are selective about which parts of the spectrum they use, relying on red and blue light. Voltiris’ filters therefore let these wavelengths pass through, while directing the other wavelengths (green and near-infrared) towards PV cells where they’re converted into solar power. What’s more, the system generates this renewable energy without reducing crop yields, since plants still receive all of the sunlight they need.

    The system consists of dichroic mirrors which show a different coloration depending on the observation condition. The color on the glass – reminiscent of the anti-glare coating used on eyeglasses – gives the mirrors an almost decorative feel as they change colors based on the light passing through them. Two patented inventions are what make Voltiris’ system unique and able to perform so well. The first is an optimized optical system that effectively concentrates sun light, and the second is a solar-tracking device designed for under-roof use, which extends the length of time the system can produce solar power by 40%. Thanks to these breakthroughs, the system can achieve yields similar to those of conventional solar panels but with only half the light waves – i.e., green and near-infrared light. “We plan to apply different treatments to the reflective glass based on the needs of specific crops, in order to improve our yields even further,” says Weber. The lightweight installation fits into the empty space between the roof of the greenhouse and the top of the plants.

    Meeting 60–100% of a greenhouse’s energy needs

    Pilot tests of the new system have showed that they should be able to cut the greenhouses’ CO2 emissions in half while providing between 60% and 100% of their energy needs depending of the heating system in place: “emission are not reduced to zero because our system will start to replace electricity, which is generally “cleaner” than gaz. “This translates into an environmental benefit but also a financial one, once the cost of the system has been recovered, which should take between four and seven years,” says Weber.

    Voltiris’ innovation comes at an opportune time, as the Swiss federal government has rolled out incentives over the past few years to encourage greenhouse operators to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels for heating. These incentives include subsidies for clean-energy systems. But existing alternatives, such as wood, biofuel and geothermal power, probably won’t suffice. The technology developed by Voltiris therefore promises to be an attractive solution. The firm now plans to run more pilot tests in the Netherlands and Geneva before introducing its product on the market in the second half of 2023.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 10:48 am on August 24, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New quantum technology combines free electrons and photons", , , , , The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH), Whenever an electron interacts with the vacuum evanescent field of the ring resonator a photon can be generated.   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “New quantum technology combines free electrons and photons” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    8.24.22
    Andrea Testa
    Guanhao Huang

    1
    Scientists from EPFL, the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences and the University of Göttingen have successfully created electron-photon pairs for the first time in a controlled way, using integrated photonic circuits on a chip. Using a new technique, they could precisely detect the involved particles. The findings of the study expand the toolbox of quantum technology.

    Faster computers, tap-proof communication, sensors beyond standard quantum limit – quantum technologies have the potential to revolutionize our lives just as once the invention of computers or the internet. Experts worldwide are trying to implement findings from basic research into quantum technologies.

    To this end, they sometimes require individual particles, such as photons – the elementary particles of light – with special properties. However, obtaining individual particles is complicated and requires complex methods. Various applications already use free electrons to generate light, such as the case in X-ray tubes.

    In a new study, recently published in the journal Science [below], scientists from EPFL’s Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurement, Göttingen Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences (MPI-NAT) and the University of Göttingen demonstrate a novel method for generating cavity-photons using free electrons, in a form of pair states. To do so, they used chip-based photonic integrated circuits in an electron microscope.

    2
    An optical chip with ring-shaped light storage, called a microring resonator, and a fiber-optic coupling. The chip is only three millimeters wide, and the ring resonator at its tip has a radius of 0.114 millimeters. © Armin Feist / Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences.

    Fundamental Particle Physics in Electron Microscopes

    In the experiment, the beam of an electron microscope passes on a built-in integrated photonic chip, consisting of a micro-ring resonator and optical fiber output ports. This new approach, using photonic structures fabricated at EPFL for transmission electron microscope (TEM) experiments performed at MPI-NAT, was established in a recent study [Nature (below)].

    Whenever an electron interacts with the vacuum evanescent field of the ring resonator a photon can be generated. In this process, obeying the laws of energy and momentum conservation, the electron loses the energy quantum of a single photon. Through this interaction, the system evolves into a pair state. Thanks to a newly developed measurement method, the scientists could precisely detect simultaneously both electron energy and generated photons, revealing the underlying electron-photon pair states.

    Future quantum technology with free electrons

    Besides observing this process for the first time at the single particle level, these findings implement a novel concept for generating single-photon or electron. Specifically, the measurement of the pair state enables heralded particle sources, where the detection of one particle signals the generation of the other. This is necessary for many applications in quantum technology and adds to its growing toolset.

    “The method opens up fascinating new possibilities in electron microscopy. In the field of quantum optics, entangled photon pairs already improve imaging. With our work, such concepts can now be explored with electrons,” explains Claus Ropers, MPI-NAT Director.

    In the first proof-of-principle experiment, the researchers make use of the generated correlated electron-photon pairs for photonic mode imaging, achieving a three-orders of magnitude contrast enhancement. Dr. Yujia Yang, a postdoc at EPFL and a co-lead author of the study, adds: “We believe our work has a substantial impact on the future development in electron microscopy by harnessing the power of quantum technology.”

    A particular challenge for future quantum technology is how to interface different physical systems. “For the first time, we bring free electrons into the toolbox of quantum information science. More broadly, coupling free electrons and light using integrated photonics could open the way to a new class of hybrid quantum technologies,” says Tobias Kippenberg, professor at EPFL and head of the Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurement.

    The work from the collaboration between the two teams contributes to the currently emerging field of free-electron quantum optics, and demonstrates a powerful experimental platform for event-based and photon-gated electron spectroscopy and imaging. “Our work represents a critical step to utilize quantum optics concepts in electron microscopy. We plan to further explore future directions like electron-heralded exotic photonic states, and noise reduction in electron microscopy,” says Guanhao Huang, PhD student at EPFL and co-lead author of the study.

    Science papers:
    Science
    Nature 2021

    See the full article here .

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    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
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