Current News for Signage
- Grad Student Yufei Mao Presented a Late-Breaking Research at HICPT 2014
Grad student Yufei Mao, advisor, Associate Professor Chi On Chui, together with colleague in the Department of Pathology, UCLA-Ronald Reagan Hospital presented a late breaking research paper, entitled, “Validation of Semiconductor Electronic Label-Free Assay (SELFA) for Point-of-Care Cardiac Troponin I Measurement,” at the IEEE EMBS Special Topic Conference on Healthcare Innovation & Point-of-Care Technologies (HICPT'14) in Seattle, WA.
In the work, the SELFA platform was implemented to measure cardiac troponin I (cTnI) in patient specimens, the results demonstrate a highly linear relation with that measured by LOCI® assay at the UCLA clinical laboratory, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. With a turnaround time within 10-15 minutes, the SELFA platform can be developed to a point-of-care device and be used to quantitatively and accurately measure cTnI in patient specimens for diagnosing myocardial infarction or commonly called as a heart attack.
- Assistant Professor Lara Dolecek Collaborates with JPL on Memory Coding Systems for Deep Space Use
Assistant Professor Lara Dolecek has received funding from NASA to study new coding and signal processing mechanisms to help overcome unreliability in memories used in deep space applications. The 2-year project is titled "Breaking the Limitations of Radiation-Hardened Devices” and will be performed in collaboration with Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
In a broader research effort with JPL-NASA, the non-binary LDPC codes developed by Assistant Professor Lara Dolecek and Adjunct Professor Dariush Divsalar are featured in September issue of NASA Tech Brief. This new class of codes proposed by the UCLA/JPL team offers significant coding gains that enable mission-critical communication systems to operate under adverse environments. NASA Tech Brief features commercially significant innovations by NASA researchers and their collaborators.
- Professor John Villasenor to Speak on Cybersecurity on Capitol Hill
Professor John Villasenor will be giving a presentation at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington D.C. on "Hardware: The Other Cybersecurity Challenge" on October 15, 2014.
Professor Villasenor is a professor of electrical engineering and public policy at UCLA and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is also a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Cybersecurity, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
- RapidScat Boards the International Space Station Which Carries Prof. Yahya Rahmat-Samii's Original Reflector Antenna Design
Distinguished Professor Yahya Rahmat-Samii's original reflector antenna design for RapidScat, a device measuring ocean surface speed, was employed by JPL for use at the International Space Station. JPL team optimized and developed the original dual polarization and dual beam Ku-Band reflector antenna design capable to monitor and predict the extreme effects of climate change.
RapidScat was launched on September 22, 2014 onboard SapceX Falcon 9 and robotically attached to the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS) about 8 days later. The antenna system resides on a rotating platform and is expected to function for at least two years.
- Professor Asad Madni is Honored Around the World
Distinguished Adjunct Professor Asad Madni, for his outstanding contributions and service to science, engineering and technology, has been honored, once again, by multiple academic and professional institutions around the world.
He was recently selected for honorary professorship by the General Assembly of the School of Production Engineering and Management at the Technical University of Crete, Greece for his outstanding contributions to the engineering science and practice.
He was a co-honoree at the 2014 World Automation Congress (WAC) which was dedicated to him “for his extraordinary career of visionary leadership in and pioneering contributions to the development and commercialization of intelligent sensors, systems and instrumentation." He was also the inaugural recipient of the 2014 WAC Medal of Honor.
He was the keynote speaker at the 2014 IEEE International Conference on Semiconductor Electronics and was awarded a visiting professorship at the Institute of Microengineering and Nanotechnology at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, named him as the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award. A $2000 scholarship was awarded in his name to a deserving student member of Tau Beta Pi.
With a vast list of honors and commendations that he has received throughout his professional career, Professor Madni is still very committed to the electrical engineering department at UCLA and to its alumni advisory board of which he is the founding chair and board member.
- Jean Paul Santos Awarded a Prestigious SMART Fellowship
Jean Paul Santos was recently awarded a prestigious Science Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Fellowship. The SMART Fellowship, established by the Department of Defense (DoD), “for service to individuals who demonstrate outstanding ability and special aptitude for a career in scientific and engineering research and product development, express interest in career opportunities at DoD laboratories.” The evaluation is based on a review of each applicant’s academic records, personal statements, recommendations, and GRE scores by an evaluation panel. SMART Fellowships provide full student support, including full tuition and fees as well as a monthly stipend during the duration of the scholar’s graduate tenure. The SMART Fellowship also provides the scholar a unique opportunity to work for many one-of-a-kind world-class DoD facilities as an intern as well as a full-time research engineer after graduation.
Jean Paul Santos is studying under Prof. Yahya Rahmat-Samii and has been conducting research on an optimized array with desired antenna performance for space communications. With the SMART Fellowship, he aspires to research various military applications of antennas including for biomedical purposes. His research interests also include antenna measurements and textile antennas. After attaining his Ph.D., he hopes to serve as a research engineer at one of the Sponsoring Facilities at the Department of Defense.
- Asael Papour is Awarded the Dr. Ursula Mandel Scholarship
Asael Papour, a graduate student under the mentorship of Prof. Oscar Stafsudd, received the UCLA Dr. Ursula Mandel Scholarship for scholastic and research achievements in the medical field. Papour has developed two compact biomedical imaging systems using auto-fluorescence and Raman techniques for intraoperative real-time tissue characterization. These robust technologies can image various tissue abnormalities including cancer tumor margins and serve as an early detection system for bone growth (Heterotopic Ossification) in failed wounds (combat wounds). A paradigm change in fluorescence and Raman optical tissue characterization enabled new research approaches, and removed the hurdles for accepting these technologies in patient care. By using spectroscopy-free fast Raman imaging and auto-fluorescence pulse shaping breakthrough, an unmet clinical need for inexpensive, non-ionizing (x-ray) imaging device is created.
Asael is a member of the Quantum Electronics Laboratory under the supervision of Professor Oscar Stafsudd (Electrical Engineering), and Professor Warren Grundfest (Bioengineering/Electrical Engineering). Asael completed a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from UCLA in 2012. He received bachelor’s degree in Physics, minor in Chemistry, in 2008 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
- Professor Jason Cong was the Keynote Speaker at the VLSI-SoC 2014
Chancellor’s Professor Jason Cong gave the keynote speech entitled "Design Automation Beyond High-Level Synthesis" at the 22nd IPIP/IEEE VLSI-SoC 2014 on October 6, 2014.
VLSI-SoC 2014 is the 22nd in a series of international conferences sponsored by IFIP TC 10 Working Group 10.5, IEEE CEDA and IEEE CASS, which explores the state-of-the-art in the areas that surround Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) and System-on-Chip (SoC). The purpose of VLSI-SoC is to provide a forum to exchange ideas and showcase research as well industrial results in EDA, design methodology, test, design, verification, devices, process, systems issues and application domains of VLSI and SoC.
Previous conferences have taken place in Edinburgh, Trondheim, Tokyo, Vancouver, Munich, Grenoble, Gramado, Lisbon, Montpellier, Darmstadt, Perth, Nice, Atlanta, Rhodes, Florianópolis, Madrid, Hong Kong, Santa Cruz and Istanbul.
- UCLA is the Top U.S. Public School in Engineering and Technology
The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has been named the highest-ranked public university in the United States for engineering and technology, according to the Times Higher Education 2014-15 World University Rankings. The rankings were released Oct. 1. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2014-15/subject-ranking/subject/engineering-and-IT
- Assoc. Prof. Mona Jarrahi was the Keynote Speaker at the 14th International Conference on Nanotechnology
Associate Professor Mona Jarrahi was a keynote speaker at the 14th International Conference on Nanotechnology held in Toronto, Canada in August 18-21, 2014. This is one of the largest Nanotechnology conferences in the world, organized by the IEEE Nanotechnology Council. The title of the talk was "Nanophotonics and Plasmonics for Advancement of Terahertz Technology."
- Graduate Student Shang Hua Yang Received a IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Doctoral Research Award
Shang Hua Yang has been selected to receive a Doctoral Research Award from the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society for his research project, Three-Dimensional Plasmonic Photoconductive Antennas for High-Power Terahertz Generation.
Shang Hua is an electrical engineering Ph.D. student working with Prof. Mona Jarrahi at Terahertz Electronics Laboratory. His research is focused on designing plasmonic nanostructures to enhance efficiency of conventional photoconductive terahertz emitters. For his doctoral research, he has demonstrated the most efficient laser-driven terahertz radiation source.
About the Award: The IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society grants up to ten Ph.D Research Awards each year. The selection committee evaluates each applicant based on his or her research project, academic record, and potential to contribute to the electromagnetics profession in the future. The award consists of a $2500 fellowship.
- Graduate Students Hsinhung Alvin Chen and Zuow-Zun Joseph Chen are Inaugural MediaTek Fellows
On September 23, 2014 MediaTek and UCLA electrical engineering department announced the inaugural MediaTek fellows Hsinhung Alvin Chen and Zuow-Zun Joseph Chen at a kick-off meeting graced by Dr. Lawrence Loh, MediaTek USA President and corporate Senior Vice President, and Dean Vijay Dhir, UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Hsinhung Alvin Chen, a graduate student of Professor Asad Abidi, will pursue a research on "Adaptive Calibration of Time-Interleaved Analog-To-Digital Converter." While Zuow-Zun (Joseph) Chen, a graduate student of Professor and Chair Frank Chang, has selected to investigate on "A Low-Noise Sub-Sampling Fractional-N ADPLL."
A graduate student who has passed the preliminary exam qualifies to apply to the fellowship. The MediaTek Fellowship provides full graduate student researcher (GSR) support including non-resident tuition (NRT) for one academic year and a possible paid summer internship. Continued support may be considered in subsequent years for fellows who are deemed to make good progress.
From a substantial number of applications, each distinctly innovative, only the top two proposals of excellent technical merit and with a strong likelihood of success were jointly selected by UCLA and MediaTek. The UCLA MediaTek Standing Committee is chaired by Professor Ken Yang with committee members Professors Jason Woo and Frank Chang.
MediaTek, founded in 1997, is a pioneering fabless semiconductor company and a market leader in cutting-edge systems on a chip for wireless communications and multi-media. They created the world's first octa-core smartphone platform with LTE and the CorePilot technology released the full power of multi-core mobile processors. In 2013, they were the fourth largest integrated circuits designer worldwide. Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, MediaTek recently opened an office in San Diego, California.
- UCLA Researchers Receive $1.29M NSF Grant for Scalable Nanomanufacturing
A team of UCLA researchers has received a $1.29 million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation to explore low-cost methods of manufacturing fibers with unprecedented continuous metal nanowires — a material with potential for ultra high-resolution cellular electrophysiology analysis technologies that could conduct sub-cellular and intracellular measurements down to a single biological cell.
The principal investigators of the research team include Xiaochun Li, Raytheon Professor of Manufacturing and Chi On Chui, associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering, both of the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science; and Huan Meng, an adjunct assistant professor of nanomedicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.
While there is a great demand for the high-volume production of fibers with continuous metallic nanowires, there has not been a reliable and scalable manufacturing method due to fundamental and technical issues surrounding their nanoscale size. This includes instability of molten metals during thermal drawing of the wires, and difficulties controlling wire formation using traditional manufacturing techniques. The UCLA research team will explore novel approaches to address these barriers to a low-cost, reliable and scalable nanomanufacturing process.
Current cellular electrophysiology analyses are used in high-volume, such as the development of pharmaceuticals, toxicity screenings, and threat detection. Using fibers with continuous nanowires as narrow as just tens of nanometers in diameter would enable high resolution analytical platforms, which could examine a single to few biological cells at a time. The resultant platforms could measure cellular events that, for example, indicate the presence of cancer cells, earlier than current technologies can. Specifically, the researchers and their students will explore theoretical materials and functional designs for nanoelectrode arrays; scalable nanomanufacturing of fibers with metal nanowires through thermal drawing; observation and characterization of nanoelectrode arrays; and development and validation of nanoelectrode-enabled cell-based assay platforms.
Other potential technologies for this include high-resolution semiconductors and metamaterials characterizations, and neural and cardiac electrical signal recorders.
Re-print from UCLA HSSEAS Newsroom.
- Alumnus Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, III was Named for the IEEE Frederik Philips Award for 2014
Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, the co–founder of Broadcom Corporation and a Bruin (B.Sc. '82, M.Sc. '85, Ph.D. '98) was named to receive the Frederik Philips Award from IEEE for 2014. His citation reads, “For exemplary leadership and entrepreneurial vision in the commercialization of communications semiconductors that enable ubiquitous broadband connectivity.”
Nicholas was one of the brilliant brains of Broadcom Corporation, together with his professor and co-founder, Dr. Henry Samueli, who led the technological advancement and commercialization of consumer broadband circuits in cable modems which created a paradigm shift in modern communication systems. The world’s first commercially launched digital cable TV receiver was built with the chipset from Broadcom Corporation. There after the company has been a global leader and innovator in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications.
The Frederik Philips Award was established in 1971 through the generous contribution of Philips Electronics N.V. in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. The recipient is selected based on his/her leadership on the management of the research, impact on innovation, personal contributions, technological impact, and the quality of the nomination.
In 2005, Henry Nicholas was awarded the UCLA Alumni of the Year Award. He has been active in his philanthropic passion in arts and education. His Nicholas Academic Centers has sent over230 students to top universities. He has also supported the passage of the Marsy’s Law, a crime victim’s bill of rights.
- UC Engineers Collaborate on Light Emitting Semiconductor on Silicon Using Graphene
Light-generating semiconductor on silicon is the technology with the greatest potential toward integrating electronic and photonic devices on the same chip. Integration of highly-efficient optical sources on silicon will enable the combination of photonics with silicon electronics, leading to many new capabilities, such as providing high bandwidth in optical interconnects, long-haul communication systems and conventional CMOS technology.UCLA Engineering researchers, in collaboration with colleagues at UC Irvine and UC Riverside, have developed a new growth technique using a wonder material, graphene, made from a single layer of carbon atoms, in which electrons travel at incredible speeds. According to this innovation, ultra-smooth light-emitting semiconductor thin films can be deposited successfully on top of the growth-assisting graphene layer which sits on silicon substrate. Led by Kang Wang, the Raytheon Professor of Electrical Engineering at UCLA and the study's principal investigator, the team demonstrated for the first time that the likely-epitaxial light-emitting (i.e. GaAs) thin films can be deposited on silicon using graphene as a buffer layer. The research was published on Aug. 26, 2014, in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
The co-lead authors on the research are Yazeed Alaskar, a UCLA graduate student, and Shamsul Arafin, a UCLA post-doctoral scholar in electrical engineering.
Several major material-related challenges were overcome on the way towards realizing such atomically-smooth quasi-epitaxial GaAs (gallium arsenide) thin films on a graphene/silicon system. Most significantly, while the conventional deposition technique requires the growth of one-micron thick GaAs on top of silicon to realize a certain material quality, the UCLA-led group’s innovative and cost-effective growth technique demonstrated that the same quality can be obtained by depositing only 25 nanometers of GaAs atop silicon.
"This is the first time that an ultra-smooth morphology for quasi-epitaxial GaAs thin films on graphene/silicon using an optimized growth technique has been developed,” Shamsul Arafin said. ”It is a remarkable step towards an eventual demonstration of the epitaxial growth of GaAs by this approach for heterogeneous integration." As this technology develops, it could lead to less expensive and high-performance light sources, yielding ultrahigh-speed computers.”
UCLA Engineering would like to acknowledge its collaboration on this research with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) via the Center of Excellence for Nanotechnologies (CEGN).
- To eat or not to eat
UCLA researchers have developed a disposable biosensor that may help doctors determine which patients should be fed following surgery
Kim Irwin | August 12, 2014
A disposable plastic listening device that attaches to the abdomen may help doctors definitively determine which post-operative patients should be fed and which should not, an invention that may improve outcomes, decrease healthcare costs and shorten hospital stays, according to a UCLA study.
Some patients who undergo surgery develop a condition called post-operative ileus, a malfunction of the intestines. The condition causes patients to become ill if they eat too soon, which can lengthen an affected patient’s hospital stay by two to three days. Until now, there was no way to monitor for post-operative ileus other than listening to the belly for short periods with a stethoscope, said study first author Dr. Brennan Spiegel, a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
If proven successful, the device, a non-invasive acoustic gastrointestinal surveillance biosensor called AbStats, could also be used to help diagnose irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease as well as helping obese people learn by the sounds from their gut when they should or shouldn’t eat, which could help them lose weight.
Spiegel and his team worked with researchers at the UCLA Wireless Health Institute at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science to develop the sensor, which resembles a small plastic cap and has a tiny microphone inside to monitor digestion.
“We think what we’ve invented is a way to monitor a new vital sign, one to go along with heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. This new vital sign, intestinal rate, could prove to be important in diagnosing and treating patients,” Spiegel said. “The role of wearable sensors in healthcare has reached mainstream consciousness and has the capacity to transform how we monitor and deliver care.
“Yet, there are very few biosensors that are supported by any peer-reviewed evidence,” Spiegel continued. “This study represents peer-reviewed evidence supporting use of a biosensor, a device born and bred out of UCLA multidisciplinary research.”
The study appears in the early online edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.
In this study, the biosensor was used to listen to sounds emanating from the intestines and was connected to a computer that measured the rate of acoustic events — movement of the intestines — as they occurred. The research team compared intestinal rates of healthy subjects using the device for 60 minutes after a standardized meal to rates recorded in two post-operative groups, patients who were tolerating food and those that had post-operative ileus.
Using the biosensor, Spiegel and his team could distinguish patients with post-operative ileus from patients who did not suffer from the condition by the sounds made by their intestines. In the future, doctors may use the biosensor to determine which patients can be fed, making an evidence-based decision instead of just guessing based on less specific information, Spiegel said.
Spiegel hopes to be able to determine if the biosensor can be used to identify patients at risk for post-operative ileus to help doctors make post-operative feeding decisions.
“After surgery, the bowels shut down under stress as the body is focused on keeping the brain, heart and lungs alive,” Spiegel said. “We also give patients narcotic medications for pain that can also cause the bowels to freeze up. The way doctors currently monitor for POI is putting a stethoscope on the patient’s belly for 15 seconds, briefly listening for sounds of intestinal awakening, and asking about flatulence. It’s all very rudimentary and inaccurate. With this new vital sign, the team can now monitor the intestines empirically and make more informed decisions.”
When the bowels shut down, they become very quiet, moving only a few times per minute versus the digestion of a healthy person, who generates 10 or more intestinal movements per minute. The movements make a “clicking” noise, and it is that noise the biosensor picks up and sends to a computer for analysis.
William J. Kaiser, a professor of electrical engineering and co-director of the UCLA Wireless Health Institute, said development of the biosensor system has been a primary focus of the institute.
“It has been rewarding and exciting for our entire team. The institute develops wearable biomedical sensor systems to support our physician colleagues and fulfill our mission of advancing healthcare delivery,” Kaiser said. “The biosensor system is an important example of this rapid development that has resulted in a low-cost instrument that serves an unmet need for continuous, non-invasive monitoring of the human digestive processes. The biosensor can operate in the clinic, at home and at any location on the globe.”
Gastrointestinal disorders are highly prevalent in both inpatient and outpatient settings. A recent study commissioned by the National Institutes of Health found that there are more than 70 million ambulatory care visits every year in the U.S. with a gastrointestinal disorder listed as the first diagnosis. That number swelled to more than 100 million visits when gastrointestinal disorders were mentioned anywhere in the diagnosis, the equivalent of nearly 36,000 outpatient visits per 100,000 Americans.
Gastrointestinal disorders also have enormous direct and indirect societal costs, Spiegel said. The total direct cost of care for gastrointestinal disorders is estimated at $100 billion annually. Indirect costs increase that figure to more than $140 billion.
“With the aging of the American population and the rising incidence of obesity, it is certain that the economic impact of gastrointestinal disorders will get increasingly worse over the next decade and beyond,” Spiegel said.
Re-posting from UCLA Newsroom.
- Professor Stanley Osher has been Awarded the Gauss Prize
Longtime UCLA professor earns highest honor in applied mathematics
Stuart Wolpert | August 12, 2014
Stanley Osher, UCLA professor of mathematics and director of applied mathematics, is the third person ever to be awarded the prestigious Gauss Prize, the highest honor in applied mathematics.
A UCLA professor since 1977, Osher received the award Wednesday afternoon local time during the opening ceremony of the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, South Korea. The prize, named for 19th century mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, was first awarded at the 2006 congress. (The event is held every four years.)
The citation honoring Osher said he has made “influential contributions to several fields in applied mathematics and his far-ranging inventions have changed our conception of physical, perceptual, and mathematical concepts, giving us new tools to comprehend the world.”
Osher has collaborated with colleagues in a wide range of fields and the mathematical techniques he has pioneered have been highly influential. The results of his research have improved MRI scans and medical image analysis, advanced computer chip design, helped law enforcement agencies combat crime, enhanced computer vision, provided new ways to forecast weather and identify the source of earthquakes, and even revolutionized computer modeling for the design of supersonic jets.
“I am truly honored to have been awarded the third Carl Friedrich Gauss prize,” Osher said. “The previous winners were two of my scientific heroes. I am grateful to the UCLA administration and to my colleagues in the mathematics department for their support in building up applied mathematics, and to many of many colleagues outside of the department for the incredibly pleasant interdisciplinary research atmosphere that exists here.
“I’d also like to thank my sister, Sondra Jaffe, for convincing me that we could both join the middle class by becoming mathematicians in the post-Sputnik era.”
Osher has created innovative numerical methods to solve partial differential equations, and analyzed algorithms and their underlying partial differential equations. He also produced a new method for accurately describing how objects change shapes — predicting how, for example, a drop of oil floating in water will morph based on currents in the water, including what would happen if the drop of oil divided in two or merged with another drop of oil.
“Stan Osher is a superb applied mathematician who has made major advances in the solution of important real-world problems,” said Joseph Rudnick, senior dean of the UCLA College and dean of physical sciences. “His work is marked by elegance and efficiency. He richly deserves this important honor.”
The recipient of many previous awards, Osher was elected in 2005 to the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2009 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow, and was selected to give a plenary address at the 2010 International Conference of Mathematicians and the John von Neumann Lecture at the 2013 meeting of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
Osher was among the top 1 percent of the most frequently cited scholars in both mathematics and computer science between 2002 and 2012. His research was the subject of three-day “Osher Fests” at UCLA in 2002 and 2012.
He also the director of special projects at UCLA’s NSF-funded Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics, where he has organized and participated in numerous workshops and programs.
Osher has trained and mentored more than 50 Ph.D. students and even more postdoctoral scholars, many of whom have become distinguished professors and researchers in applied mathematics. His students, one of whom received an Academy Award, have used mathematics to create special effects in dozens of movies, including “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Osher said he is proud to be a professor at UCLA, whose applied mathematics department is ranked No. 2 in the U.S., per U.S. News and World Report, and whose pure mathematics department is also regarded among the best in the country.
He has said of his own research, “I write the algorithms that make the computer sing. I’m the Barry Manilow of mathematics.”
Re-posting from UCLA Newsroom
(Prof. Stanley Osher holds a joint appointment in the Electrical Engineering Department.)
- Work by Professor Rob Candler and students highlighted in the Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Work by UCLA students Jere Harrison, Omeed Paydar, Yongha Hwang, Jimmy Wu, Evan Threlkeld, and professors Musumeci and Candler, entitled, Fabrication Process for Thick-Film Micromachined Multi-Pole Electromagnets, has been selected as a featured paper in the June issue of the Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems. The team designed and manufactured an ultra-high strength magnetic focusing and steering system for charged particle beams with the potential to miniaturize the state-of-the-art in microscopy, electron diffraction, and high-energy light sources.
- Ultra Low-Power WiFi Reflector Link For Next Generation Embedded and Wearable Devices
While the advancing wearable devices market promises us a connectivity revolution in devices throughout our lives, conventional WiFi technology requires every device to carry a transmitter, a prospect which simply consumes too much power for a wearable or battery-free device to support.
UCLA researchers in collaboration with JPL have developed a WiFi reflector link over the last two years, which instead reflects existing WiFi signals present in the environment to communicate with a router or other WiFi source. As a wearable or other embedded device needs only reflect the WiFi signal, not generate it, the technology allows for connectivity at only 0.01% of the power consumption of a regular network link.
To date, JPL researchers Adrian Tang, Nacer Chahat and Rod Kim together with UCLA faculty Frank Chang have demonstrated reflector links up to 3 Mb/s at ranges of up to 2.5m in the laboratory. With more advanced signal processing, it is believed that such devices will eventually operate up to 20 meters with data rates comparable to existing WiFi connections (approx. 50 Mb/s).
- UCLA Engineering Plays Key Role in DARPA ‘Neuroprosthesis’ Research
Markovic, Sayed to Work on a $15 Million Project to Restore Memory Function to Victims of Brain Injury
The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has been tapped by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to play a key role in an innovative project aimed at developing a wireless, implantable brain device that could help restore lost memory function in individuals who have suffered debilitating brain injuries and other disorders.
The four-year effort, to be led by UCLA's Program in Memory Restoration and funded by up to $15 million from DARPA, will involve a team of experts in neurosurgery, electrical engineering, neurobiology, psychology and physics who will collaborate to create, surgically implant and test the new "neuroprosthesis" in patients.
Dr. Itzhak Fried, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, is UCLA’s lead investigator on the project.
Dejan Markovic, associate professor of electrical engineering, will lead a group of UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science researchers developing technology to stimulate and record the activity of single neurons and of small neuronal populations. Electrical Engineering Professor Ali Sayed will work on signal processing and related aspects of the technology. DARPA will provide $4.5 million over four years for the UCLA Engineering effort, contingent on researchers meeting a series of technical milestones.
UCLA partners include the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Stanford University.
Memory is the process by which neurons in certain brain regions encode, store and retrieve information. Various illnesses and injuries can disrupt this process, causing memory loss. Traumatic brain injury, which has affected more than 270,000 military members since 2000, as well as millions of civilians, is often associated with such memory deficits. Currently, no effective therapies exist to address the long-term effects of these injuries on memory.
This ambitious, first-if-its-kind project at UCLA builds on Fried's 2012 research demonstrating that human memory can be strengthened by stimulating the brain's entorhinal cortex, a region involved in learning, memory and Alzheimer's disease.
In a key part of the project, the research team will stimulate and record neuron activity in patients who already have brain electrodes implanted as part of epilepsy treatment. Researchers will use this information to develop computational models and determine how to intervene with electrical stimulation to help restore memory function. The models will be transformed into therapeutics using technology developed by Markovic‘s team.
Markovic said the goal is to create miniature wireless neural sensors that are far more sophisticated — much smaller and with much higher resolution — than those that exist today. The sensors will track and modulate neural activity with very precise spatial and temporal resolution, allowing the device to continuously update and modulate patterns of stimulation to optimize therapy and restore memory function.
“We are developing ultra–low-power electronics in order to measure activity of specific areas of the brain, perform neural signal analysis and wirelessly transmit that information to an outside device in close proximity to the implants,” Markovic said. “The implants and the outside device will talk to each other. The goals are to provide better therapy for people with neurological dysfunction and help those with epilepsy and brain injury to enhance and restore memory.”
During the second phase of the program, Fried, using a minimally invasive procedure, will implant the device in patients with traumatic brain injury as part of a groundbreaking clinical trial.
The DARPA initiative aimed at developing these implantable brain devices, Restoring Active Memory (RAM), supports President Obama's BRAIN initiative.
Re-posting from UCLA HSSEAS Newsroom
By Bill Kisliuk