News: Kemi- och bioteknikhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyMon, 18 Oct 2021 03:55:53 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Molecular mixing creates super stable glass.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Molecular%20mixing%20creates%20super%20stable%20glass.aspxMolecular mixing creates super stable glass<p><b>Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have succeeded in creating a new type of super-stable, durable glass with potential applications ranging from medicines, advanced digital screens, and solar cell technology. The study shows how mixing multiple molecules – up to eight at a time – can result in a material that performs as well as the best currently known glass formers. </b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">A glass, also known as an ‘amorphous solid’, is a material that does not have a long-range ordered structure – it does not form a crystal. Crystalline materials on the other hand, are those with a highly ordered and repeating pattern. The fact that a glass does not contain crystals is what makes it useful.</span><div><br /></div> <div>The materials that we commonly call ‘glass’ in everyday life are mostly silicon dioxide-based, but glass can be formed from many different materials. </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Cellulosatråd/portratt_christian_muller_320x305px.jpg" alt="Porträttbild Christian Müller " class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">Rese</span><span style="background-color:initial">archers are therefore always interested in finding new ways to encourage different materials to form this amorphous state, which can potentially lead to the development of new types of glass with improved properties and new applications. The new study,<a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abi4659" title="Link to scientific article "> recently published in the scientific journal Science Advances</a>, represents an important step forward in that search.  </span><div><br /></div> <div>“Now, we have suddenly opened up the potential to create new and better glassy materials, by simply mixing many different molecules. Those working with organic molecules know that using mixtures of two or three different molecules can help to form a glass, but few might have expected that the addition of more molecules, and this many, would achieve such superior results,&quot; says Professor Christian Müller at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University who led the research team behind the study.    </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Best result for any glass forming material​</h2></div> <div>A glass is formed when a liquid is cooled down without undergoing crystallisation, a process called vitrification. The use of mixtures of two or three molecules to encourage glass formation is a well-established concept. However, the impact of mixing a multitude of molecules on the ability to form a glass has received little attention. <br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Christian%20Müller%20Molekylmixning%20skapar%20superstabilt%20glas/Sandra%20Hultmark%20320x340.jpg" alt="Porträttbild Sandra Hultmark " class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><br />The researchers experimented with a mixture of up to eight different perylene molecules which, individually, have a high fragility – a property related to how easy it is for a material to form a glass. But mixing many molecules resulted in a substantial decrease in fragility, and a very strong glass former with ultralow fragility was formed. </div> <br /></div> <div>“The fragility of the glass we created in the study is very low, representing the best glass-forming ability that has been measured not only for any organic material but also polymers and inorganic materials such as bulk metallic glasses. The results are even superior to the glass forming ability of ordinary window glass, one of the best glass formers that we know of” says Sandra Hultmark, doctoral student at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and lead author of the study​</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Extending product life and saving resources</h2> <div>Important applications for more stable organic glasses are display technologies such as OLED screens and renewable energy technologies such as organic solar cells. <br /><br /></div> <div><div>“OLEDs are constructed with glassy layers of light-emitting organic molecules. If these were more stable it may improve the durability of an OLED and ultimately the display,” Sandra Hultmark explains. </div> <div><br />Another application that may benefit from more stable glasses are pharmaceuticals. Amorphous drugs dissolve more quickly, which aids rapid uptake of the active ingredient upon ingestion. Hence, many pharmaceuticals make use of glass-forming drug formations. For pharmaceuticals it is vital that the glassy material does not crystallise over time. The more stable the glassy drug, the longer the shelf life of the medicine. <br /><br /></div> <div>“With more stable glasses or new glass forming materials, we could extend the lifespan of a large number of products, offering savings in terms of both resources and economy,” says Christian Müller.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research​</h3> <div><br /></div> <div><div><ul><li>The scientific article <a href="https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abi4659" title="Link to scientific article ">“Vitrification of octonary perylene mixtures with ultralow fragility”</a> has been published in the scientific journal Science Advances and is written by Sandra Hultmark, Alex Cravcenco, Khuschbu Khushwaha, Suman Mallick, Paul Erhardt, Karl Börjesson and Christian Müller. The researchers are active at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg<br /><br /></li> <li>The researchers chose to work with a series of small, conjugated molecules comprising a perylene core with different pendant alkyl groups at one of the bay positions. All eight perylene derivatives readily crystallise when cast from solution and show a fragility of more than 70.  <br /><br /></li> <li>Mixing of eight perylene derivatives resulted in a material that displays a fragility of only 13, which is a record low value for any glass forming material studied to date, including polymers and inorganic materials such as bulk metallic glasses and silicon dioxide.<br /><br /></li> <li>The research project was funded by the Swedish Research Council, the European Research Council, as well as the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation through project: Mastering Morphology for Solution-born Electronics. </li></ul></div></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact:​</h3> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Christian-Müller.aspx" title="Länk till profilsiida ">​<span style="background-color:initial">Christian Müller</span></a><span style="background-color:initial">, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Sandra-Hultmark.aspx" title="Länk till profilsida ">Sandra Hultmark</a>, doktorand på institutionen för kemi och kemiteknik, Chalmers</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Jenny Holmstrand and Johsua Worth <br />Images: Chalmers/Joshua Worth/Yen Stranqvist </div> <div>​<br /></div> ​​​Thu, 14 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/Additive-manufacturing-can-fundamentally-change-the-way-we-live.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/Additive-manufacturing-can-fundamentally-change-the-way-we-live.aspxAdditive manufacturing can fundamentally change the way we live<p><b>​“I look very much forward to the Materials for tomorrow workshop”, says Uta Klement, Professor in Surface and Microstructure Engineering.This year’s seminar Materials for Tomorrow is devoted to the broad diversity of additive manufacturing, across materials and applications. The topic is &quot;Additive Manufacturing – From academic challenges to industrial practice&quot;. The event will take place online, November 17th, with several internationally recognized speakers. ​</b></p>​​<img src="/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/PublishingImages/Uta-Klement_MFT.jpg" alt="Uta Klement" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>“There is a very close </strong>cooperation between academia and industry. This is also reflected in CAM2, the Centre for Additive Manufacture – Metal, in which around 25 companies are involved and help define research questions”, says Uta Klement, and she continues:</span><div><br /></div> <div>“To achieve the United Nations SDGs, we need to fundamentally change the way we live, including the way we manufacture products. Additive manufacturing contributes to resource efficiency by reducing material waste and energy consumption. Additive manufacturing, AM, can also help to produce lightweight components, which will help reduce fuel costs and the carbon footprint of, for example, planes, cars, and trucks”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Uta Klement </strong>is Professor in Materials Science at Chalmers University of Technology with emphasis on Electron Microscopy and is Head of the Division of Materials and Manufacture at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science. She is also heading the Surface and Microstructure Engineering research group.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Why is this technology so interesting?</strong></div> <div>“In addition to rapid prototyping through 3D printing, Additive Manufacturing can offer local on-demand spare parts production, customer-specific products, lightweight construction, functional integration, and the opportunity to implement completely new ideas. Product development and market entry can be accelerated significantly while cost reduction and sustainability goals can be achieved at the same time”, says Uta Klement.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is the most exciting in the field?</strong></div> <div>“A broader adoption of the additive manufacturing technology depends on the ability to control the entire eco-system, involving pre-printing, printing, and post-printing. This is what we do in CAM2, the Centre for Additive Manufacture - Metal. In addition to a better understanding of the different parts of the process chain, there is currently much focus on quality assurance and the use of inline process monitoring systems together with AI to detect and avoid defects in built components. Also in operando measurements are of much interest to better understand the process and the formed microstructure.</div> <div>Even though additive manufacturing enables the manufacture of parts with a high degree of complexity, internal cooling channels or lattice structures, the surface integrity of the parts is often of inadequate quality, where values for the surface roughness can be much higher than acceptable for many applications. Therefore, surface integrity plays an important role in defining the part's operational performance, which is why post-processing to improve the surface integrity of additively manufactured parts is critical to the introduction of the technology in its broadest sense and requires more attention”, says Uta.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Which materials can be used in Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing?</strong></div> <div>“Due to their ease of use and low melting temperatures, 3D printing began with polymeric materials. Today, additive manufacturing / 3D printing encompasses most types of materials, from polymers to metals, ceramics to living cells”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Which is the most advanced object constructed using additive manufacturing?</strong></div> <div>“That is of course a matter of opinion. Being able to make custom body parts after trauma surgery can be seen as very important and advanced. But even parts that cannot be manufactured using conventional, i.e., subtractive processes, including material-saving lightweight structures, are very progressive and require a completely new design. For future space exploration, when we travel to Moon and Mars, Additive Manufacturing will be fundamental for producing the vital infrastructure”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What are you most looking forward to at this seminar?</strong></div> <div>“I'm looking forward to interesting lectures that give a broad overview of what can already be done with Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing and what challenges we still face”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Who should attend to the seminar?</strong></div> <div>“Everyone is welcome, from beginners to experts. I think the seminar offers something for everyone and everyone can learn something new.</div> <div>I hope the participants learn during the seminar that additive manufacturing is very broad and a topic that will keep us busy for the next years to come”, Uta Klement concludes.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/materials/Calendar/Pages/Materials-for-Tomorrow-2021.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">P</span><span style="background-color:initial">rogram Materials for Tomorrow 2021 </span></a><br /></div> <span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://ui.ungpd.com/Surveys/e19f2bbb-3ee3-4e2f-b259-173b334d614a"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Register to the seminar </a></span>Fri, 24 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Areas-of-Advance-Award-for-a-method-that-enables-full-development-of-RNA-based-medicines.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Areas-of-Advance-Award-for-a-method-that-enables-full-development-of-RNA-based-medicines.aspxAwarded for a method that enables full development of RNA-based medicines<p><b>​RNA-based therapeutics had their big breakthrough as a Covid vaccine. But in order to also be able to cure cancer and other diseases, a refined technology is needed that increases the uptake of RNA into the cell. Elin Esbjörner and Marcus Wilhelmsson have led a research team that has developed a method that facilitates this development. For this, they now receive the Areas of Advance Award.</b></p>​<img src="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/PublishingImages/A_A_Elin-Esbjorner_2.jpg" alt="Elin Esbjörner " class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>They are from different research areas</strong>, but have shared lunch rooms for many years.</span><div>” We have talked for a long time about collaboration to test if Marcus' fluorescent short <span style="background-color:initial">RN</span><span style="background-color:initial">A could be used in live cells but have never had a platform for it. In 2017, we, together with other researcher at Chalmers and other Swedish universities, received a large research grant that made it possible,” s</span><span style="background-color:initial">ays Elin Esbjörner, associate professor at the Department of Biology and </span><span style="background-color:initial">Bio</span><span style="background-color:initial">locical</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> Engineering</span><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The FoRmulaEx research center</strong> was formed and a goal was set - if everything went well, they would have a method to produce fluorescent mRNA within six years.</div> <div>It took three.</div> <div>“mRNA is a molecule that assist in translating the genetic code to protein. It is used in Covid vaccines, but it also has great promise for cancer vaccines and to treat different types of genetic diseases. The potential is huge. But for this to work, these large and fragile molecules must become better at getting into the cells and reach their target. The functional uptake into the cells today is at best a few percent.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><img src="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/PublishingImages/A-A_Marcus-Wilhelmsson_I0A4104.jpg" alt="Marcus Wilhelmsson" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />This is where the fluorescent mRNA comes in</strong>. Marcus Wilhelmsson, professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, explains that it behaves like a natural mRNA, even though one of RNA’s own building-blocks here is replaced by a corresponding fluorescent building-block that has been developed by the team.</div> <div>“In this way you can follow mRNA molecules into the cell and see how they are taken up. The method makes it easier for the pharmaceutical industry and academic research groups to accelerate the development of mRNA medicines,” says Marcus Wilhelmsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>To ensure that the method is utilized, the researchers have submitted a couple of patent applications and with the support of Chalmers Ventures and Chalmers Innovation Office, a company is being started up.</div> <div>“We are currently looking for a business developer and in a few weeks, the company will be up and running.”<br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>So how long can it take before</strong> the new technology can be on the market?</div> <div>“The fluorescent building block could be on the market within a year. Skilled labs around the world could use it to do their own investigations. A kit for the entire technology, which includes information about the production of the long mRNA strand, may take two years, says Marcus Wilhelmsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The method has already received a lot of attention, not least since the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) selected the project and the innovation for its annual 100 list. The Areas of Advance Award is another recognition that the results of their research which has also been done in collaboration with AstraZeneca, makes a difference.<br /><br /></div> <span style="background-color:initial"><strong>“Sweden is not known</strong> for having many academic prizes, so it is nice to get that attention. It´s an honor, especially when you think about the talented people who have received the award before. We are very proud”</span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Related:</strong><br /><a href="/en/centres/FoRmulaEx/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />The FoRmulaEx research center</a><br /><br />Text: Lars Nicklasson</span>​</div> ​Wed, 15 Sep 2021 17:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New insulation material improves electricity transport.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New%20insulation%20material%20improves%20electricity%20transport.aspxNew material improves electricity transport<p><b>High-voltage direct current cables which can efficiently transport electricity over long distances play a vital role in our electricity supply. Optimising their performance is therefore an important challenge. With that aim in mind, scientists from Chalmers University of Technology present a new insulation material up to three times less conductive, offering significant improvements to the properties and performance of such cables.</b></p>​If we are to transition to a world powered by renewable energy, efficient long-distance transport of electricity is essential, since the supply – renewable energy sources such as wind and solar farms, as well as hydroelectric dams – is often located far from cities, where most of the demand exists. High voltage direct current cables, or HVDC cables, are the most efficient means of transporting electricity over long distances. <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Cellulosatråd/portratt_christian_muller_320x305px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Porträttbild Christian Müller " style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">HVDC cables with an insulation layer can be buried underground or laid on the seabed, allowing for considerable expansion of networks, and many projects are currently underway to connect different parts of the world. In Europe, for instance, the NordLink project will connect southern Norway and Germany, and HVDC cable projects form a significant part of the energiewende, Germany's overarching plan to move to a more environmentally sustainable energy supply. </span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“For us to handle the rapidly increasing global demand for electricity, efficient and safe HVDC cables are an essential component. The supply of renewable energy can fluctuate, so being able to transport electricity through long distance networks is a necessity for ensuring a steady and reliable distribution,&quot; says Christian Müller, leader of the research and Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.&quot;<br /><br /><div><span></span>During transport, as little energy as possible should be lost. One way to reduce transmission losse such as this is by increasing the direct current voltage level. </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/isoleringsmaterial%20i%20högspänningskablar/Xiangdong-Xu%20320x305.jpg" alt="porträttbild Xiangdong Xu" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><br /><p style="margin-bottom:8.25pt"><span lang="EN-GB">&quot;However, an increase in the transmission voltage adversely affects the insulation of an HVDC cable,&quot; explains Xiangdong Xu, research specialist at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.&quot; </span></p></div> <div>The researchers now present a novel way to reduce the conductivity of an insulation material. </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A material that gives the cables three times lower conductivity</h2></div> <div>The basis of the new material is polyethylene, which is already used for insulation in existing HVDC cables. Now, by adding very small amounts – 5 parts per million – of the conjugated polymer known as poly(3-hexylthiophene), the researchers were able to lower the electrical conductivity by up to three times<br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The additive, also known as P3HT, is a widely studied material, and given the tiny amounts required, opens up new possibilities for manufacturers. Other possible substances that have previously been used to reduce the conductivity are nanoparticles of various metal oxides and other polyolefins, but these require significantly higher quantities.<br /><br /></span></div> <div>“In materials science, we strive to use additives in as small quantities as possible, in order to increase the potential for them to be used in industry and for better recycling potential. The fact that only a very small amount of this additive is required to achieve the effect is a big advantage,” says Christian Müller.<br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A discovery that could lead to a new research field</h2></div> <div><span></span>Conjugated polymers, such as P3HT, have been used in the past to design flexible and printed electronics. However, this is the first time they have been used and tested as an additive to modify the properties of a commodity plastic. The researchers therefore believe that their discovery could lead to numerous new applications and directions for research.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Our hope is that this study can really open up a new field of research, inspiring other researchers to look into designing and optimising plastics with advanced electrical properties for energy transport and storage applications,&quot; says Christian Müller.<br /></div> <div></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact:</h3></div> <div><span></span><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Christian-Müller.aspx" title="Link to personal profile page ">Christian Müller</a>, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology​<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research</h3> <div><ul><li>The research study is part of a project funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and was led by Christian Müller and his research group at Chalmers and was carried out in collaboration with colleagues active in both Sweden and internationally. </li></ul></div> <div><ul><li>​The scientific article <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202100714" title="Link to scientific article ">Repurposing Poly (3-hexylthiophene) as a Conductivity-Reducing Additive for Polyethylene-Based High-Voltage Insulation</a> has been published in the journal Advanced Materials and is written by Amir Masoud Pourrahimi, Sarath Kumara, Fabrizio Palmieri, Liyang Yu, Anja Lund, Thomas Hammarström, Per-Ola Hagstrand, Ivan G. Scheblykin, Davide Fabiani, Xiangdong Xu, and Christian Müller. The researchers are active at Chalmers University of Technology, University of Bologna, Lund University and Borealis AB.​​</li></ul> <span></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>​<br /></div> <div><br /></div></div> ​Thu, 26 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/Protein-structure-at-atomic-level.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/Protein-structure-at-atomic-level.aspxProtein structure at atomic level<p><b>​During his first period as a Wallenberg Academy Fellow, Martin Andersson and his research team were the first in the world to analyze tissue using an atom probe. He is now developing a method of determining the exact structure of proteins using the same tool. This may open new doors in drug development.</b></p><a href="https://kaw.wallenberg.org/en/research/protein-structure-atomic-level"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />​Re​ad the interview with Martin Andersson on kaw.wallenberg.org</a>Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-electronic-paper-displays-brilliant-colours-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-electronic-paper-displays-brilliant-colours-.aspxNew electronic paper displays brilliant colours<p><b>​Imagine sitting out in the sun, reading a digital screen as thin as paper, but seeing the same image quality as if you were indoors. Thanks to research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, it could soon be a reality.  A new type of reflective screen – sometimes described as ‘electronic paper’ – offers optimal colour display, while using ambient light to keep energy consumption to a minimum.​​</b></p><div>Traditional digital screens use a backlight to illuminate the text or images displayed upon them. This is fine indoors, but we’ve all experienced the difficulties of viewing such screens in bright sunshine. Reflective screens, however, attempt to use the ambient light, mimicking the way our eyes respond to natural paper.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/elektroniska%20papper%20Anderas%20Dahlin/Marika_Gugole_220x230.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Porträttbild Marika Gogole " style="margin:5px" /><br /><div>“For reflective screens to compete with the energy-intensive digital screens that we use today, images and colours must be reproduced with the same high quality. That will be the real breakthrough. Our research now shows how the technology can be optimised, making it attractive for commercial use,” says Marika Gugole, Doctoral Student at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://news.cision.com/chalmers/r/bendable-electronic-paper-displays-whole-colour-range%2cc3179468">The researchers had already previously succeeded in developing an ultra-thin, flexible material that reproduces all the colours an LED screen can display, while requiring only a tenth of the energy that a standard tablet consumes</a>. But in the earlier design the colours on the reflective screen did not display with optimal quality. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c00904" title="Link to scientific article ">Now the new study, published in the journal Nano Letters takes the material one step further. </a>Using a previously researched, porous and nanostructured material, containing tungsten trioxide, gold and platinum, they tried a new tactic – inverting the design in such a way as to allow the colours to appear much more accurately on the screen. <br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"></h2> <div><span lang="EN-GB"><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span lang="EN-GB">Inverting the design for top quality colour​ </span></h2> </span></div> </div> <div><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">The inversion of the design represents a great step forward. They placed the component which makes the material electrically conductive underneath the pixelated nanostructure that reproduces the colours – instead of above it, as was previously the case. This new design means you look directly at the pixelated surface, therefore seeing the colours much more clearly. </span></p></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><div><div>In addition to the minimal energy consumption, reflective screens have other advantages. For example, they are much less tiring for the eyes compared to looking at a regular screen.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/elektroniska%20papper%20Anderas%20Dahlin/Andreas_Dahlin%20220x230.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="porträttbild Anderas Dahlin " style="margin:5px" />To make these reflective screens, certain rare metals are required – such as the gold and platinum – but because the final product is so thin, the amounts needed are very small. The researchers have high hopes that eventually, it will be possible to significantly reduce the quantities needed for production.<br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Our main goal when developing these reflective screens, or ‘electronic paper’ as it is sometimes termed, is to find sustainable, energy-saving solutions. And in this case, energy consumption is almost zero because we simply use the ambient light of the surroundings,” explains research leader Andreas Dahlin, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.​</div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Flexible with a wide range of uses</h2></div> <div>Reflective screens are already available in some tablets today, but they only display the colours black and white well, which limits their use.<br /><br /></div> <div>“A large industrial player with the right technical competence could, in principle, start developing a product with the new technology within a couple of months,” says Andreas Dahlin, who envisions a number of further applications. In addition to smart phones and tablets, it could also be useful for outdoor advertising, offering energy and resource savings compared with both printed posters or moving digital screens.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Update of this article: Next step taken – video speed operation in electronic papers </h2> <div> <div>Andreas Dahlin’s research group has together with colleagues from University of Cambridge, managed to reach video speed operation for electronic papers, in a new study <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.202103217" title="Link to scientific article ">Video Speed Switching of Plasmonic Structural Colors with High Contrast and Superior Lifetime​</a>, <span style="background-color:initial">recently published in the journal Advances Materials . </span></div> <span></span><div></div></div> <div>​<br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"></h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research</h3> <div><ul> <li>​The technology in Chalmers researchers' reflective screens is based on the material's ability to regulate how light is absorbed and reflected. In the current study, tungsten trioxide is the core material, but in previous studies, researchers also used polymers. The material that covers the surface conducts electronic signals throughout the screen and can be patterned to create high-resolution images.<br /><br /></li> <li>The scientific article <a href="https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c00904" title="Link to article "> <span>Electrochromi</span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span>c</span><span> Inorganic Nanostructures with High Chromaticity and Superior Brightness</span></a> has been published in Nano Letters and is written by Marika Gugole, Oliver Olsson, Stefano Rossi, Magnus P. Jonsson and Andreas Dahlin. The researchers are active at Chalmers University of Technology and Linköping University.​</li></ul></div> <div><div><div><p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><span style="background-color:initial">​The scientific article </span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.202103217" title="Link to scientific article ">Video Speed Switching of Plasmonic Structural Colors with High Contrast and Superior Lifetime​</a> </span><span style="background-color:initial">h</span><span style="background-color:initial">as been published in</span><span style="background-color:initial"> Advanced Materials </span><span style="background-color:initial">and is written by</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Kunl</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">i</span><span style="background-color:initial"> Xiong, Oliver Olsson, Justas Svirelis, Chonnipa Palasingh, Jeremy Baumberg, Andreas Dahlin. </span><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he researchers are active at Chalmers University of Technology and University of Cambridge.</span>​</li></ul> <span></span><p></p> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span></span></p></div> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> Contact <br /></h3></div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Andreas-Dahlin.aspx" title="Link to Anderas Dahln personal profile page "><span>A</span><span style="background-color:initial">ndre</span><span style="background-color:initial">as</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Dahl</span><span style="background-color:initial">i</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">n</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span></a></div> <div>Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><br /></div> <div>​​</div> <div><br /></div> </div> <div><div></div></div> <div>​​</div> ​​​​​​​​Mon, 12 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Breakthrough-fortracking-RNA-with-fluorescence-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Breakthrough-fortracking-RNA-with-fluorescence-.aspxBreakthrough for tracking RNA with fluorescence<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have succeeded in developing a method to label mRNA molecules, and thereby follow, in real time, their path through cells, using a microscope – without affecting their properties or subsequent activity. The breakthrough could be of great importance in facilitating the development of new RNA-based medicines.</b></p><div>RNA-based therapeutics offer a range of new opportunities to prevent, treat and potentially cure diseases. But currently, the delivery of RNA therapeutics into the cell is inefficient. For new therapeutics to fulfil their potential, the delivery methods need to be optimised. Now, a new method, recently presented in the highly regarded Journal of the American Chemical Society, can provide an important piece of the puzzle of overcoming these challenges and take the development a major step forward.<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Marcus%20Wilhelmsson%20spåra%20RNA%20i%20celler/Marcus%20Wilhelmsson_320x320.jpg" alt="" style="height:189px;width:189px;margin:5px" /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Since our method can help solve one of the biggest problems for drug discovery and development, we see<br />that this research can facilitate a paradigm shift from traditional drugs to RNA-based therapeutics,&quot; says Marcus Wilhelmsson, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, and one of the main authors of the article. </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Making mRNA fluorescent without affecting its natural activity</h2> <div>The research behind the method has been done in collaboration with chemists and biologists at Chalmers and the biopharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca, through their joint research centre, <a href="/en/centres/FoRmulaEx/Pages/default.aspx">FoRmulaEx</a>, as well as a research group at the Pasteur Institute, Paris.</div> <div> </div> <div>The method involves replacing one of the building blocks of RNA with a fluorescent variant, which, apart from that feature, maintains the natural properties of the original base. The fluorescent units have been developed with the help of a special chemistry, and the researchers have shown that it can then be used to produce messenger RNA (mRNA), without affecting the mRNA’s ability to be translated into a protein at natural speed. This represents a breakthrough which has never before been done successfully. The fluorescence furthermore allows the researchers to follow functional mRNA molecules in real time, seeing how they are taken up into cells with the help of a microscope.</div> <div> </div> <div>A challenge when working with mRNA is that the molecules are very large and charged, but at the same time fragile. They cannot get into cells directly and must therefore be packaged. The method that has proven most successful to date uses very small droplets known as lipid nanoparticles to encapsulate the mRNA. There is still a great need to develop new and more efficient lipid nanoparticles – something which the Chalmers researchers are also working on. To be able to do that, it is necessary to understand how mRNA is taken up into cells. The ability to monitor, in real time, how the lipid nanoparticles and mRNA are distributed through the cell is therefore an important tool.</div> <div> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Marcus%20Wilhelmsson%20spåra%20RNA%20i%20celler/Elin%20Esbjorner%20320x320.jpg" width="320" height="194" alt="" style="height:181px;width:181px;margin:5px" /></div> <div>“The great benefit of this method is that we can now easily see where in the cell the delivered mRNA goes, <br /><br />and in which cells the protein is formed, without losing RNA's natural protein-translating ability,” says Elin Esbjörner, Associate Professor at the Department for Biology and Biotechnology and the second lead author of the article.</div> <div><div> </div></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Crucial information for optimising drug discovery</h2> <div>Researchers in this area can use the method to gain greater knowledge of how the uptake process works, thus accelerating and streamlining the new medicines’ discovery process. The new method provides more accurate and detailed knowledge than current methods for studying RNA under a microscope.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Until now, it has not been possible to measure the natural rate and efficiency with which RNA acts in the cell. This means that you get the wrong answers to the questions you ask when trying to develop a new drug. For example, if you want an answer to what rate a process takes place at, and your method gives you an answer that is a fifth of the correct, drug discovery becomes difficult,” explains Marcus Wilhelmsson.</div> <div> </div> <div>On the way to utilisation – directly into IVA’s top 100 list</div> <div> </div> <div>When the researchers realised what a difference their method could make and how important the new knowledge is for the field, they made their results available as quickly as possible. Recently, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) included the project in its annual 100 list and also highlighted it as particularly important for increasing societal resilience to crises. To ensure useful commercialisation of the method, the researchers have submitted a patent application and are planning for a spin-off company, with the support of the business incubator Chalmers Ventures and the Chalmers Innovation Office.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2021/04/05/watching-mrna-do-its-thing-in-living-cells">The research was also featured in the academic journal Science Translational Medicine's popular &quot;In The Pipeline&quot; blog as a particularly exciting contribution to the field of research</a></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jacs.1c00014">Read the scientific article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS)</a></div> <div> </div> <div>For more information, contact:</div> <div> </div> <div>Marcus Wilhelmsson, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, <span class="baec5a81-e4d6-4674-97f3-e9220f0136c1" style="white-space:nowrap">+46 31 722 3051<a title="Ring: +46 31 722 3051" href="#" style="overflow:hidden;border-width:medium;border-style:none;border-color:initial;height:16px;width:16px;vertical-align:middle;white-space:nowrap;float:none;margin:0px;display:inline;position:static !important"><img title="Ring: +46 31 722 3051" alt="" style="overflow:hidden;border-width:medium;border-style:none;border-color:initial;height:16px;width:16px;vertical-align:middle;white-space:nowrap;float:none;margin:0px;display:inline;position:static !important" /></a></span>, marcus.wilhelmsson@chalmers.se</div> <div> </div> <div>Elin Esbjörner, Associate Professor, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology, <span class="baec5a81-e4d6-4674-97f3-e9220f0136c1" style="white-space:nowrap">+46 21-772 51 20<a title="Ring: +46 21-772 51 20" href="#" style="overflow:hidden;border-width:medium;border-style:none;border-color:initial;height:16px;width:16px;vertical-align:middle;white-space:nowrap;float:none;margin:0px;display:inline;position:static !important"><img title="Ring: +46 21-772 51 20" alt="" style="overflow:hidden;border-width:medium;border-style:none;border-color:initial;height:16px;width:16px;vertical-align:middle;white-space:nowrap;float:none;margin:0px;display:inline;position:static !important" /></a></span>, eline@chalmers.se</div> ​​Wed, 30 Jun 2021 08:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/Yesterdays-computer-could-be-tomorrows-goldmine.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/Yesterdays-computer-could-be-tomorrows-goldmine.aspxYesterday's computer could be tomorrows goldmine<p><b>​How many computers do you have at home? Several of us probably have a smaller collection. Smartphones and computers offer fantastic opportunities. But there is a downside to humans and the planet. Sofia Nygård and the Chalmers IT Office work to make Chalmers more sustainable, especially when it comes to hardware.</b></p>​<img src="/sv/styrkeomraden/material/nyheter/PublishingImages/sofia%20nygård.jpg" alt="Sofia Nygård" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“In my own closet I actually have zero old computers. The IT office have events, &quot;Återtag&quot; reuse, where you also can hand in your private equipment. I have taken advantage of that. Chalmers equipment can be hand in at any time. Even though I am not a researcher, I know that it is important to use a product as long as possible and then reuse it as much as possible”, says Sofia Nygård, Head of Unit, at Chalmers' IT office.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>At Chalmers, laptops are used for an average of four years, and desktops for five. Every computer can almost be reused. The IT office works actively with students and employees to make them bring in old computers. After collecting the computers, a company deletes all data, reinstalls the computer and removes all labels so that it cannot be tracked to Chalmers. After that, it goes to the Nordic market. The end is material recycling, the computers that can't be reused go directly to recycling.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We slowly started with &quot;Återtag&quot; in the autumn of 2018. It was an easy way to combine Chalmers' vision for a sustainable future and at the same time ensure that all our researchers and teachers have equipment that is functional and easy for us in the IT office to handle”, says Sofia Nygård who is the initiator of &quot;Återtag&quot;.<br /><br /></div> <div>“The researchers must have appropriate equipment. But the equipment at Chalmers was far too poor and too old. To get the researchers to let go of the equipment, we needed to find a way without contributing to more e-waste. The risk is that one's computer will end up in Africa and that a child will burn cables and plastic to get hold of valuable metals”, says Sofia. So, to succeed in managing sales, and the e-waste that is generated, the IT Office works in many ways.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is important to have an active work on sustainability, both in collaboration with our suppliers, those who own the IT systems, to influence and make demands on the industry, but also for different partners. Internally at Chalmers, our ambition is to create guidance on how to save our documents, preferably in the cloud and on file servers, so that it will be easier to hand in when that day comes”, says Sofia Nygård and gives examples.</div> <div>“Now we are looking at whether Chalmers can purchase recycled phones directly. An example is smartphones that have been used for two years. It saves money and CO2. It's the same with recycled printers. We also take an active part in the public discussion. Most recently in Aktuell Hållbarhet with the debate article It-köpare - det är tid att agera”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Other initiatives are:</strong></div> <div><ul><li>​The new platform, Chalmers recycling website, reuse.chalmers.se - an internal &quot;Blocket&quot;, with the big difference that everything is free. This is part of Chalmers' business support sustainability work that contributes to the UN's sustainable develoment goal 12, <a href="https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-consumption-production/">Responsible Consumption and Production</a>.</li> <li>Collaboration with the organization Closing the loop, which works with circular services. The organization is the first to be approved to handle the collection of electronic waste within the framework of the requirement TCO certified egde. The money that &quot;Återtag&quot; deliver to Chalmers, contributes to Closing the loop being able to buy back old mobile phones from Africa for recycling.</li></ul></div> <div>– All electronics in Europe ends up in a dump in Africa. That's the big thing. They can't recycle the material, which is a health issue. When we first met Closing the loop, we realized that they could also handle old electronic waste locally on site that had already been shipped to Africa.<br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/en/staff/Bild/Martina%20Petranikova.jpg" alt="Martina Petranikova" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><strong>&quot;From the technological point of view</strong>, we have come a long way&quot;, says Martina Petranikova, Associate Professor, at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. <br /><br /></div> <div>Her work deals with hydrometallurgical process to recover valuable metals from primary sources like ores. And from secondary sources – car batteries, steel making dust, mining waste, waste of electric and electronic equipment, etc.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>&quot;We are keeping old electronic </strong>waste at home. The concentration of precious metals, like gold, used in one computer around the year 2000 can be used to produce five or six computers today, so we should really bring in the old computers&quot;, says <span style="background-color:initial">Martina Petranikova.</span></div> <div>The advantage with recycling materials from waste, is that we already have it.  We do not have to mine ore to get hold of it, which saves the environment but also transportation, and less CO2 emissions.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>&quot;I usually tell my students</strong> that metals are amazing materials. It doesn’t matter how many times it will be recycled if you do it properly and purify the metals. The metals will keep its properties. One example is recycled aluminum and copper. If you use recycled aluminum, you only need ten percent of the energy for the production, compared with production from the ore&quot;. <br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Martina Petranikova mentions </strong>the challenges for the society. One is to develop a system that is safe for the customers to bring in the computers, we have lots of personal data stored in our old electronic equipment. Another positive challenge is that we do not need large amounts of waste to get this profitable. </div> <div>&quot;So, we need a circular system to enhance better economy and sustainable production. There is already a network and infrastructure for how the electronic waste is treated. But the effective collection of the waste is still the most crucial step in whole value chain&quot;, she concludes.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Related:</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://tcocertified.se/konfliktmineraler/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Konfliktmineraler som bryts för IT-produkter driver på krig i utsatta regioner</a><br /><a href="https://www.closingtheloop.eu/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Closing the loop</a><br /><a href="https://www.aktuellhallbarhet.se/alla-nyheter/debatt/it-kopare-det-ar-dags-att-agera/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />It-köpare - det är dags att agera</a> (Debate article)</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://www.aktuellhallbarhet.se/alla-nyheter/debatt/it-kopare-det-ar-dags-att-agera/"></a><a href="https://reuse.chalmers.se/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Reuse - Chalmers.se</a></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://reuse.chalmers.se/"></a><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/person/marpetr"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Martina Petranikova</a><br /></span></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>By: Ann-Christine Nordin</div></div>Fri, 04 Jun 2021 17:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/more-efficient-electricity-distribution.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/more-efficient-electricity-distribution.aspxNew insulation material can enable more efficient electricity distribution<p><b>​The most efficient way to transport electricity over long distances is to use high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cables. To further improve the power transmission efficiency of HVDC cables insulation materials with a very low electrical conductivity are needed, something that Christian Müller and his research group at Chalmers University of Technology have now come one step closer in a project funded by the Foundation for Strategic Research.</b></p><strong>​</strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>There are many benefits</strong> to HVDC cables. In a direct current cable, the electricity can go in both directions, a perfect way to connect electricity networks that are otherwise separated. The cables can also be buried and even laid on the seabed, which makes it possible to expand the network and connect different parts of the world.</span><div><br /></div> <div>But even if today’s HVDC cables are good, they can be even better. To get as small electricity losses as possible in the cables, you want to increase the transmission voltage. But that sets high standards on the insulation material around the conducting core. Today’s most advanced electrical cables use extruded insulation based on polyethylene, a plastic that is also found in ordinary shopping bags. The problem with this material is that it is heat sensitive. At the high working temperatures of HVDC cables, 70 to 90 ºC, the material becomes soft. This can be solved by creating covalent crosslinks between the polymer chains, but then a new problem arises. During production, harmful by-products are formed, which also impair the electrical properties of the material.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/sv/personal/PublishingImages/Kemi-%20och%20bioteknik/Tillämpad%20Kemi/Profilbilder%20plan%208/C-Müller.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><strong>Christian Müller</strong> and his research group have found a new way to create an insulation material with excellent electrical properties. By adding very small amounts of the conjugated polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) to polyethylene the electrical conductivity of the insulation material can be drastically reduced. When only 5 ppm of P3HT was added, the direct current conductivity in the material was three times lower compared to polyethylene without the additive – which, considering the low amount of the additive that is needed, is the best result for any conductivity-reducing additive so far. Other types of conductivity-reducing additives include metal oxide nanoparticles and other polyolefins but those must be added in much larger amounts.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Conjugated polymers</strong>, such as P3HT, have previously been used to design, for example, flexible and printed electronics. This is the first time that a conjugated polymer (one of the workhorse materials for flexible and printed electronics) is used as a mere additive for another polymer to change its properties and the researchers believe the discovery will open a host of new applications.<br /><br /><strong>RELATED:</strong></div> <div><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/adma.202100714"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">R</span><span style="background-color:initial">ead the a</span><span style="background-color:initial">rticle in Advanced Materials</span></a><br /></div> <div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F_hmIEh3jo&amp;ab_channel=Stiftelsenf%C3%B6rStrategiskForskningSSF"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">Wat</span><span style="background-color:initial">ch the movie about the research</span></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>WRITER</strong></div> <div><a href="mailto:sofie.pehrsson@strategiska.se">Sofie Pehrsson</a>, <span style="background-color:initial">Fo</span><span style="background-color:initial">undation for Strategic Research.</span></div> <div><br /></div> Fri, 04 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Unique-enzymes-help-gut-bacteria-compete-for-food.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Unique-enzymes-help-gut-bacteria-compete-for-food.aspxUnique enzymes help gut bacteria compete for food<p><b>​The bacterial composition of the human gut can affect health. To investigate this, researchers need increased knowledge of this diverse bacterial ecosystem. In a recently published study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers at Chalmers investigated the strategy used by one bacterial species in the gut to compete for nutrients in dietary fibre. The study was selected as one of the journal’s top ranked publications, the so-called Editors’ Picks.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">The systems and strategies used by gut bacteria to digest dietary fibre in our food varies between different species. Research has shown connections between bacterial composition to both health and different diseases. Thus, basic understanding of how the “good” gut bacteria work is important, for example how well they compete with other bacteria for nutrients in the gut.</span><br /></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Protective groups complicates degradation of dietary fibre</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">​In</span><span style="background-color:initial"> the gut, bacteria use enzyme</span><span style="background-color:initial">s, proteins that catalyse chemical reactions, to break down the complex polysaccharides, i.e. long carbohydrate chain</span><span style="background-color:initial">s, in dietary fibre into simple sugars. However, some of these polysaccharides are prot</span><span style="background-color:initial">ected by chemical groups, that hinder enzymatic degradation. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“How gut bacteria handle these protective groups has not been studied in detail. In our study, we have explored how the gut bacter</span><span style="background-color:initial">ium </span><span style="background-color:initial"><em>Dysgonomona's mossii</em> </span><span style="background-color:initial">degrades the complex plant polysaccharide xylan. This is an important compone</span><span style="background-color:initial">nt in dietary fibre, but the carbohydrate chains are protected by several chemical groups that make them difficult to degrade,” says Johan Larsbrink, Associate Professor of Industrial Biotechnology at the Department of Biology and Biotechnological Engineering.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"></span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif">Found three enzymes used to remove protective groups </h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><em>Dysgonomonas mossii </em></span><span style="background-color:initial">belongs to in the phylum Bacteroidetes, which is a dominant group in the gut microbiota of humans, and they are considered &quot;good&quot; bacteria. Previous research has shown that in these species, the genes encoding enzymes for degrading carbohydrate chains are often found in large gene clusters in the DNA, so-called polysaccharide utilisation loci (PULs).</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“We found three interesting enzymes, carbohydrate esterases, with different properties in a PUL in the bacterium, and we have shown how they are used to remove protective groups from xylan,” says Cathleen Kmezik, doctoral student at the Department of Biology and Biotechnological Engineering.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">The PUL with the esterase genes also contains several other enzymes which degrade complex xylan chains. The clustering of the studied esterases with these other enzymes indicates that the ability to remove protective groups from carbohydrate chains is important for the bacteria to obtain nutrients.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"></span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif">Solved one enzyme's 3D structure</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">One of the esterases consists of two fused, catalytic, domains, which is rare. If you compare an enzyme to a pair of scissors that cuts specific chemical bonds, this esterase consists of two pairs of scissors physically connected to each other.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">“This enables the esterase to cut different chemical bonds that are situated very close to each other. However, one part of this enzyme was not very active on the molecules we tested in our lab experiments, but Scott Mazurkewich, a post-doctoral researcher managed to solve its 3D structure by X-ray crystallography. This means that we can see exactly what the enzyme looks like down to a tenth of a nanometre scale and provides us with a better understanding of what the enzyme is actually doing in the gut,” says Cathleen Kmezik.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"></span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif">Removal of protective groups may be important for survival</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">The ability to remove protective groups from polysaccharides may be important for survival in the gut, according to the researchers. More research is needed, though, to determine which niches different bacteria have in terms of what they can eat in the gut − and whether it leads to increased survival and persistence under certain conditions.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">Future studies could allow different species of bacteria to grow simultaneously on different carbohydrates with many or few protective groups and compare wh</span><span style="background-color:initial">o &quot;wins&quot; the battle for nutrition. There is also potential for the enzymes to be used industrially to accelerate the enzymatic degradation of plant biomass in the production of biofuels.</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read the article in the Journal of Biological Chemistry</strong>: <a href="https://www.jbc.org/article/S0021-9258%2821%2900276-3/fulltext"><span>A</span><span> polysaccharide utilization locus from the gut bacterium <em>Dysgonomonas mossii </em>encodes functionally distinct carbohydrate esterases</span></a></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/IndBio/Scott%20Cathleen%20Johan_750x340.jpg" alt="Scott Mazurkewich, Cathleen Kmezik and Johan Larsbrink at IndBio" style="margin:5px;width:650px;height:295px" /><br /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">F</span><span style="background-color:initial">rom Chalmers the researchers <span></span><strong>Scott Mazurkewich, </strong></span><span style="background-color:initial;font-weight:700">Cathleen Kmezik </span><span style="background-color:initial">and <strong>Johan Larsbrink</strong> (above)from the Division of Industrial Biotechnology, <strong>Alexander Idström</strong> from Applied Chemistry, and <strong>Marina Armeni</strong> and</span><span style="background-color:initial"> <strong>Otto Savolainen</strong> from CMSI, participated in the study.</span></p></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>More about the esterases:</strong></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong> </strong></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><ul><li><p class="chalmersElement-P"><em>Dm</em>CE1A: enzyme from carbohydrate esterase family 1 (CE1), active on acetyl esters and cleaving coumaryl-like molecules of unknown structure from plant biomass.</p></li> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <li><p class="chalmersElement-P"><em style="background-color:initial">Dm</em>CE1B: enzyme consisting of two fused CE1 domains – <em>Dm</em>CE1B_nt and <em>Dm</em>CE1_ct, connected through a carbohydrate-binding module. Out of the three enzymes, <em>Dm</em>CE1B_nt is the only one with clear activity on feruloyl esters, which can crosslink xylan polysaccharides, and it was also active on acetyl esters. <em>Dm</em>CE1B_ct was only weakly active on acetyl esters. Its 3D structure was solved together with the carbohydrate-binding module. The structure indicates that the enzyme targets larger molecules than those tested in the lab (see figure).</p></li> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <li><p class="chalmersElement-P"><em style="background-color:initial">Dm</em>CE6A: enzyme from carbohydrate esterase family 6 (CE6), with significant activity on acetyl esters, both in model substrates and in complex biomass. The enzyme was shown to strongly contribute to a faster xylan degradation by enzymes targeting the polysaccharide itself (xylanases).</p></li></ul> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> <strong>Text:</strong> Susanne Nilsson Lindh<br /><strong style="background-color:initial">Illustration:</strong><span style="background-color:initial"> Scott Mazurkewich<br /><strong>Photo: </strong>Martina Butorac</span></p></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> ​</p>Thu, 20 May 2021 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-material-can-protect-against-resistant-bacteria.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-material-can-protect-against-resistant-bacteria.aspxNew material can protect against resistant bacteria<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a new material that prevents infections in wounds – a specially designed hydrogel, that works against all types of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant ones. The new material offers great hope for combating a growing global problem.​</b></p><div>​<span style="background-color:initial">The World Health Organization describes antibiotic-resistant bacteria as one of the greatest threats to global health. To deal with the problem, there needs to be a shift in the way we use antibiotics, and new, sustainable medical technologies must be developed.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div> </div></span></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/antibakteriellhydrogel_martinandersson/portratt_martinandersson_320x350.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Portrait Martin Andersson " style="margin:5px" />“After testing our new hydrogel on different types of bacteria, we observed a high level of effectiveness, including against those which have become resistant to antibiotics,” says Martin Andersson, research leader for the study and Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Research and development of the material has been ongoing for many years at Martin Andersson’s group at Chalmers, growing in scope along the way, with a particular focus on the possibilities for wound care. Now, the important results are published as a scientific article in the journal ACS Biomaterials Science &amp; Engineering.</div> <div> </div> <div>The main purpose of the studies so far has been to explore new medical technology solutions to help reduce the use of systemic antibiotics. Resistant bacteria cause what is referred to as hospital-acquired infection – a life-threatening condition that is increasing in incidence worldwide.<br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Mimicking the natural immune system</h2> <div>The active substance in the new bactericidal material consists of antimicrobial peptides, small proteins which are found naturally in our immune system.<br /><br /></div> <div>“With these types of peptides, there is a very low risk for bacteria to develop resistance against them, since they only affect the outermost membrane of the bacteria. That is perhaps the foremost reason why they are so interesting to work with,” says Martin Andersson.<br /><br /></div> <div>Researchers have long tried to find ways to use these peptides in medical applications, but so far without much success. The problem is that they break down quickly when they come into contact with bodily fluids such as blood. The current study describes how the researchers managed to overcome the problem through the development of a nanostructured hydrogel, into which the peptides are permanently bound, creating a protective environment.<br /><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/antibakteriellhydrogel_martinandersson/portratt_edvinblomstrand_320x350.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Portrait Edvin Blomstrand" style="margin:5px" />“The material is very promising. It is harmless to the body’s own cells and gentle on the skin. In our measurements, the protective effect of the hydrogel on the antimicrobial peptides is clear– the peptides degrade much slower when they are bound to it,” says Edvin Blomstrand, doctoral student at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers, and one of the main authors of the article.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We expected good results, but we were really positively surprised at quite how effective the material has proven,” adds Martin Andersson.<br /><br /></div> <div>According to the researchers, this new material is the first medical device to make successful use of antimicrobial peptides in a clinically and commercially viable manner. There are many varied and promising opportunities for clinical application. </div> <div><div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Read more </h2></div></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Startup company Amferia takes the research from lab to market</h3> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/antibakteriellhydrogel_martinandersson/nyhetsbild_sjukvardsmaterial_320x300.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Image of the new material as a patch " style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">In recent years, foundational research into the antimicrobial peptide hydrogel has run in parallel with commercial development of the innovation through the spin-off company Amferia AB. The company was founded in 2018 by Martin Andersson together with Saba Atefyekta and Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, who both defended their dissertations at Chalmers' Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The material and the idea, which is currently developed as an antibacterial wound patch, has generated interest around the world, attracting significant investment and receiving several awards. </span></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The company is working intensively to get the material to market so that it can benefit wider society. Before the new material can benefit hospitals and patients, clinical studies are needed, which are ongoing. A CE marking of the material is expected to be completed in 2022. Furthermore, the wound patch version of the new material is undergoing trials in veterinary care, for treating pets. The company Amferia AB is already collaborating with a number of veterinary clinics around Europe where the hydrogel is now being tested.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“Amferia has recently entered into <a href="https://amferia.com/amferia-triolab_press-release_210506_en/" title="Link to external webpage ">a strategic partnership with Sweden’s largest distributor of premium medical &amp; diagnostic devices</a> to jointly launch these wound care products for the Swedish veterinary market during 2021” says Martin Andersson.<br /><br /></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about antimicrobial peptides and the new material</h3> <div>The beneficial properties of antimicrobial peptides have been known for some decades, and thousands of different varieties occurring in the natural immune systems of humans, animals and plants have been discovered. Researchers have long tried to mimic and use their natural function to prevent and treat infections without having to use traditional antibiotics. However, because the peptides are broken down as soon as they come in contact with blood or other body fluids, successful clinical usage has proved elusive. The researchers knew that smart new solutions were needed to protect the peptide from degradation. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The new material in the study has been shown to work very well, allowing the peptides to be applied directly to wounds and injuries on the body, with the effect of both preventing and treating infection. The material is also non-toxic, so it can be used directly on the skin. The potential of this new material can also be seen in the flexibility that it offers for different types of products. </div> <div><br />“So far, we have mainly envisioned the material as a wound care dressing, but we are working on a new study investigating the potential for a wound care spray,” says Edvin Blomstrand.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research</h3> <div>The scientific article <a href="https://doi.org/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.1c00029" title="Link to scietific article ">Antimicrobial Peptide-Functionalized Mesoporous Hydrogels</a> has been published in ACS Biomaterials Science &amp; Engineering and is written by Saba Atefyekta, Edvin Blomstrand, Anand K. Rajasekharan, Sara Svensson, Margarita Trobos, Jaan Hong, Thomas J. Webster, Peter Thomsen and Martin Andersson. The researchers are active at Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska Academy and Uppsala University, Sweden, and Northeastern University in Boston, USA.<br /><br /></div> <div>The research was carried out with funding from the Wallenberg Foundation through the Wallenberg Academy Fellow Program, the CARe-Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at University of Gothenburg, the Handlanden Hjalmar Svensson Foundation, the Adlerbertska Foundation, the Doctor Felix Neubergh Foundation, the Swedish Research Council (2018-02891), the Swedish state under the agreement between the Swedish government and the county councils, the ALF agreement (ALFGBG-725641), the IngaBritt and Arne Lundberg Foundation, the Eivind o Elsa K: son Sylvan Foundation, and the Area of Advance Materials of Chalmers and GU Biomaterials within the Strategic Research Area initiative launched by the Swedish Government.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information contact:</h3> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Martin-Andersson.aspx" title="Link to personal profile page ">Martin Andersson</a><br />Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers<br /><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/edvinbl.aspx" title="Lin personal profile page ">Edvin Blomstrand</a><br />Doctoral Student, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers</div></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Images in the article <br /></h3> <div>Portait: Martin Andersson, <span style="background-color:initial">research leader for the study and Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Portrait Edvin Blomstrand, </span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">d</span><span style="background-color:initial">octoral student at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers, and one of the main authors of the article</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>Image atbaceterial patach: In recent years, foundational research into the antimicrobial peptide hydrogel has run in parallel with commercial development of the innovation through the spin-off company Amferia AB. The company has developed an antibacterial patch, which is soon approaching commercial usage. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist<br />Text: Jenny Holmstrand </div> <div>​<br /></div> <div>​<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div> ​</div></div> <div> </div> <div>​<br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> ​​Tue, 11 May 2021 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/global-health-and-sustainable-textile-industry-on-IVA's-100-list.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/global-health-and-sustainable-textile-industry-on-IVA's-100-list.aspxInnovations for global health and sustainable textiles at IVA' s 100 list <p><b>​Three Chalmers research project​ in chemistry and chemical biology​, are highlighted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences on this year's IVA's 100 list. The innovations can contribute to great progress for the development of RNA drugs and vaccines, reduce the textile industry's negative environmental impact and protect us against one of the world's major health threats – antibiotic resistant bacteria.</b></p>​The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), releases a national list of the 100 research projects that have the greatest potential to translate strong research into actual societal benefits and increased competitiveness for Swedish business, annually. This year's list focuses on research and innovations that contribute to increasing society's resilience to crises, and that’s where the projects from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, is now taking place.<div><div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">New method to overcome obstacles for full development of RNA drugs </h2> <div>What if it was possible to observe RNA-based therapeutics and vaccines as they do their job to enter and reprogram human cells, through a microscope in real-time. Thanks to a new method, developed by a group of researchers led by Marcus Wilhelmsson and Elin Esbjörner at Chalmers it is now possible! They have developed a method that makes RNA visible, using new minimalistic probes that do not alter its natural functions. The new method makes RNA visible without effecting its natural functions in the cell. The researchers’ innovation can contribute to solve the largest remaining challenge for taking also other RNA-based therapeutics to the clinic – their low functional cellular uptake. Similarly, the method facilitates research regarding new RNA-vaccines so that the world can be better prepared the next time it is hit by a pandemic.​​​<br /><br /></div> <div>“First of all, it feels great to be part of IVA's 100 list! It also confirms that others, apart from ourselves, consider this very interesting. It is especially exciting that people with other expertise than a researcher's, for example entrepreneurs in the field of technology, have evaluated our project and see the potential. We are currently in the process of starting a company to enable our research and ideas to be utilized, and we have submitted a patent application. Of course, this also verifies the high quality of what we do &quot;, says Marcus Wilhelmsson Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and Elin Esbjörner, Associate Professor at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, in a joint comment.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Reversible coloring technology to extend the use of textile  </h2> <div>The textile industry is experiencing big changes, as increasing pressure from consumers and policy makers is forcing companies to act more sustainably. Today’s textile coloring processes don’t allow efficient removal of textile color to facilitate reuse and recycling. To tackle these issues, has a reversible coloring technology, a new combined coloring / decoloring process for textiles, been developed by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology to tackle these issues. Through the startup company Vividye the technology has been further developed. This unique solution will help the industry to extend the use of textile, and to pave the way for a green but colorful future.<br /><br /></div></div> <div><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">“Six years ago, when we started the research project behind Vividye, we had no idea that we would end up on the IVA100 list.”, says Romain Bordes, </span><span lang="EN-US">Associate Professor </span><span lang="EN-US">at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and one of Vividye’s co-founders​ </span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span lang="EN-US">New materials to protect us against antibiotic-resistant bacteria<br /></span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span lang="EN-US">​The increasing number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is one of the greatest threats to humanity. To deal with this challenge, we need to develop new technical solutions. That’s why Martin Andersson and his research group develop new antibacterial materials that are suitable for medical devices, which can reduce the use of systemic antibiotics. The material is inspired by the way our immune system defeat infections and has shown good effect on all types of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant ones. Clinical studies on the material have been initiated, and the material is getting closer to the researchers' goal of utilization.  <br /><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“Utilization is an important part of our work, and this is a great example when research create value to the society. In recent years, we have worked in parallel with both research on the antimicrobial material and product development of the innovation in a spin-off company. We are now getting close to introduce the material on the market, so it is perfect timing to be selected on IVA's 100 list. Being part of the list is a great opportunity for us to show how our research can contribute to fight antibiotic resistance” says Martin Andersson, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering​​​</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span lang="EN-US">Read more<br /></span></h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">On the new method for developing RNA drugs  <br /><a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jacs.1c00014">Scientific article recently published in ​Journal of Chemical Society (JACS)</a></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">On the innovation coloring / decoloring process for textiles <br /><a href="https://www.vividye.com/" title="Link to external webiste ">Startup company Vividye websites</a><br /><a href="https://www.chalmersventures.com/news/vividyes-teknologi-kan-forandra-textilindustrin/" title="Link to external webiste ">Press release ”Vividyes teknologi kan förändra textilindustrin” (in Swedish)</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://www.chalmersventures.com/news/vividyes-teknologi-kan-forandra-textilindustrin/" title="Link to external webiste "></a></span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.vividye.com/" title="Link to external webiste ">​</a>​<span style="background-color:initial">On the material that works against all types of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant ones<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.1c00029" title="Link to scientific article">Scientific article recently published in ACS Biomaterials Science &amp; Engineering </a><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#1166aa"><b><a href="https://amferia.com/" title="link to external website ">Startup company Amferia website</a></b></font></span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.1c00029" title="Link to scientific article"></a>​</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div></div> ​Mon, 10 May 2021 10:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/new-research-project-electric-car-batterys-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/new-research-project-electric-car-batterys-.aspxRecycling of electric car batteries is explored <p><b>​The performance and quality of battery cells made from materials from used electric car batteries will now be tested, in a collaboration between Volvo Cars, Northvolt, researchers from Chalmers Chemistry department and Uppsala University. A hydrometallurgical method that the Chalmers researchers has been part of developing, will be used in the project.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">How the performance of the battery cell is affected when it is made from recycled materials is an important issue to investigate, if we shall be able to reduce the use of critical metals and develop a sustainable production of electric cars. In this project the impact of non-metallic contaminants on battery performance, will be studied, which has not been published ant research on jet. Battery aging is already an important property for the lifetime of a car's battery. The project aims to investigate whether there are any new aging phenomena that occur in cells made from recycled material, compared with when new material has been used.<br /><br /></span><div><strong>Martina Petranikova</strong>, Associate Professor, at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, is leading the project from Chalmers part. She commented on it in an interview in the magazine Ny Teknik recently.<br /><br /></div> <div>“Before we start using recycled metals, we therefor need to define the effects through research to be sure that battery performance and safety are not negatively affected,” says Martina Petranikova.</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the project (first two links text in Swedish)</h3> <div><a href="https://www.metalliskamaterial.se/sv/forskning/7-nya-forskningsprojekt-inom-metalliska-material/" title="Project discription on external webpage " target="_blank">Project discription on the strategic innvoation program &quot;Metaliska material&quot; website</a><br /><br /></div> <div><a href="https://www.msn.com/sv-se/motor/other/volvo-cars-testar-%c3%a5tervunna-elbilsbatterier/ar-BB1fRbHs" title="Link to news article in Ny teknik ">Article about the project in the magazine &quot;Ny teknik&quot;</a><br /><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/battery-recycling.aspx" title="Link to news article on this webpage ">​​News article from 2019 about the hydrometallurgical method devloped by the Chalmers researchers </a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/battery-recycling.aspx" title="Link to news article on this webpage "></a><a href="/en/staff/Pages/marpetr.aspx" title="link to Martina Petranikovas personal profile ">Martina Petranikova personal profile page </a>​</div> ​​Wed, 21 Apr 2021 15:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/2021-tandem-seminars.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/2021-tandem-seminars.aspx​This year's Tandem Webinars<p><b>Here you will find 2021 all Tandem Webinars. All the webinars can be watched afterwards via Chalmers Play.  ​</b></p><div><span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial">Upcoming seminars:<br /></span><span></span><a href="/sv/styrkeomraden/material/kalendarium/Sidor/TANDEM-WEBINAR-–-Materials-for-futures-batteries.aspx" style="outline:0px"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />​</a><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/materials/Calendar/Pages/Tandem-Webinar-Revolution-in-the-ultraviolet-spectrum.aspx" style="outline:0px">19 November, 3 pm. Online. Zoom. Tandem Webinar – Revolution in the ultraviolet spectrum</a><span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial"><br /></span><a href="/sv/styrkeomraden/material/kalendarium/Sidor/TANDEM-WEBINAR-–-Materials-for-futures-batteries.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">25 November, </span><span style="background-color:initial">11 am. Place: Online, Zoom. </span><span style="background-color:initial">Tandem Webinar – Materials for future batteries</span></a><span style="background-color:initial;font-weight:700"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial;font-weight:700"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial;font-weight:700">Wat</span><span style="background-color:initial;font-weight:700">ch the seminars on Chalmers Play</span><span style="background-color:initial;font-weight:700">:</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial">25 February: TANDEM SEMINAR  –  MATERIALS FOR HEALTH</span><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Materials for Health, 25 February, 2021.  Organizer: Chalmers Area of Advance Mater</span><span style="background-color:initial">ials Science.<br /></span>In this webinar we  have two presentations dedicated to materials for health.  One on the design of bioinks for 3D-printing of cell-laden constructs and one on the development of novel medical device surfaces to prevent infections.<br /><div><ul><li>Moderator: Maria Abrahamsson, Director of Materials Science Area of Advance </li> <li>Bi<span style="background-color:initial">oink Design for Printing of Unified, Multi-material Constructs, Sarah Heilshorn, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and, by courtesy, of Bioengineering and of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University.</span></li> <li>Ma<span style="background-color:initial">terials preventing biomaterial associated infection. Martin Andersson, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Surface Chemistry.Chalmers University of Technology.</span></li></ul></div></div> <div><a href="https://play.chalmers.se/media/Tandem+Seminar+%e2%80%93+Materials+for+Health/0_c67wpmkf"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Chalmers Play: Tandem Webinar – Materials for Health</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>26 March: </strong></span><span style="font-weight:700">TANDEM SEMINAR  –  MATERIALS FOR SOLAR ENERGY</span></div> <div>Materials for Solar Energy, 26 March, 2021. <span style="background-color:initial">Organizer: Chalmers Area of Advance Mater</span><span style="background-color:initial">ials Science.<br /></span>In this webinar we have two presentations dedicated to materials for solar energy conversion, specifically how we can manipulate the solar spectrum to make better use of it, will be covered. <span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><div><ul><li>Moderator: Professor Paul Erhart Condensed Matter and Materials Theory, Department of Physics, Chalmers.</li> <li>S<span style="background-color:initial">cienceDeveloping solid-state photon upconverters based on sensitized triplet–triplet annihilation, Angelo Munguzzi, Associate Professor - Università Degli Studi Milano Bicocca - Materials Science Department.​</span></li> <li>T<span style="background-color:initial">oward solid state singlet fission: Insights from studies of Diphenylisobenzofuran−Semiconductors and Pentacene-decorated gels, Maria Abrahamsson, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology​.</span></li></ul></div></div> <div><a href="https://play.chalmers.se/media/Tandem+Seminar+%e2%80%93+Materials+for+Solar+Energy/0_r16vpsvj">Chalmers Play: Tandem Webinar – Materials for Solar Energy</a></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><div><strong style="background-color:initial">27 April:</strong><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial;font-weight:700">TANDEM SEMINAR</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><strong style="background-color:initial">– MATERIALS FOR BATTERIES</strong><br /></div></div> <div>It’s time for our third Tandem Webinar held by Chalmers Area of Advance Materials Science. </div> <div><span></span><span style="background-color:initial">In t</span><span style="background-color:initial">his</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">tandem</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">seminar we have t</span>wo presentations dedicated to materials for batteries. Two hot topics will be covered, one on the use of digital twins for battery manufacturing and one on development and advanced modelling of battery electrolytes – from DFT to artificial intelligence. <br /><div><ul><li>Moderator: Professor Leif Asp, Co-Director Area of Advance Materials Science</li> <li>D<span style="background-color:initial">igital Twin of Battery Manufacturing, Alejandro A.Franco, Professeur des Universités, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Junior Member of Institut Universitaire de France.​ </span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span>Advanced Modelling of Battery Electrolytes – From DFT to Artificial Intelligence, Patrik Johansson, Professor, Material Physic, Department of physics, Chalmers University of Technology.</li></ul></div> <strong>Chalmers Play </strong><a href="https://play.chalmers.se/media/Tandem+seminar%E2%80%93+Materials+for+batteries/0_4txfkqw8"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Tandem Webinar <span style="background-color:initial">– Materials for batteries</span></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><b>4 May:  TANDEM WEBINAR – DESIGN FOR NEW SUSTAINABLE THERMOPLASTICS AND THEIR NANOCOMPOSITES</b><br /></div> <div>It’s time for our fourth Tandem Webinar held by Chalmers Area of Advance Materials Science. </div> <div>In this tandem seminar, we have two presentations dedicated to sustainable materials engineering. Two hot topics will be covered, one on the transfer of Chemistry from flask to extruder and one on the design of reactive extrusion methods for lignocellulosic nanocomposites towards large scale applications. This collaboration has been selected in 2020 by Genie Initiative at Chalmers.<br /><div><ul><li>Moderator: Professor Leif Asp, Co-director Area of Advance Materials Science</li> <li>T<span style="background-color:initial">ransfer of Chemistry from flask to extruder. Rosica Mincheva, Research assistant at Laboratory of Polymeric and Composite Materials - University of Mons. </span></li> <li>D<span style="background-color:initial">esign of reactive extrusion methods for lignocellulosic nanocomposites towards large scale applications.  Giada Lo Re, Associate Professor, Engineering Materials, Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers University of Thecnology.</span></li></ul></div> <strong>Chalmers Play:</strong> <a href="https://play.chalmers.se/media/t/0_r6e0lqq0"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Tandem Webinar – Materials for ​new sustainabkle thermoplastic and their nanocomposite</a><br /><br /></div></div> <div><strong>17 September: TANDEM WEBINAR </strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>– </strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>High Entropy Alloys, Opportunities and Challenges</strong></span></div> <div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">In </span><span style="background-color:initial">this webinar we have two presentations dedicated to high entropy alloys, or compositionally complex alloys. We will cover th</span><span style="background-color:initial">e research frontier topic in the metallic materials community from two complementary aspects, one from experimental aspect focusing more on alloy development and structural/functional properties, and one from theoretical aspect addressing to functionality by design.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><ul><li>Moderator: Professor Leif Asp, Co-Director Area of Advance Materials Science</li> <li>A<span style="background-color:initial">lloyed pleasure: high entropy alloys, Professor Sheng Guo, Department of Industrial and Materials Science at Chalmers. </span></li> <li>Q<span style="background-color:initial">uantum-mechanics maps high entropy alloys, Professor Levente Vitos, Computational Material Design and head of Applied Materials Physics group at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering KTH.</span></li></ul></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial">Chalmers Play:</span><a href="https://play.chalmers.se/media/t/0_r6e0lqq0" style="background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255);outline:0px"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><a href="https://play.chalmers.se/media/Tandem%20Webinar%20%E2%80%93%20High%20Entropy%20Alloys%2c%20Opportunities%20and%20Challenges/0_ds5c6fgd">​Watch Tandem Webinar – High Entropy Alloys, Opportunities and Challenges</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> ​​Tue, 13 Apr 2021 19:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Materials-science-and-biotech-explore-new-territory.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Materials-science-and-biotech-explore-new-territory.aspxMaterials science and biotech explore new territory<p><b>​Researchers in Materials Science and Industrial Biotechnology at Chalmers University of Technology will combine forces to produce sustainable light-weight materials of the future. The project, led by Chalmers, has been awarded the prestigious EU-grant FET Open. ​</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>The aim of the FET Open-project is to develop lightweight materials from wood-based components, involving metabolically engineered microorganisms in the process. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>There is an urgent need to reduce causes of climate change, microplastic pollution and raw material shortages, and this may be achieved by replacing fossil-based resources with renewable ones. At the same time environmentally friendly processing technologies to create safe products with minimum impact on the environment must be developed. </span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Light-weight materials for transportation and sports</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P">”Our project is a unique opportunity for materials engineering to meet biotechnology for  production of light-weight materials,” says project co-ordinator Tiina Nypelö, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers, continuing:  </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“We see transportation and sports as application fields to contribute to.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In her work Tiina Nypelö combines forest products technology, material science and renewable resources for advancing sustainable materials engineering. Her appointment at Chalmers is affiliated with <a href="https://wwsc.se/" style="font-family:inherit">Wallenberg Wood Science Center </a><span style="background-color:initial;font-family:inherit">(WWSC).</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Research expertise will be used in complet​ely new ways</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In the project, she is collaborating with Chalmers researchers Cecilia Geijer, Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering and Lisbeth Olsson, Professor in Industrial Biotechnology, and Co-Director of WWSC. Their research focus is on the design and use of microorganisms in processes where plant cell wall materials are converted to biofuels, biochemicals and material.  </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">”Even though Lisbeth, Tiina and I are already working with sustainability issues, the approach we have to this challenge is new territory, which I personally think is very cool. We will all be applying our research expertise in completely new ways to create novel light-weight material, and we are aiming for this project to have a great impact on society in the future. The interdisciplinary aspect of the project is exciting and very important as it will build bridges between our research groups, divisions and departments,” says Cecilia Geijer. </p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Potential of great societal impact​</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The EU-grant FET Open supports science and technology research and innovation towards radically new future technologies with the potential of great societal impact. The Chalmers’ co-ordinated project has been granted three million Euros, involves three Chalmers research groups from two departments, together with four partners from Austria and Spain, and will run for four years. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Text: </strong>Susanne Nilsson Lindh<br /><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Photo:</strong> Ma</span><span style="background-color:initial">rtina Butorac</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​More about: The Collaboration Partners</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">TU Graz</h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><strong>Wolfgang Bauer</strong> and <strong>Stefan Spirk</strong>, both professors at the Institute of Bioproducts and Paper Technology at Graz University of Technology in Austria, will support project by developing tailored cellulose starting materials. <br /> “We are very excited to work together with the Chalmers team to create the next generation of cellulose light-weight materials. Our decade long experience to work with cellulosic pulps and in fibre and paper physics will be invaluable for this cooperation,” says Wolfgang Bauer.</li> <li><strong>Hermann Steffan</strong> and <strong>Florian Feist,</strong> TU Graz, Institute for Vehicle Safety, Austria, will provide the expertise in the field of crashworthy materials to make the biogenic materials ready-for-action in mechanical engineering. <br />&quot;In automotive engineering sustainability when developing materials, is playing an increasingly important role. For a novel material to be applied in contemporary automotive development, it must be assessable through computer simulation. This requires comprehensive characterization of the material's physical properties and adequate materials models,” says Hermann Steffan. </li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">TEC​NALIA</h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><strong>​Dr. Sonia </strong><strong>García-Arriet</strong><strong>a</strong><strong></strong><strong></strong><strong></strong>, from the Composite Materials Department of the Industry and Transport division of TECNALIA in Spain, will work on the demonstration of cellulose material for a real application. <br />&quot;Tecnalia aims to bring innovative developments in new materials to the industry. Our pilot plant has a wide variety of semi-industrial machines for the automotive, aeronautical or sports sectors where composite materials have their main application. In the project we will scale up the manufacturing process, we will validate the moulding capacity to adapt to complex shapes and we will study the parameters that influence upscaling. The goal objective will be to obtain a large component for sports application and to validate it under similar mechanical conditions to those of its final application,&quot; she says. </li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">BioNanoNet Forschungsgesellschaft mbH</h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li>T​​he BioNanoNet Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (BNN), an RTO based in Austria, complements the consortium with its safe-and-sustainable-by-design (SSbD) expertise, will thus look into the manufacturing processes to identify potential hotspots to outdesign these already during early stages of the development. Furthermore, BNN will support the project through its unique global network to gain maximum of visibility and thus boosting the impact of the project.</li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">University ​of Vienna</h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><strong>Alexa</strong><strong>nder Bismarck</strong>, Head of the Institute of Materials Chemistry and Research, Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna, will lead the work on material processing and performance optimisation. His team contributes with an extensive expertise in material and composites engineering and with access to the recently established Institute’s Core Facility Interface Characterisation with high-end methods for the investigation of material properties. <br />“We develop a strong, renewable material for a c<span style="background-color:initial">ool application. The question is: how can we go from the lab side to application? Based on our interdisciplinary approach, combining basic chemistry, materials science, engineering, and processing, we aim at establishing a viable material process that will guide us towards a highly functional and sustainable light-weight material for future applications,” he says.</span></li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Tue, 06 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0200