MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Oxygen sensors boost radiation therapy
Researchers in Professor Cima's lab are readying a suite of implantable oxygen sensors, which could be the solution to overcoming tumor hypoxia (the diminished supply of oxygen to malignant tissue). Gregory Ekchian, one of Cima's postdoc fellows, is responsible for bringing this technology out of the lab through research partially funded by a Lemelson-Vest grant and a Kavanaugh Translational Innovation Fellowship. Both of these DMSE initiatives support the transfer of ideas from academia into the world beyond.
Profile: Professor Julia Ortony
In her research at DMSE, Professor Julia Ortony performs a contemporary version of alchemy. Her fascination with the way nanomolecules self-assemble lead her to work on finding the potential of these nanomaterials for use in renewable energy and environmental technologies. MITei's Autumn 2019 issue of Energy Futures features a full profile of Professor Ortony and her research.
Imitating mussels to create strong hydrogels
MIT researchers have found a way to create strong, flexible threads by imitating the natural ability of mussels. During the 2019 Materials Research Society fall meeting, grad student Sean Cazzell presented his and Professor Niels Holten-Andersen's findings, which could potentially have use in advanced 3D printing of synthetic tissues and other biomedical applications.
Ultrathin coating to protect 2-D materials from corrosion
Professors Ju Li and JJ Hu are a part of a team of researchers that has developed an ultrathin coating for use as a protective layer for important 2D materials. Many 2D materials have promising properties for optical, electronic, or other applications, but are held back by the ease with which they degrade when exposed to oxygen and water vapor. Now, these researchers have created a coating that is inexpensive and easily to apply and remove. This new coating, based on a family of compounds known as linear alkylamines, can be applied with a thinness of as little as 1 nanometer, is impervious to many liquids and solvents, blocks the penetration of oxygen, and generally extends the material's lifetime by 100. Their development could provide a way to overcome the "first hurdle" in attempting to work with promising 2D materials, opening up new areas of research.