News: Kemi- och bioteknikhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 03 Jul 2020 14:40:16 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-green-solvents.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/New-green-solvents.aspxChalmers researchers are probing the properties of new green solvents<p><b>​Researchers in the Industrial Materials Recycling unit at Chalmers University of Technology have done experiments, that can provide a key to unlock the innermost secrets of a new class of green and sustainable solvents – Deep eutectic solvents (DES). The new experimental method was recently presented in the scientific journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.</b></p><p>​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Gröna%20lösningsmedel/Mark%20Foreman%20320%20x%20400.jpg" alt="" style="height:253px;width:200px;margin:5px" />“After this work, it feels like we have got special glasses which allow us to see clearly things which previously were blurred shadows”; says Mark Foreman, Associate Professor in Nuclear Chemistry/Industrial Materials Recycling.</p> <p>To move towards a more sustainable society we need to detoxify industrial processes and products, by replacing harmful substances with safer alternatives. The experiments presented in the study can now provide us with a new ability to create these alternatives. For a relatively very small investment, the experiment required for the study, could be done in many university chemistry departments.  </p> <p>“We hope that our experimental method becomes a standard experiment for probing existing green solvents and new ones”, continues Mark Foreman.</p> <p>The study is an important breakthrough for understanding deep eutectic solvents (DES). DES has been known for some time as a promising environmentally friendly alternative, and could, for example, be used to recycle waste such as batteries into valuable products without using hazardous reagents. Up to know DES have not been very well understood. Together with an adjunct professor Kastriot Spahiu from Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB), Mark Foreman and his group has now been able to gain a new deep insight into the new solvents which will greatly increase our ability to understand them and apply them to new problems.</p> <p> </p> <div>Contact: <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/foreman.aspx">Mark Foreman </a>Associate Professor in Nuclear Chemistry/Industrial Materials Recycling </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the scientific paper </h2> <div>The article “<a href="https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2020/CP/C9CP05982B">Metal extraction from a deep eutectic solvent, an insight into activities</a>” was published in </div> <div>the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics is written by Peng Cen, Kastriot Spahiu, Mikhail S. Tyumentsev and Mark R. St. J. Foreman</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Facts: research background step by step </h2> <div>Almost twenty years ago Andrew Abbott in Leicester  published the idea of using mixtures of choline chloride with benign substances such as urea to make new solvents, these are the deep eutectic solvents. The group at Leicester have shown that they can use these new solvents to plate silver  onto copper, chromium  and electropolish stainless steel  without using any of the hazardous reagents such as cyanide and chromates which are often used in the metal finishing industry. Their metal finishing is truly miraculous in terms of greening the metal finishing sector.</div> <p> </p> <p>In 2013 with the COLABATS EU project Mark Foreman at Chalmers started to work both with the Leicester electrochemists and others on the use of DES for the recycling of batteries.  It was recognized during the project that while the DES solvents can be used to recycle waste into valuable products and perform other useful tasks in an environmentally friendly way sadly these solvents were not well understood. We knew they do wonderful things but not how they did these things.</p> <p>While working at Chalmers, in Mark Foreman´s research group the doctoral student Peng Cen was able to develop this work further to allow key parameters for these new liquids to be measured by a relatively simple experiment. This experimental work would has now proved to be able to reduce greatly the number of experiments which would be needed for the rational design of a new process or product using one of the new solvents. The work was also done together with an adjunct professor Kastriot Spahiu from Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB SKB. </p> <div> </div>Thu, 02 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/protect-us-from-pandemics.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/protect-us-from-pandemics.aspxNew material to protect us from various pandemics<p><b>​A new material that can kill bacteria has now shown early promise in de-activation of viruses, including certain coronaviruses. The material, developed by researchers at Chalmers, is now being evaluated against SARS-CoV-2, which causes covid-19.</b></p><div>​The novel material, recently presented in a doctoral thesis, has proven to be very effective in killing common infection causing bacteria, including those that are resistant to antibiotics such as MRSA and a E. coli superbugs.<br /></div> <div>The basis of the research is a unique and patented technology where microbe-killing peptides are combined with a nanostructured material. So far, it has been targeted towards bacteria, but with the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the researchers started a study to <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/porträtt_martin_320%20x%20400.jpg" alt="" style="height:229px;width:180px;margin:5px" />understand if the material would work against the virus. <br /><br />“Similar peptides that we work with have previously shown to be effective against various other coronaviruses, including those that have caused the outbreaks of SARS and MERS. Our premise is that the antimicrobial effect of our peptides seen on bacteria can be also be used to inactivate the coronavirus, says Martin Andersson”, research leader and professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.<br /> </div> <div>Tests with the new material on another human coronavirus has shown promising early results where the material deactivated 99.9 percent of the virus. The researchers now see great potential for it to work on SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19. They have initiated collaboration with researchers, based in Gothenburg University/ Sahlgrenska Academy, with access to the SARS-Cov-2.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Can be produced in various forms - mimics the body's immune system</h2> <div>The material can be produced in many different forms such as surface treatments and as small particles. When microbes such as bacteria and viruses come in contact with the material surface, they are rapidly killed, and further spread is prevented. The material can easily be adapted for use in personal protective equipment such as face masks and medical devices including respirators and intubation tubes. This way, the material may offer reliable protection against the current and future pandemics. The researchers see it as valuable technology for our efforts towards pandemic preparedness.<br />   </div> <div>“A surface layer of our new material on face masks would not only stop the passage of the virus but also reduce the risk that it can be transported further, for example when the mask is removed and thus reduce the spread of infection”, explains Martin Andersson.<br />  </div> <div>The strategy is to imitate how the body's immune system fights infectious microbes. Immune cells in our body produce different types of peptides that selectively damage the outer shell of bacteria and viruses. The mechanism is similar to the effect that soap and water has on bacteria and viruses, although, the peptides have higher selectivity and are efficient while totally harmless to human cells. A major advantage is that the way the material works provides a high flexibility and gives it a low sensitivity to mutations. Unlike vaccines, the peptides continue to inactivate the virus even if it mutates. The idea behind the research is to make us less vulnerable and better prepared when the next pandemic comes.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Connection between the ongoing pandemic and antibiotic resistance</h2> <div>As covid-19 unfolds, another healthcare threat, what many call the “silent pandemic” caused by antibiotic resistance has been ongoing for decades. According to WHO, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to humanity. Without drastic action, estimates show that more people are likely to die of bacterial infections than cancer by 2050. Unfortunately, there is a worrying link between the ongoing pandemic and antibiotic resistance. Many covid-19 patients develop secondary bacterial infections which must be treated with antibiotics. According to the researchers, the new material may prove efficient for preventing both the viral and bacterial infections. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Meant to protect health care personnel and individuals</h2> <div>To enable societal benefit from the new technology, the researchers started a company, Amferia AB, with support from Chalmers Innovation Office and Chalmers Ventures. Amferia is based at Astrazeneca BioVentureHub in Mölndal, Sweden.</div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/porträtt_saba_320%20x%20400.jpg" width="320" height="400" alt="" style="height:244px;width:190px;margin:5px" /><br />Earlier this year, Saba Atefyekta defended her PhD at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers. She presented the new material in her doctoral thesis titled &quot;Antibacterial Surfaces for Biomedical Applications&quot;. Saba is one of the founders of Amferia and the company's research manager<br />   </div> <div>“If we are not going to meet a dark future, we must prevent infections from happening. We believe that the materials we develop can help prevent future infections and thus reduce the use of antibiotics, so that we can continue to use these life-protecting medicines in the future”, says Saba Atefyekta</div> <div> </div> <div>When the antiviral effect of the material on the SARS-CoV-2 is confirmed, the next step is to make it rapidly available to protect both healthcare professionals and the general public.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>Text: Jenny Jernberg</div> <div>Portrait photo  Saba Atefyekta: Mats Hulander<span style="display:inline-block"></span></div> <br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Complementary fresh news about Amferia</h2> <div>Tuseday 30 June it was announced that Amferia has been selected as a “one to watch” in this year’s Spinoff Prize, which is organized by Nature Research and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.</div> <div> </div></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div>Mon, 29 Jun 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/New-technology-to-give-more-healthcare.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/New-technology-to-give-more-healthcare.aspxNew technology to give more healthcare<p><b>​Major challenges await Swedish healthcare and the need for new technology to solve them is urgent. Diagnostics is one of the pieces of the puzzle. The healthcare system as a whole, as well as individual patients, can benefit from for example AI and precision diagnostics.</b></p><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/Working-to-reach-new-diagnostics.aspx"><em>This article is linked to these examples of Chalmers research in the diagnostics area.</em></a><br /><br />Let us begin by emphasising that no, this is not yet another coronavirus article. Even if most every aspect of healthcare and diagnostics in the first half of 2020 has been about Covid-19, naturally there are many other challenges and future development projects for Swedish healthcare, both pre- and post-corona.</span><div><br /></div> <div>There is no question that Swedish healthcare is at the threshold of a major transition. Patient queues, overfilled emergency wards, primary care reforms and lack of staffing flit past our eyes daily in the news flow. Perhaps most of it can be boiled down to one question: Has healthcare become too good?</div> <div> </div> <div>“We can achieve more and more, at ever-increasing ages and with better and better precision,” says Peter Gjertsson, Area Manager at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. He is responsible for Area 4, which includes radiology, clinical physiology and all the laboratories – the majority of the hospital’s diagnostics. </div> <div>“But medical advances and the increasing numbers of elderly people in the population also lead to greater need for medical care. Now we need to turn to technology to help us. We cannot just keep working as we’ve done previously, we need technological solutions that allow us to do more with the same resources.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">AI makes diagnostics accurate and saves resources</h2> <div>A clear example of such a solution is AI and diagnostic imaging. If a computer can interpret images using artificial intelligence, the radiologist gets a pre-sorted selection to review; images in which the computer has already identified potential problems. This makes diagnostics more accurate, faster and more efficient. </div> <div>“We also see a development in which technology allows patients to manage more of their measuring and diagnostics at home,” Gjertsson says. “The patients become experts on their own illness, which is an advantage for the individual and saves healthcare resources.”</div> <div>He makes sure to point out that those who cannot use the new technology for whatever reason will still be taken care of with more traditional means.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Precision medicine is another burgeoning field. When genetic diagnostics can point out disease and diagnostic imaging identifies the problem area, treatments can be tailored to the individual.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Health research nearly all over Chalmers</h2> <div>Chalmers and Sahlgrenska University Hospital have collaborated closely for many years. Researchers from the two institutions have developed advanced medical engineering products, established new knowledge as the basis for better pharmaceuticals and conducted research on environments and architecture in healthcare. In fact, 12 of Chalmers’ 13 departments are conducting health-related research in a wide array of fields.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>It became clear just how multifaceted the research was when Chalmers catalogued all of its research projects in preparation for starting up its new Area of Advance, Health Engineering. The new Area of Advance aims to build a common thread through research at Chalmers, linking it with external partners. It opened its doors in January. <br /><br /></div> <div>“As we did an inventory of our research, we conducted interviews at every department and realised that many issues in the field of health were shared across department boundaries,” says Ann-Sofie Cans, Associate Professor at Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Director of the Health Engineering Area of Advance.</div> <div>“Expertise is in demand, internally and externally, and as it turns out, Chalmers has a lot of it.” </div> <div>Cans thinks Chalmers researchers have developed a habit of working in “silos” for far too long.</div> <div>“Now we’re going to start up activities in which our over 200 health-related researchers at Chalmers can get to know each other, and also increase our external collaborations.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Collaboration in Chalmers’ AI centre</h2> <div>One field of collaboration that has already taken steps forward is AI. In December 2019, Sahlgrenska University Hospital signed on as a partner in the Chalmers AI Research Centre, CHAIR. In practical terms, the partnership agreement is a commitment of at least five years, with jointly funded research in AI for health and healthcare. The partners have carved out several challenges that take priority. One of them is diagnostics. With AI, computer systems can process huge amounts of data – measurements, text, images – and learn to recognise symptoms.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Fredrik Johansson, Assistant Professor at Chalmers’ Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is the bridge between the Health Engineering Area of Advance, CHAIR and SU. He and his counterpart at SU are developing a joint research agenda. </div> <div>“Although we have worked together previously, we can coordinate our efforts by partnering within the Area of Advance and CHAIR,” he says. “For example, we can see if several researchers are actually working towards the same goal, so we can improve efficiency and find synergies.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Searching for patterns in patient groups</h2> <div>Johansson himself is coordinating a project in which students use collected data about patients with Alzheimer’s disease to have AI search for patterns. Alzheimer’s disease has many different forms of expression and is currently diagnosed using cognitive testing – things like memory tests.</div> <div>“We know that Alzheimer’s patients have plaques that form in the brain. But some patients develop severe symptoms while others don’t, despite having equally extensive plaques. Why is that? We want to develop a tool that can provide a comprehensive look at the patient to determine the cause of the differences. We are looking at factors that can be measured when they are diagnosed, and that can also be monitored over time. The idea is primarily to be able to predict how the disease can be expected to develop, but perhaps in the long term we will also be able to develop a tool that can diagnose subgroups of Alzheimer’s patients.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There are plans for a shared infrastructure and also for training initiatives. One example is training in ethical review, which has been requested by many Chalmers researchers who have not had to work with this before, and which is of course important in healthcare.</div> <div>“We may need to train our staff in this,” Johansson says. “And vice versa, we are also talking about AI training for researchers at SU.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">“We’re here to support them”</h2> <div>Ann-Sofie Cans points out that Chalmers is also supporting the new innovation training course for clinicians that was recently started at SU.</div> <div>“Sahlgrenska wants doctors to be versed in a variety of technologies. We can help them to find the right people to hold a lecture or arrange a study visit, like the one this spring on AI and 3D printing,“ she says.</div> <div>“The healthcare system is realising more and more that they need the skills of engineers – and we’re here to support them. If no one uses our solutions, then they won’t benefit anyone.”</div> <div><br /> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">ABOUT: Chalmers’ Health Engineering Area of Advance</h2> <div>Chalmers’ new Area of Advance covers 12 departments and is organised in five profile areas:<br /><br /></div> <div>• Digitalisation, big data and AI</div> <div>• Infection, drug delivery and diagnostics</div> <div>• Prevention, lifestyle and ergonomics</div> <div>• Medical engineering</div> <div>• Systems and built environments for health and care</div> <div><br /></div> <div>These profile areas were defined based on the research represented at Chalmers, but they have also proven to serve as valuable access points to the university.</div> <div><br />In addition to Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the external partners include the Faculty of Science and the Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, the Västra Götaland region, the AstraZeneca Bioventure Hub, the University of Borås and Sahlgrenska Science Park.<br /><br /></div> <div>The Area of Advance and the partnerships embrace not only research but also education. Chalmers and SU have started a pilot project with a joint graduate school in biomedical engineering. In the long term, it is possible that doctoral students accepted to the programme will be able to earn double degrees. Chalmers has also created the new Biomedical Engineering bachelor’s programme, in which the first students will start this autumn.<br /><br /></div> <div>The Health Engineering Area of Advance has defined three social challenges of focus, in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: <em>Changed population and new diseases</em>, <em>Increased need for healthcare in a society with limited resources</em> and <em>Health, climate and sustainability.</em></div> <div><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br /><br /></div> <div><em>Caption to the picture of the operating theatre:</em></div> <div><div><em>The operating theatre in the Imaging and Intervention Centre at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, fully equipped with nearly 400 medical engineering products for imaging-supported diagnostics or treatment. This is one of the most high-tech, advanced surgical wards in Sweden. There are several so called hybrid theatres in the building, where surgery and diagnostic imaging can be done in the same room. </em></div> <div><em>This year Chalmers’ MedTech West research centre is establishing a collaborative laboratory in the Imaging and Intervention Centre. Clinical trials in microwave-based diagnostics and magnetoencephalography (MEG) are planned to start in 2021.</em></div></div> <div><br /> </div> <div><a href="http://chalmeriana.lib.chalmers.se/chalmersmagasin/cm2020_1/index-h5.html?page=1#page=13">This text is republished from Chalmers Magasin no. 1, 2020​</a> (in Swedish).</div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/Working-to-reach-new-diagnostics.aspx">Read related article with examples of Chalmers research in the area of diagnostics here.</a></div> <div>​<br /></div>Wed, 24 Jun 2020 16:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Chemistry-and-Chemical-Engineerings-new-Head-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Chemistry-and-Chemical-Engineerings-new-Head-.aspxInterest in leadership attracted Chemistry and Chemical Engineering&#39;s new Head<p><b>​Hanna Härelind is new head of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Development of the workplace culture, increasing internal collaboration and strategies to preserve strong research are important focus that she sees ahead in her new role, which she will assume in September.​</b></p>​​<span style="background-color:initial">When it was decided that the Department’s current head Leif Åhman would retire, it was obvious for Hanna Härelind to apply for the position. Her interest in leadership issues was the main reason for her to apply, and it is also the area where she considers herself to have the greatest potential. She brings a long career at Chalmers into her job. She has gradually entered new roles, collaborations, networks and gained broader and deeper insight and outlook, both internally and externally.<br /><br /></span><div>“I think that my experience from many different parts of the department's activities - education, teaching and research - is a big advantage in this job. Especially now when Chalmers is in a special position, with both covid-19 and Finances in balance”.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Culture in a workplace – important to work on </h2> <div>Hanna Härelind thinks that the fact that she will be the first woman to be head of Chemistry is important primarily as a role model to others. She does not believe that gender makes a difference for the leadership of the department. She does not, however, hide the fact that gender equality and equal treatment are issues very close to her and that developing and to make place for it at the department is one of her drives. Very appropriately, she became responsible for the department’s gender equality group in the beginning of this year. But her thoughts on how culture in the workplace can and should be developed extend further.<br /><br /></div> <div>“Responsiveness, tearing down walls and being open to good ideas and different skills, must never stop at words and require continued work on many levels. To continue being attractive as both a workplace and a research environment, it is necessary to work on these issues. Not least in relation to the generation shift that has both begun and which we are facing”.<br /><br /></div> <div>She intends to live as she teaches.</div> <div>“As Head of the Department, I intend to keep as open doors as I have had as Head of Division for the past two years, and to my doctoral students”.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Necessary to find new strategies for the research</h2> <div>The direction of the department's research is set and developed together with the Department Faculty Assembly and the Management Group. With all the challenges ahead Hanna Härelind believes that it is extra important to find strategies to continue the work on world-class level and maintain the strong research fields that have been built up, also to maintain high levels of utilization and teaching. Environment, climate issues and sustainable development are areas where chemistry research plays an important role she says, and where the department has extra big opportunities to conduct good research.<br /><br /></div> <div>She also wants to work out new ways to increase collaboration internally.</div> <div>“The whole chain from basic research to groundbreaking results with big impact are important, most people can agree on that. Competition may have positive sides, but I believe in getting rid of it internally and instead creating forms to cross-fertilize this chain more. Now, when we get a bigger assignment for education, time may also be more mature for it – I think it will become most necessary for us”.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on Hanna Härelind, new Head of Department</h2> <div>Hanna Härelind will start her job as Head of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering on September 1, 2020. She is a professor in technical surface chemistry, has worked at Chalmers since 1998, the last two years as Head of Division at Applied Chemistry. The ordinance is for a three-year period (a common arrangement when someone already has a professorship / position at Chalmers)</div> <div>Hanna Härelind is new head of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Find out more about her and what she sees ahead in her new role. </div> <div>​<br /></div> Wed, 10 Jun 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Unique-research-area.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Unique-research-area.aspxUnique research area receives large, new grant<p><b>​The maximum limit was 5 million, then 7.1 million was granted. The project &quot; Digitalizing corrosion predictions - More efficient and flexible waste/biomass power production&quot;, is receiving a large grant from the Swedish Energy Agency&#39;s program Biokraft. A strong industrial consortium is also backing up the research project, which is a collaboration between Chalmers university of Technology and the Royal Institute for Technology.</b></p><p><strong>​</strong><strong>Torbjörn Jonsson, project manager at the department for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers. What does this grant and support mean?</strong><br />We can continue to develop modeling and prediction of corrosion in complex environments, here at Chalmers. This is a unique research area where we, by using a fundamental research approach, take advantage of corrosion mechanisms. Through modeling, we then translate this into corrosion predictions in harsh, complex environments.<br /><br /><strong>What do you aim for this project to lead to?</strong><br />The overall goal of the project is to increase the efficiency and flexibility/predictability of heat and power generation from combustion of biomass/waste. The method we will use is to develop digital tools to predict the corrosion rate of key components. The project is a research collaboration with the Royal Institute of Technology, Henrik Larsson (additional facts about the project is found further down on this page).<br /><br /><strong>According to the announcement by the Swedish Energy Agency, the project should strengthen Biopower's role and competitiveness in the sustainable transformation of the energy system. Can you describe how the project meets this goal?</strong><br />Corrosion is one of the major challenges for biopower. A successful project would improve efficiency and economy and thereby increase the use of biomass or waste as energy source instead of, for example, coal, which is the dominant fuel in a global perspective. This would strengthen Biopower's role and competitiveness in the transformation of the energy system, since biomass or waste is a resource that is carbon neutral or partially carbon neutral and has a great potential to play an important role in the transformation to a completely renewable energy system.<br /><br /><strong>The project is also supported by an industrial consortium with a corresponding sum. Today, when many are forced to tighten costs, it seems rather remarkable. What are your thoughts on that aspect?</strong><br />Thanks to our competence center, HTC, we have good relationships with several companies that are interested in this type of issue. Since the corrosion attacks in these plants are very complex and difficult to predict, the industry is very motivated to work with researchers to try to solve these challenges. One of the more important components in these plants, are superheater tubes, which there are miles of inside the plant. It is not uncommon that replacement caused by corrosion of one subset of these tubes, cost 10-20 million SEK. With better predictability, we can extend the entire lifespan or avoid costly (unplanned) stops, which will save a lot of money for the companies.</p> <p><br /><strong>For more information, contact: </strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/torbjorn-jonsson.aspx">Torbjörn Jonsson</a></p> <p> </p> <div><strong>More on the project &quot; Digitalizing corrosion predictions - More efficient and flexible waste/biomass power production&quot;</strong><br />For Chalmers part, Torbjörn Jonsson, will work with colleagues, such as the researchers Sedigheh Bigdeli and Loli Paz and the doctoral student Amanda Persdotter, to implement the modeling and characterization of what the corrosion looks like from a modeling perspective. Henrik Larsson, from The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) who is an expert in modeling will develop from a corrosion perspective, a unique type of modeling. The academic collaboration within the project is complemented by a very strong industrial consortium, including the entire value chain, i.e. Öresundskraft AB, Vattenfall AB, Thermo-Calc Software AB, MEC - BioHeat &amp; Power, Kanthal AB, E.ON Sverige AB, B&amp;W Völund and Sandvik Materials Technology.</div> <div><br /><strong>More on Torbjörn Jonsson</strong><br />Torbjörn Jonsson is a project manager and works as a specialist in the Department of Energy &amp; Materials, in the unit Organic Environmental Chemistry 1. His research is focused on better understanding and preventing high temperature corrosion. He works within the Competence Center in High Temperature Corrosion (HTC), the project that has now been awarded is connected to HTC.</div> <div><br />More on <a href="https://www.htc.chalmers.se/">Competence Center in High Temperature Corrosion (HTC) </a></div>Wed, 03 Jun 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Foldable-chemistry.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Foldable-chemistry.aspxFoldable chemistry - a new perspective on porous materials<p><b>​A research group at Chalmers University of Technology presents the concept of foldable networks. The scientific paper, in which mechanics and chemistry meets, is of importance for how we understand and construct a new class of materials, so-called metal-organic frameworks and was recently published in Journal of the American Chemical Society.</b></p>​We are used to solid materials behaving in a certain way. If you heat them, they expand, if you put them under pressure, they decrease slightly in volume, and if you pull an elastic material such as a rubber band, it becomes narrower. However, some materials with channels and voids at the molecular level have proved to be more complex. If you heat them, they can shrink in one or more directions, if you pull them, they can increase in volume, if you put pressure on them, they can expand. These properties are found, for example, in metal-organic frameworks that are built up, not as densely packed atoms and molecules, but as regular networks in three dimensions. These networks have nodes of metal ions linked by longer organic molecules. <div> </div> <div>The Chalmers study now shows that in some of these networks the nodes are linked in a unique way that allows them to collapse without affecting neither the geometry around the nodes, nor the links between them. In practice, this means that the material can change shape, volume and density without breaking or distorting the molecular components. A bit like a foldable bottle rack. The discovery is expected to be useful in different MOF areas such as harvesting of water from desert air, storage of hydrogen and biogas in renewable energy technology, catalysis and drug development.</div> <div> <img width="320" height="171" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Vikbar%20kemi/Francoise%20Mystere%20Amombo%20Noa_320%20x%20340.jpg" alt="" style="width:161px;margin:5px" /></div> <div>&quot;We found this group of networks when using a classic molecular-model construction kit, with plastic tubes and balls, solving the problem of how to join nodes with triangular geometry and hexagonal geometry to an infinitely repeating pattern in three dimensions.&quot; says Françoise Noa, PhD in chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Then we simply discovered that the model we had built could be fo<img width="319" height="173" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Vikbar%20kemi/Lars%20Öhrström%20320%20x%20340.jpg" alt="" style="width:173px;margin:5px" />lded flat&quot; continues Lars Öhrström, professor of inorganic chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, research leader of the study.<br /><br />The researchers have also been able to identify several other such network topologies (the description of the pattern by which the various nodes are interconnected). These now become possible synthesis targets for new metal-organic framework compounds with unique properties, such as expanding when placed under gas pressure or increasing in volume of stretched in one direction but not in another.</div> <div> </div> <div>Characterization of the new MOF materials that were also included in the study were a collaboration with researchers at the universities of Southern Denmark, Stockholm University and Uppsala University. The principal method used was single-crystal diffraction, using X-ray radiation to determine the exact atomic positions in a solid material. An indispensable way to study everything from proteins to drug molecules and materials. In addition, a mass spectrometry technique, ToF-SIMS, was used to look inside some of these framework crystals.</div> <div> </div> <div>”A very nice study, beautiful MOFs and expert topological analysis. An enjoyable read!” comments Professor Neil Champness, well known researcher in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) at the University of Nottingham, England, the research on twitter</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Contact:</strong><br /><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/ohrstrom.aspx">Lars Öhrström,</a> professor of inorganic chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology <br />+ 46 703 941 442, <a href="mailto:ohrstrom@chalmers.se">ohrstrom@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /><strong>More on the scientific paper </strong></div> <div>The article ”<a href="https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.0c02984">Metal–Organic Frameworks with Hexakis(4-carboxyphenyl)benzene: Extensions to Reticular Chemistry and Introducing Foldable Nets</a> “ was published in Journal of the American Chemical Society<br />It is written by Francoise M. Amombo Noa, Erik Svensson Grape, Steffen M. Brülls, Ocean Cheung, Per Malmberg, A. Ken Inge, Christine J. McKenzie, Jerker Mårtensson, and Lars Öhrström </div> <div> </div> <div>A 6 minute talk accompanying the article highlighting the most important points is found here: <a href="http://pubs.acs.org/doi/suppl/10.1021/jacs.0c02984">http://pubs.acs.org/doi/suppl/10.1021/jacs.0c02984</a><br /></div> <div><strong>Facts: Crystallography – Single Crystal Diffraction</strong><br />Single crystal diffraction is based on a deceptively simple equation that tells us about how X-ray light bounces between two planes, the Bragg equation. In this context, this simple formula gives rise to very complicated mathematics with links to, among other things, the abstract field of group theory. The solution of the equation in the form of precise atomic positions in a crystal also requires sophisticated coding, advanced X-ray detector materials and incredible precise mechanics in the many moving parts of the instrument.</div> <div> </div> <div>Also a skilled crystallographer is essential, since traps lurk around every corner and the possibilities of taking a wrong turn are many, from the laborious work of selecting crystals under a microscope, to the last mathematical modelling in the computer.</div> <div> </div> <div>The UN announced 2014 as the International Crystallography Year and more information is available on the international website <a href="https://www.iycr2014.org/">https://www.iycr2014.org</a>.</div> <div><br /><strong>More reading</strong></div> <div>About storing hydrogen and biogas in metal-organic frameworks, Omar K Farha and co-workers in Science 2020.<br />”<a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6488/297">Balancing volumetric and gravimetric uptake in highly porous materials for clean energy</a>”<br /></div> <div>On harvesting water from desert air using metal-organic frameworks, Omar Yaghi and co-workers in Nature Nanotechnology 2020. <br />”<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-020-0673-x">MOF water harvesters</a>”</div>Wed, 20 May 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Graphene-can-become-a-tool-for-biofuel-extraction.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Graphene-can-become-a-tool-for-biofuel-extraction.aspxGraphene can become a tool for biofuel extraction<p><b>At Chalmers 2D-Tech center researchers utilize graphene to extract the biofuels from cell factories and try to optimize a method for extraction of biofuels in larger scale. What could we in the energy field learn from this new technique? We had an email chat with Dr Santosh Pandit, at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering. He is an expert in energy transitions. His research focuses on graphene antibacterial coatings for biomedical as well as industrial applications.​​</b></p><span></span><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What is your research about</strong>?<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Currently many biotechnologists are trying to produce Biofuel and many pharmaceutical compounds from genetically engineered cell factories such as bacteria and yeasts. These cell factories can produce such biofuel, chemical compounds for example by using sugar but could not excrete to external environment by themselves. Hence, we need to extract them from cells. Current extraction method needs toxic chemicals to damage such cells to extract the intracellular compound produced by these cell factories. Here we are planning to use nanoparticles containing vertical graphene spikes which could partly tear the cell membrane to leak-out such intracellular compounds without totally damaging the cells in cell factories. This approach will be doubly beneficial, which gives the re-utilization of graphene coated nanomaterials several times and microbial cells after interaction with graphene will leak out the biofuels and possibly reach back to normal metabolic stage and start producing biofuels again. This will make this process more sustainable and reduce the use of toxic chemical in biotech industries”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px">Your research on graphen and biofuels a part of the new center for research on two-dimensional materials, 2D-Tech. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong><img src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/PublishingImages/Santosh_Pandit1.jpg" alt="Santosh Pandit PhD" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />Can you tell us something about this?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">In the 2D-Tech consortium we are jointly working with Bio-Petrolia, which is startup company, having various cell factories with potential to produce biofuels and pharmaceuticals in large scale. We will utilize graphene to extract the biofuels from these cell factories and try to optimize our method for online extraction of biofuels in larger scale which could be useful for larger biotech as well as Pharma industries”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What has your research found? </strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Now we are at the primary stage. However, our preliminary results are exiting and driving us forward to utilize this nanotechnological method for the biofuels extraction from microbial cell factories”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px">With your results, you highlight new opportunities for biofuel production. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>Who could benefit from your research?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Since our approach will be sustainable and ecofriendly, primary beneficiaries will be biotech and pharmaceutical industries who are using cell factories to produce such chemicals. We believe that our approach will be cost effective by decreasing the extraction time and cost that needs in current methods. That will probably reduce the overall price of such biofuels and chemical compounds for end users, which are general public”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>How can these materials be used in the production of biofuels? </strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Gr</span><span style="background-color:initial">aphene is lipophilic material and are known to interact with the microbial cell membrane. We have already seen the evidence of the interaction between graphene nanoflakes and microbial cell membrane and protrude intracellular materials. These excellent behaviors of graphene will help us to extract the intracellular biofuels or chemicals from microbial cell factories”. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>What are you and your colleagues hoping for? </strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">I</span><span style="background-color:initial">n long term we are hoping to develop facile and strategic methods which can be used to extract intracellular biofuels from cell factories in larger industrial scale replacing the currently used toxic chemicals to completely damage microbial cells to extract the intracellular chemicals”. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="font-size:14px"><strong>Do you have any insights that might be interesting to tell us in the energy field?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“Currently biofuels are getting much more attention due to the raising concern in environmental sustainability. Here microbial cell factories are providing the excellent platform to produce such energy associated chemicals. With the advancement in the science and technology, there is lots of improvement in the large-scale production of biofuels by using microbial cells, that is quite exciting and give us hope to replace the non-sustainable energy sources with bio-based energy in near future”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>What is the next step?</strong><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Next step is the optimization of graphene coatings which could efficiently extract the intracellular biofuels while being minimally harmful to cells and design online biofuel extraction system which can be useful for biotech industries”, Santosh Pandit concludes. <br /><br /><strong>Read More:</strong><br /><span style="font-size:14px"><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/The-major-investment-that-will-take-the-2D-materials-into-society.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />​Major investment to take the 2D materials into the society</a><br /></span><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/pandit.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Santosh Pandit</a></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt">By: Ann-Christien Nordin</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:12pt"><br /></p> <div><br /></div>Mon, 27 Apr 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Online-educational-efforts-to-ensure-nuclear-safety.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Online-educational-efforts-to-ensure-nuclear-safety.aspxOnline educational efforts to ensure nuclear safety<p><b>Europe faces a serious shortage of expertise within nuclear safety. Several authorities and organisations have already sounded the alarm about the dangerous lack of competence in this area. Now, the EU programme Euratom is investing around 5 million euros in educating a new generation of researchers and specialists in nuclear technology. Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology are at the heart of the initiative - based on online education.​​​​</b></p><div><div>The programme covers two major educational projects, of which Chalmers will coordinate one and participate as a partner in the other. Both aim to maintain competence in, respectively, reactor physics and nuclear chemistry.</div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/ChristopheDemazière_20190614_beskuren_200x250.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div>“If we do not maintain a sufficient level of knowledge and expertise, this could be a safety and security risk. There are more than a hundred nuclear reactors currently operating across Europe, which account for more than 25 percent of all electricity generation,” says Christophe Demazière, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and coordinator of the EU project Great Pioneer.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As nuclear power plants are decommissioned, so interest in nuclear technology education has diminished throughout Europe. This has led several authorities and organisations, including the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to sound the alarm that a new generation of qualified researchers and specialists is needed to ensure nuclear safety. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) and the Swedish National Council for Nuclear Waste have voiced similar concerns.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A report from SSM makes clear the nuclear industry’s great need for more experts in the next fifteen years. There is also a growing need for radiation science specialists, within areas such as healthcare. Within the Swedish nuclear industry and healthcare, a growing proportion of the expert workforce is expected to retire within a few years.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The same trend is evident throughout Europe. As early as 2012 the Joint Research Center (JRC) warned the European Commission that there would be a shortage of around 7000 reactor physics and nuclear safety specialists by 2020. Since the report was written, several training programmes in the area have disappeared, which has contributed to increasing the shortfall further still.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Modelling%20algorithms_webb.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="background-color:initial" />The teaching of the three-year EU project Great Pioneer is based on innovative and successful methods in active and distance learning. Coordinator Christophe Demazière has developed these methods for many years, in close collaboration with two pedagogical researchers at Chalmers University of Technology’s Department of Communication and Learning in Science: Associate Professors Christian Stöhr and Professor Tom Adawi. Recently, the researchers presented the results of their extensive collaboration in the scientific journal<a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103789"> Computers &amp; Education​</a>. Work will continue within the framework of the new EU project as the education models are now being exported.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the coming years, approximately 600 students at universities across Europe will be able to take courses in reactor physics and reactor safety, looking at both theory and practice, programming principles in nuclear safety and using training reactors. The concept is based on the students preparing outside of lectures, so that the teaching time can then be used for joint activities with the students at the centre – whether they are on site or at a distance. A total of nine courses are planned through Great Pioneer, of which Chalmers will produce six.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The opportunity for distance education is also an important component of the second EU project, in which Chalmers acts a partner.</div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Teodora_200221_beskuren200x250.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;background-color:initial" /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>“Nuclear engineering programmes are being phased out across Europe, as there are not enough students. Instead of each educational institution trying to offer its own programmes, we will merge and create a sustainable, long-term educational network across Europe,” says Teodora Retegan Vollmer, Professor of Nuclear Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and Chalmers representative for the EU project A-Cinch.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>She has been working on educational projects in the EU since 2010, when she was one of the initiators of the Cinch concept. The new project includes developments such as virtual laboratory exercises that students can perform remotely. Chalmers also offers unique educational opportunities in the safe handling of meaningful quantities of radioactive materials.  ​</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Whether you are building or decommissioning nuclear reactors, this training is crucial for being able to do it safely,” says Teodora Retegan Vollmer.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There has not been a master's degree in nuclear engineering at Chalmers in the last few years, but the two new EU projects evidence how the expertise is in international demand.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The goal of the educational projects is to create long-term sustainable education, where we can share both teachers and students, and work with pedagogical methods to improve learning. This is crucial in attracting students and ensuring that the reactors currently in operation can continue to operate safely in the long-term,” says Christophe Demazière.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The EU decisions on the funded education projects become official once all participants have signed the agreement, which they have already begun to do.</div> <div><br /></div></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Text: </strong><span style="background-color:initial">Mia Halleröd Palmgren, </span><a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se</a><br /></div> <div><b>Image</b>: Henrik Sandsjö (Christophe Demazière) och Mia Halleröd Palmgren (Teodora Retegan Vollmer).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The new education projects within the EU: Great Pioneer and A-Cinch​</h2> <div><ul><li><span style="background-color:initial">The training project &quot;GRE @ T-PIONEeR&quot; (Graduate Education Alliance for Teaching the Physics and Safety of Nuclear Reactors) is aimed at master’s students, doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers and nuclear engineers. The concept is based on active learning and the course elements can be followed either on site or at a distance. It is coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology and Professor Christophe Demazière, who since 2017 has also led <a href="http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Chalmers-gets-5%2c1-M%e2%82%ac-to-improve-nuclear-safety.aspx">the EU project Cortex</a>.</span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial"></span>A-Cinch (A-CINCH: Augmented cooperation in education and training in nuclear and radiochemistry) will train about a hundred European students and specialists. The project is coordinated by the Czech Technical University in Prague.</li> <li>Both educational programmes run for three years, and consist of theory, practical elements and distance education.</li> <li>The projects have received EU funding under the Euratom work programme 2019-2020 and are part of the Horizon 2020 framework. The consortium of the projects has been granted EUR 2.3 million each for three years (a total of approximately SEK 50 million). Chalmers is awarded SEK 6.3 million for Great Pioneer and just under SEK 3 million for A-Cinch.</li> <li>Ten European partners from seven different countries will participate in Great Pioneer, and eleven countries will participate in A-Cinch.<br /></li></ul></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, contakt:</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Christophe-Demazière.aspx">Christophe Demazière</a></strong>, Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 30 82, <a href="mailto:demaz@chalmers.se">demaz@chalmers.se</a></span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/tretegan.aspx">Teodora Retegan Vollmer​</a></strong>, Professor of Nuclear Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, <span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers University of Technology</span><span style="background-color:initial">, +46 </span><span style="background-color:initial">31 772 28 81, </span><a href="mailto:tretegan@chalmers.se">tretegan@chalmers.se​</a></div> <span></span><div></div></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Further reading: <span>Reports and educational initiatives</span></h2> <div><ul><li>The Swedish Radiation Protection Authority's investigation <a href="https://www.stralsakerhetsmyndigheten.se/globalassets/forskningsfinansiering/grunden-for-en-langsiktig-kompetensforsorjning-inom-stralsakerhetsomradet.pdf">&quot;The basis for a long-term supply of expertise in the field of radiation safety&quot;</a> (In Swedish, 2018)</li> <li><a href="https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/wp/2018-2020/euratom/h2020-wp1920-euratom_en.pdf">T<span style="background-color:initial">he Euratom programme for 2019-2020.</span></a></li> <li> The Swedish National Council for Nuclear Waste’s report <a href="https://www.karnavfallsradet.se/sou-20209-kunskapslaget-pa-karnavfallsomradet-2020-steg-for-steg-var-star-vi-vart-gar-vi">“The state of knowledge in the nuclear waste area 2020. Step by step. Where are we? Where are we going?”​</a> (In Swedish)<br /></li> <li>The European Commission's report ” <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/putting-perspective-supply-and-demand-nuclear-experts-2020-within-eu-27-nuclear-energy">Putting into Perspective the Supply of and Demand for Nuclear Experts by 2020 within the EU-27 Nuclear Energy Sector</a><span style="background-color:initial">” (2012)</span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The FORATOM-ordered report</span> ”<a href="https://www.foratom.org/downloads/nuclear-energy-powering-the-economy-full-study/?wpdmdl=42758&amp;refresh=5cc15b9cd1ec31556175772">Economic and Social Impact Report</a><span style="background-color:initial">” (2019).   </span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers Professor Christophe Demazière has recently<a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Teaching-the-algorithms-that-are-crucial-for-nuclear-reactor-modelling.aspx"> written a book ​</a>aimed at both future and current engineers in nuclear technology and nuclear safety.​</span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">Read more about the pedagogical methods on which Great Pioneer is based, in the scientific article ”<a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103789"> The polarizing effect of the online flipped classroom</a>” I tidskriften Computers &amp; Education (2020).</span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers has taken the initiative for a knowledge package aimed at secondary schools: <a href="http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheter/Sidor/satsning-pa-unga-ska-hejda-kompetenskrisen-inom-framtidsbransch.aspx">&quot;Radiation science for the curious&quot;</a>. The training package has been developed in collaboration with an academic competence center for radiation science, SAINT, and led by nuclear energy researcher <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/klaraib.aspx">Klara Insulander Björk ​</a>at Chalmers’ Department of Physics. Read more about the education initiative here. <a href="https://saint.nu/nyfiken/">Read more about the education initiative here. </a></span></li></ul></div>Thu, 26 Mar 2020 06:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Nanostructured-rubber-like.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Nanostructured-rubber-like.aspxNanostructured rubber-like material could replace human tissue<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have created a new, rubber-like material with a unique set of properties, which could act as a replacement for human tissue in medical procedures. The material has the potential to make a big difference to many people&#39;s lives. The research was recently published in the highly regarded scientific journal ACS Nano.</b></p><div>​In the development of medical technology products, there is a great demand for new naturalistic materials suitable for integration with the body. Introducing materials into the body comes with many risks, such as serious infections, among other things. Many of the substances used today, such as Botox, are very toxic. There is a need for new, more adaptable materials.</div> <div>In the new study, the Chalmers researchers developed a material consisting solely of components that have already been shown to work well in the body. </div> <div>The foundation of the material is the same as plexiglass, a material which is common in medical technology applications. Through redesigning its makeup, and through a process called nanostructuring, they gave the newly patented material a unique combination of properties. The researchers' initial intention was to produce a h<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/Anand%20Kumar%20Rajasekharan%20250.jpg" alt="" style="height:147px;width:180px;margin:10px 5px" />ard bone-like material, but they were met with surprising results. </div> <div>“We were really surprised that the material turned to be very soft, flexible and extremely elastic. It would not work as a bone replacement material, we concluded. But the new and unexpected properties made our discovery just as exciting,” says Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, PhD in Materials Science and one of the researchers behind the study.</div> <div>The results showed that the new rubber-like material may be appropriate for many applications which require an uncommon combination of properties – high elasticity, easy processability, and suitability for medical uses. </div> <div>“The first application we are looking at now is urinary catheters. The material can be construct<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Amferia/Martin%20Andersson%20172.jpg" alt="" style="height:172px;width:182px;margin:5px" />ed in such a way that prevents bacteria from growing on the surface, meaning it is very well suited for medical uses,” says Martin Andersson, research leader for the study and Professor of Chemistry at Chalmers.</div> <div>The structure of the new nano-rubber material allows its surface to be treated so that it becomes antibacterial, in a natural, non-toxic way. This is achieved by sticking antimicrobial peptides – small proteins which are part of our innate immune system – onto its surface. This can help reduce the need for antibiotics, an important contribution to the fight against growing antibiotic resistance. </div> <div>Because the new material can be injected and inserted via keyhole surgery, it can also help reduce the need for drastic surgery and operations to rebuild parts of the body. The material can be injected via a standard cannula as a viscous fluid, so that it forms its own elastic structures within the body. Or, the material can also be 3D printed into specific structures as required. </div> <div>“There are many diseases where the cartilage breaks down and friction results between bones, causing great pain for the affected person. This material could potentially act as a replacement in those cases,” Martin Andersson continues.</div> <div>A further advantage of the material is that it contains three-dimensionally ordered nanopores. This means it can be loaded with medicine, for various therapeutic purposes such as improving healing and reducing inflammation. This allows for localised treatment, avoiding, for example, having to treat the entire body with drugs, something that could help reduce problems associated with side effects. Since it is non-toxic, it also works well as a filler – the researchers see plastic surgery therefore as another very interesting potential area of application for the new material.</div> <div>“I am now working full time with our newly founded company, Amferia, to get the research out to industry. I have been pleased to see a lot of real interest in our material. It’s promising in terms of achieving our goal, which is to provide real societal benefit,” Anand concludes.</div> <div>Read the study, “<a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.9b01924">Tough Ordered Mesoporous Elastomeric Biomaterials Formed at Ambient Conditions</a>” in the scientific journal ACS Nano. </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The path of the research to societal benefit and commercialisation, through start-up company Amferia and Chalmers Ventures</h3> <div>In order for the discovery of the new material to be useful and commercialised, the researchers patented their innovation before the study was published. The patent is owned by <a href="http://www.amferia.com/">start-up company Amferia</a>, which was founded by Martin Andersson and Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, two of the researchers behind the study, as well as researcher Saba Atefyekta who recently completed a PhD in Materials Science at Chalmers. Anand is now CEO of Amferia and will drive the application of the new material and development of the company. </div> <div><a href="https://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/chalmers-ventures/pressreleases/amferia-raises-sek-6-punkt-2-million-in-investment-for-innovative-wound-care-patches-that-kill-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria-2964059">Amferia has previously been noted for an antibacterial wound patch developed by the same team</a>. Amferia now has the innovation of both the new nano-rubber and the antibacterial wound patch. The development of the company and the innovations' path to making profit are now being carried out in collaboration with Chalmers Ventures, a subsidiary of Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research: interdisciplinary collaboration at Chalmers</h3> <div>Several of Chalmers’ departments and disciplines were involved in the study. In addition to researchers at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Marianne-Liebi.aspx">Marianne Liebi</a>, Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics, was a co-author of the article. She has developed a technology to make it possible to investigate the order of materials by means of x-ray irradiation, to see how the nanostructures relate to each other in the material. In the ongoing work, an industrially feasible process for production of the material will be developed. This will be done in collaboration with the Department of Industry and Materials Science.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact:</h3> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Martin-Andersson.aspx">Martin Andersson</a>, Professor in Chemistry</div> <a href="mailto:anandk@amferia.com">Anand Kumar </a><span>Rajasekhara</span>n, PhD in Materials Science and CEO of Amferia <br /><div> </div>Mon, 16 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Titan.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Titan.aspxLife on Titan cannot rely on cell membranes, according to computational simulations<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have made a new contribution to the ongoing search into the possibility of life on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Using quantum mechanical calculations, they have shown that azotosomes, a proposed alternative form to conventional cell membranes, could not form under the conditions there. Their research is published in the journal Science Advances.</b></p><p>​Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, has a dynamic surface, with seasonal rainfall, and lakes and seas at its polar regions, as well as a dense, nitrogen-rich atmosphere. These similarities to Earth have led many to consider the possibility of life there. The liquids on Titan are not water, however, but seas of methane and ethane, and the surface temperature is around –180C. Lipid membranes, of the type common to life on Earth, could not function under such conditions. This has led researchers looking for signs of life on Titan to contemplate alternative forms of cell membranes that could tolerate these extremes. One such alternative form, suggested by a team from Cornell University, is called an ‘azotosome’. </p> <p>The idea of azotosomes has gained traction in the field of astrobiology, and it has been shown computationally that such structures would survive the conditions on Titan. The azotosome was proposed to be formed from the organic compound acrylonitrile – which was later confirmed to exist on Titan.</p> <p>“Titan is a fascinating place to test our understanding of the limits of prebiotic chemistry – the chemistry that precedes life. What chemical, or possibly biological, structures might form, given enough time under such different conditions? The suggestion of azotosomes was a really interesting proposal for an alternative to cell membranes as we understand them,” says Martin Rahm, Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.</p> <p>“But our new research paper shows that, unfortunately, although the structure could indeed tolerate the extremes of Titan, it would not form in the first place,” he explains. </p> <p>Using advanced quantum mechanical calculations, the researchers compared the energy of the proposed azotosome membrane embedded in methane with that of the molecular crystal form of acrylonitrile – its molecular ice. They discovered that each building block added to the azotosome increased its energy significantly, making its formation progressively less likely thermodynamically. They conclude therefore that while azotosomes could survive on Titan, they would not self-assemble under such conditions. Instead, acrylonitrile would crystallise into its molecular ice. </p> <p>Despite the ‘negative’ results of their work, Martin Rahm sees the study, which was done together with PhD student Hilda Sandström, as providing highly valuable information for ongoing research in astrobiology. </p> <p>“With this work we hope to contribute to the ongoing discussion on the limits of chemistry and biology in environmental extremes. Though we have shown that acrylonitrile is not a viable building block for workable cell membranes on Titan, we now have a better understanding of the environmental limits for cell membranes. Titan is a highly interesting and unique environment with many unanswered questions and possibilities left to explore,” he explains. </p> <p>Their work is also an important step forward in demonstrating the potential of computational astrobiology, which offers the chance to evaluate, prior to experiments or sampling, whether or not a particular structure or process might be a biosignature, a marker for potential biology.</p> <p>Interest in astrobiology on Titan is very high in the scientific community – so much so that in 2026, NASA will launch the billion-dollar Dragonfly spacecraft, which will make the 8-year journey to Titan to investigate its surface. It will spend around 3 years flying to different locations around the moon, assessing the conditions for habitability, prebiotic chemistry, and looking for signs of past and present life. </p> <p>Read the article “<a href="https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/4/eaax0272/tab-article-info">Can polarity-inverted membranes self-assemble on Titan</a>?” in the journal Science Advances. </p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The likelihood of life on Titan and other similar worlds </h3> <div>While stressing that life under the extreme conditions found on Titan and other such worlds is highly unlikely, the researchers do, however, consider another possibility. They hypothesise that perhaps cell membranes are not a necessity for life everywhere, as we see they are on our Earth. </div> <div>One crucial function of cell membranes on Earth is to protect the contents of a cell from being diluted and destroyed in larger bodies of liquid water. However, on the surface of Titan, any hypothetical life-bearing biomolecule would exist in the solid state, due to the low temperature, and never risk such destruction by dissolution. </div> <p>Because hypothetical biomolecules on Titan would be immobile, they would need to rely on the diffusion of small energetic molecules, such as hydrogen gas or acetylene, to reach them before they could grow or replicate. Such molecules would need to be transported through the surrounding atmosphere or through liquid hydrocarbons, and a membrane would, in this case, hinder the desired diffusion. A membrane would likely be a similar obstacle in the opposite direction, for the necessary removal of waste products from the biomolecule’s metabolism.</p> <p>“One can therefore ask what the benefit would be from having cell membranes under such different conditions?” explains Martin Rahm. </p> <p>For more information, contact: <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/rahmma.aspx">Martin Rahm</a><br /></p>Mon, 02 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/iva.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/iva.aspxFour projects from the chemistry department at IVA&#39;s 100 list<p><b>​The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering presented its 100 list 2020. 94 research projects that especially contribute to sustainable growth, have been nominated and selected among all Swedish educational institutions. Four of these are related to the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.</b></p><div>​Research leaders for the selected projects are Kasper Moth-Poulsen (Professor Chemistry and Chemical Engineering), Hanna de la Motte (Project Manager at RISE and Visiting Researcher in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering) and Anders Palmqvist (Professor, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Vice President at Chalmers).</div> <div> </div> <div>Further down in this article they comment on their projects, including how these projects contribute to the 100-list goals - research projects that contribute to sustainable growth and increase collaboration between research and companies in order to transform academic research into competitiveness. There are also the names of the projects and links to further information.<br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Nanocatalytic Systems - Scalable Production of Structured Nanoparticles<img width="340" height="400" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/IVA/KasperMoth-Poulsen_340%20x%20400_2018.jpg" alt="" style="height:186px;width:158px;margin:5px" /></h3> <div>Research leader: Kasper Moth-Poulsen<br />Read more about <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/kasper-moth-poulsen.aspx">Kasper Moth-Poulsen</a></div> <div>Nanoparticles with special structure and shape have unique catalytic properties. In this project we have developed a scalable method for synthesizing structured nanoparticles that can be used in the future fuel cells and chemical industry. <br />Kasper Moth-Poulsen </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Molecular Thermal Solar Energy System - New materials for energy efficient buildings</h3> <div>Research leader: Kasper Moth-Poulsen.</div> <div>Read more about <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/kasper-moth-poulsen.aspx">Kasper Moth-Poulsen</a></div> <div>The molecular energy system is a molecule that absorbs the sun's light and transforms it into another molecule that stores the energy. It then releases the stored energy during parts of the day that the sun does not shine, for example evening and night. In this way, the temperature can be evened out in buildings and windows during a day, which gives an improved indoor climate and reduced energy consumption. <br />Kasper Moth-Poulsen</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">From textiles to dissolving pulp, again - Process solutions for textile recycling in the Swedish forest industry</h3> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/IVA/Hanna%20de%20la%20Motte_340x400_RISE%202020.jpg" alt="" style="height:186px;width:158px;margin:5px" />Research leader: Hanna de la Motte (project manager at RISE) image creadit RISE, the group consists of Hans Theliander (professor, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Chalmers) Harald Brelid, Anna Palme and Helena Claesson (Southern Innovation) </div> <div><a href="https://www.ri.se/en/what-we-do/projects/textiles-dissolving-pulp-again">Read more about the project</a></div> <div>In this research process solutions for recycling textile mixtures of cellulose and polyester that are compatible with the Swedish forest industry are developed. We need to become more circular in our material use. Our research benefits the business community by offering process solutions for recycling textiles, and with it a more sustainable management of textile residual waste.</div> <div>The project started within the research program Mistra Future Fashion, first as a doctoral project at Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers and then through degree projects and a postdoc project. The results of the work inspired Södra Innovation to develop its OnceMore (TM) process, which has demonstrated the recycling of 30 tonnes of mixed textiles, with the aim of a capacity of 25000 tonnes. <br />Hanna de la Motte</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Celcibus - Precious metal-free fuel cell catalyst - Durable, cheap and enabling alternative to platinum.</h3> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/IVA/AndersPalmqvist%20340%20x%20400_2019.jpg" alt="" style="height:186px;width:158px;margin:5px" />Research leader: Anders Palmqvist. </div> <div>Read more about <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Anders-Palmqvist.aspx">Anders Palmqvist</a></div> <div>Fuel cells are powered by hydrogen and can supplement batteries for the operation of electric vehicles and in other applications. We have developed a precious metal-free catalyst for fuel cells to replace the expensive and rare precious metal platinum on which today's fuel cells depend on. Estimations show that when the fuel cell vehicle market is picking up, almost half the cost of the fuel cell will be the cost of platinum. By completely excluding the precious metal from the catalytic converter, the potential for cost savings are huge. A well-functioning precious metal-free catalyst has the potential to accelerate the establishment of the hydrogen gas community and the conversion to a sustainable energy system.</div> <div>The catalyst is patent protected in seven countries and the company Celcibus AB was established in 2019 for further development and commercialization. The goal is to offer the market a cheaper and more environmentally friendly fuel cell based on the catalyst. Through collaboration with three commercial international companies, we are now developing a first full-scale fuel cell stack prototype to demonstrate its performance in a real product. Celcibus participates in InnoEnergy's Highway program and is now planning for recruitment and establishment of capacity for development, testing and sales of the catalytic converter and for cooperation agreements with strategic partners. Globally, the fuel cell market is now developing rapidly, one of the challenges is to reach the international market. <br />Anders Palmqvist</div> <div> </div> <div> </div>Mon, 02 Mar 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/New-opportunities-for-materials-research-at-Chalmers.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/New-opportunities-for-materials-research-at-Chalmers.aspxNew opportunities for materials research at Chalmers<p><b>The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) has decided to extend the funding of the SwedNess research school by 100 million SEK until 2025.</b></p><div><div><span></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">SwedNess is a graduate school for neutron scattering operated by six Swedish Universities, including Chalmers.</span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The goal is to educate 20 doctoral students as a base for Sweden's expertise in neutron scattering with respect to the research infrastructure European Spalliation Source (ESS) being built outside Lund right now. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Jan%20Swenson.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:100px;width:100px" /><div>&quot;It is important to strengthen the competence in neutron scattering at Chalmers in order to remain successful in materials research and to benefit from ESS,&quot; says Professor Jan Swenson at the Department of Physics at Chalmers, who is SwedNess'  Director of Studies at Chalmers.  </div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/sv/institutioner/fysik/nyheter/Sidor/Nya-mojligheter-for-materialforskningen-pa-Chalmers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read a longer article on Chalmers' Swedish homepage. </a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://strategiska.se/en/research/ongoing-research/graduate-school-neutron-science/project/8304/"><span><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></span>Read more about SwedNess. ​</a></div> <div></div>Fri, 07 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Glutamate.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Glutamate.aspxGlutamate in the brain shows unexpected qualities<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Gothenburg University in Sweden have achieved something long thought almost impossible – counting the molecules of the neurotransmitter glutamate released when a signal is transferred between two brain cells. With a new analysis method, they showed that the brain regulates its signals using glutamate in more ways than previously realised.</b></p><div>​<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Glutamat/AnnSofieCans_340%20x400.png" alt="" style="height:252px;width:245px;margin:5px" />The ability to measure the activity and quantity of glutamate in brain cells has been long sought-after among researchers. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. Despite its abundance, and its influence on many important functions, we know a lot less about it than other neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, because so far glutamate has been difficult to measure quickly enough. <p> </p> <p>The new findings around glutamate are therefore very significant and could help improve our understanding of the pathologies underlying neurological and psychiatric diseases and conditions. The relationship between glutamate and these disorders, as well as our memory, our appetite and more, are just some of the questions which the researchers’ newly discovered technology could help answer.</p> <p>“When we started, everybody said ‘this will never work’. But we didn’t give in. Now we have a beautiful example of how multi-disciplinary basic science can yield major breakthroughs, and deliver real benefit,” says Ann-Sofie Cans, Associate Professor in Chemistry at Chalmers and leader of the research group.</p> <p>The key was to do the opposite of what had been previously attempted. Instead of using a biosensor made from thick layers, they used an ultrathin layer of the enzyme needed for biological identification. The researchers made it so that the enzyme, which was placed on a nano-structured sensor surface, was just a molecule thick. This made the sensor technology a thousand times faster than previous attempts. </p> <p>The technique was therefore fast enough to measure the release of glutamate from a single synaptic vesicle – the small liquid vessel which releases neurotransmitters to the synapse between two nerve cells. This is a process that occurs in less than a thousandth of a second. </p> <p>“When we saw the benefits of improving the sensor technology in terms of time, instead of concentration, then we got it to work” says Ann-Sofie Cans. </p></div> <div>The research was carried out in two steps. In the first, the breakthrough was being able to measure glutamate. That study was published early in Spring 2019 in the scientific journal ASC Chemical Neuroscience. In the second part, which the current publication addresses, Ann-Sofie Cans and her research group made further important adjustments and ground-breaking discoveries. <p> </p> <p>“Once we had built the sensor, we could then refine it further. Now, with the help of this technology we have also developed a new method to quantify these small amounts of glutamate,” she explains. </p> <p>Along the way the group had many interesting surprises. For example, the quantity of glutamate in a synaptic vesicle has been revealed to be much greater than previously believed. It is comparable in quantity to serotonin and dopamine, a finding which came as an exciting surprise.</p> <p>“Our study changes the current understanding of glutamate. For example, it seems that transport and storage of glutamate in synaptic vesicles is not as different as we thought, when compared with other neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine”, says Ann-Sofie Cans.</p> <p>The researchers also showed that nerve cells control the strength of their chemical signals by regulating the quantity of glutamate released from single synaptic vesicles.</p> <p>The fact we can now measure and quantify this neurotransmitter can yield new tools for pharmacological studies in many vital areas in neuroscience.</p> <p>“The level of measurement offered by this ultra-fast glutamate sensor opens up countless possibilities to truly understand the function of glutamate in health and disease. Our knowledge of the brain function, and dysfunction, is limited by the experimental tools we have, and this new ultra-fast tool will allow us to examine neuronal communication at a level we did not have access to before”, says Karolina Patrycja Skibicka, Associate Professor in Neuroscience and Physiology at Gothenburg University.</p> <p>“The new finding, that glutamate-based communication is regulated by the quantity of glutamate released from synaptic vesicles, begs the question of what happens to this regulation in brain diseases thought to be linked to glutamate, for example epilepsy.”</p></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More information on glutamate and glutamic acid </h3> <div>Glutamate, or glutamic acid, is found in proteins in food. It occurs naturally in meat, in almost all vegetables, and in wheat and soy. It is also used as a food additive to enhance flavours, for example in the form of MSG, or monosodium glutamate. <p> </p> <p>Glutamate is an amino acid, and an important part of our body. It is also a neurotransmitter which nerve cells use to communicate, and forms the basis for some of the brain's basic functions such as cognition, memory and learning. It is also important for the immune system, the function of the gastrointestinal tract, and to prevent microorganisms from entering the body.</p></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Source: Swedish Food Agency and Chalmers University of Technology</div> <a href="https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/livsmedel-och-innehall/tillsatser-e-nummer/ovriga/glutamat/"><div>https://www.livsmedelsverket.se/livsmedel-och-innehall/tillsatser-e-nummer/ovriga/glutamat/ </div></a><div> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information</h3> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/ann-sofie-cans.aspx">Ann-Sofie Cans</a>, Associate Professor in Chemistry, Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><a href="mailto:karolina.skibicka@gu.se">Karolina Patrycja Skibicka</a>, Associate Professor in Neuroscience and Physiology at Gothenburg University</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More on the research</h3> <div>The study, <a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/jacs.9b09414">Counting the Number of Glutamate Molecules in Single Synaptic Vesicles</a> has been published in the scientific publication Journal of the American Chemical Society. <p> </p> <p>The research has been funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Brain Foundation, Ragnar Söderberg Foundation, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Wallenberg Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine at the University of Gothenburg, Ernst and Fru Rådman Colliander Stiftelse, Wilhelm and Martina Lundgren Stiftelse and Magnus Bergvall Stiftelse.</p></div> <div> </div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 21 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Goran-Wallbergsstipendium-till-Maria-Siiskonen.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Goran-Wallbergsstipendium-till-Maria-Siiskonen.aspxGöran Wallberg Grant to Maria Siiskonen<p><b>​​
Congratulations to Maria Siiskonen, who was awarded a grant of SEK 50,000 from the Chalmers Foundation and Göran Wallberg&#39;s Memorial Fund in 2019, which will give funding for a four-month stay in Copenhagen, Denmark.</b></p><br /><div>
The Chalmers alum Göran Wallberg (VV-45) generously donated 2 million with the aim of helping students and younger researchers to gain international experience during their studies. The grant covers the areas of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), Production Technology and Environmental Technology.
</div> <div>&quot;It's a very nice Christmas present,&quot; says Maria Siiskonen, PhD student at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers. “I will use the grant for a research stay at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU, to learn more about adaptable manufacturing systems for personalized medicines.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>
Looking for solutions
</strong></div> <div>Maria Siiskonen's previous research has focused on product design and how different functionalities can be incorporated into medicines, for example in tablets. It makes it possible to adapt the medicine to the needs of the individual patient and thus optimize patients' treatments against a number of different diseases. 
</div> <div>A consequence from product customization is the accelerating number of product variants and previous studies indicate that current pharmaceutical production systems are not flexible enough to enable production of customized product in an economically feasible manner.
 </div> <div>“I want to take a closer look at how the production systems for individualized medicines to find how they should be designed, both from an economic and sustainable perspective. My focus will be on the adaptability and flexibility of the systems to meet the demand for patient-adapted product variants.”

 </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Strong research at DTU attracts
</strong></div> <div>Maria explains that DTU's research group has a good reputation in the research area, in terms of the field of product customization and strategic approaches to product portfolio design.</div> <div>“Being here for a couple of months, will give me excellent opportunities to get a first-hand insight into their methods, discover new tools and hopefully get optimized product development methods to bring home with me. I think this will be an excellent opportunity to develop as a researcher”, concludes Maria.

</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700"><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/person/?cid=simaria" target="_blank" title="link to new webpage"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more of Maria Siiskonens research​</a></span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Carina Schultz / Maria Siiskonen
</em></div> <div><em>Photo: Carina Schultz</em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/new-resources-in-the-forest.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/new-resources-in-the-forest.aspxChalmers researchers hunt for new resources in the forest<p><b>​Wallenberg Wood Science Center researches into possibilities to create new, hi-tech materials from trees, beyond the traditional cellulose fibres. The center involves 15 researchers at 5 departments and helps lay the foundations for successful research. And it is just starting to kick into a higher gear.</b></p><div><em>The researchers involved in the center is listed in the end of the article</em>.</div> <div>Transparent wood from nanocellulose, flame-resistant cellulose foams for isolation, and plastic-like packaging materials  made of hemicellulose – just some examples of new, wood-based material concepts developed in Sweden which have made headlines in recent years. Bio-based batteries and solar cells, and artificial ‘wood’ which can be 3D printed are others which have caught the collective imagination. But something maybe less well-known is the fact that most of these ideas are the result of one forward-thinking research programme, launched over ten years ago – Wallenberg Wood Science Center.<br /><br /></div> <div>When the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation announced a funding investment of close to half a billion kronor, Chalmers and KTH first set themselves as competitors. But on the initiative of the Foundation, they became collaborative partners instead. And several years before the programme was even complete, a programme for extension was sketched out, for scaling up and broadening. Within a year, WWSC 2.0 was launched, to last until 2028. Linköping University will now take part as well, and industrial partners are also involved in financing via the research platform, Treesearch. The Chalmers Foundation will also contribute with more research money. In total, over a billion kronor will be invested in forestry related material research in the coming decade, with an interdisciplinary approach combining biotechnology, material science and physical chemistry.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Delivering important competence </h3> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/WWSC/Lisbeth%20200.png" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Lisbeth Olsson, Professor in Industrial Biotechnology, is Vice Director  of WWSC, and is responsible for Chalmers’ research within the programme. When she looks over what the research center has already delivered, it is not those headline-generating new materials that she sees as the principal contributions. <br />“I would probably say that the most important thing the WWSC has given the forestry industry is competence. Many doctoral students and postdocs from the programme have gone onto employment in the industry,” she says.  </div> <div>  <br />This increased knowledge around foundational questions has clearly contributed to the fact that the forest industry today is a lot more future-oriented. When WWSC began in 2008, research was, according to Lisbeth Olsson, still very traditional, focused on the pulp and paper industry.<br /><span>“Today, we instead define materials by what molecular properties they have. We discuss these things in a totally different way. So even if the industry in large part produces the same paper, packaging materials and hygiene products as ten years ago, there’s a molecular perspective on the future.”</span></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">All the parts of a tree can be better utilised</h3> <div>What drives these developments is the goal of a more sustainable society, and a phase-out of fossil fuels. With this environmental perspective there is also an increased demand on material and energy effectiveness. In the long term, this means that it is not sustainable – even with a renewable resource – to destroy or waste potentially valuable components of wood. Which, in many respects, is what the traditional pulp industry does today, when considering lignin. </div> <div>“An essential idea within WWSC is to make better use of all the different parts of trees. The vision is to create some kind of bio-refinery for material,” says Lisbeth Olsson. <br />  </div> <div>Until now, research has been largely focused on new ways of using cellulose, for example in the form of nanocellulose, as well as investigating the potential of hemicellulose – such as recycling polymers to create dense layers or using it as a constituent part of composite materials. <br /><span>“As research continues, we will also devote a lot more energy to looking at lignin, which with its aromatic compounds has a totally different chemistry. One idea is to carbonise the molecules to give them electrical properties,” says Lisbeth Olsson.<br /></span><span><br />When not busy with leading Chalmers’ activities within WWSC, which involves 5 different departments and around 15 researchers, she spends most of her time on her own research. Together with her colleagues, Lisbeth Olsson is investigating how enzymes and microorganisms can be used to separate and modify the constituent parts of trees – before reassembling them into materials with new, smart qualities.</span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">First, a need for understanding at a deeper level </h3> <div>We leave the office and go downstairs to the industrial biotechnology laboratory for a quick tour among the petri dishes and fermentation vessels. Of around 40 employees, 5 work here full time, deriving materials from trees’ raw parts. <br />  </div> <div>​“We look a lot at how different fungi from the forest break down wood, which enzymes they use. We can also ‘tweak’ the enzymes, so that they, for example, make a surface modification instead of breaking a chemical bond ,” says Lisbeth Olsson, adding that they are even investigating examples such as heat resistant wood fungi from Vietnamese forests.</div> <div> </div> <div>“When we find some interesting ability in a filamentous mushroom, for example, we can use genetic techniques to extract that ability to bacteria or yeast. That can then produce the same enzyme at a larger scale.”<br />  </div> <div>A difficulty with a natural material like wood is its particularly heterogenous and complex makeup. To be able to understand what is happening at a deep level, researchers must study different cycles at different scales simultaneously – from micrometres down to fractions of a nanometre. Lisbeth Olsson and her colleagues are not yet down to that level of detail that is really needed. <br />  </div> <div>“We have a model of what we think trees look like. But we don’t really know for sure,” she explains. </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Big investment opens up new possibilities</h3> <div>But soon, new possibilities will arise. The Wallenberg Foundation and Treesearch will together invest up to 200 billion kronor in building and operating a proprietary particle beam at the synchrotron facility Max IV outside Lund. The instrument, named Formax, could be compared to an extremely powerful x-ray microscope, and is specifically designed for tree-related material research. It will be ready for the first test experiments from 2021. <br />  </div> <div>But if the researchers have now identified a number of potent enzymes which could contribute to innovative <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/WWSC/Tuve%20200.png" alt="" style="margin:5px" />biomaterials, how do they really dig down into wood’s structure at the smallest level? <br /><br /></div> <div>One possible answer is found a few more flights of stairs down in the Chemistry building, where the Division of Forest Products and Chemical Engineering is based. Here, research assistant Tuve Mattsson, with one of the division’s doctoral students, has just carried out a small steam explosion of a ring of wood chips. The method, in brief, involves soaked wood chips being trapped in a pressure vessel, before steam is pumped in. The temperature and pressure greatly increase, before the valve suddenly opens. Bang! Water in the wood starts to boil and expand and bursts the wood from the inside.<br /><br /></div> <div>“To the naked eye, the chip pieces are quite similar – they just change colour. But look at them in a scanning electron microscope, and you see quite clearly how the structures have opened themselves up, just a little,” says Tuve Mattsson. </div> <div>“We don’t want to break down the wood too much. Then you lose the effectivity both in terms of materials and energy” adds Lisbeth Olsson. “This could be a future processing stage to make it milder, more enzymatic methods possible in industry. Such methods are also a prerequisite to being able to realise another key vision of WWSC – that new materials should be able to be recirculated without losing their value.” </div> <div>“This is a big challenge for the future. When a product has outlived its purpose, you should be able to extract the different material components and build them together in a new way, to create something of equal quality,” says Lisbeth Olsson. </div> <div>“If we succeed with that, then that thought process must be present from the beginning.”</div> <div><br /> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Chalmers researchers within WWSC</h3> <div>Chemistry and chemical technology: <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/anette-larsson.aspx">Anette Larsson</a>, <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Christian-Müller.aspx">Christian Müller</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/gunnar-westman.aspx">Gunnar Westman</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/hans-theliander.aspx">Hans Theliander</a>, <a href="/sv/personal/redigera/Sidor/Lars-Nordstierna.aspx">Lars Nordstierna</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/merima-hasani.aspx">Merima Hasani</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/paul-gatenholm.aspx">Paul Gatenholm</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/nypelo.aspx">Tiina Nypelö</a> and <a href="/en/staff/Pages/tuve-mattsson.aspx">Tuve Mattsson</a></div> <div>Biology and biological sciences: <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/johan-larsbrink.aspx">Johan Larsbrink</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/lisbeth-olsson.aspx">Lisbeth Olsson</a></div> <div>Physics: <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Aleksandar-Matic.aspx">Aleksandar Matic</a>, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Eva-Olsson.aspx">Eva Olsson</a>, <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Marianne-Liebi.aspx">Marianne Liebi</a></div> <div>Industrial and materials science: <a href="/sv/personal/redigera/Sidor/roland-kadar.aspx">Roland Kádár </a></div> <div>Microtechnology and nanoscience: <a href="/en/staff/Pages/Peter-Enoksson.aspx">Peter Enoksson</a></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Mimicking wood’s ultrastructure with 3D printing</h3> <div><strong>Porous, strong and rigid. Wood is a fantastic material. Now, researchers at the Wallenberg Wood Science Center have succeeded in utilising the genetic code of the wood to instruct a 3D bioprinter to print cellulose with a cellular structure and properties similar to those of natural wood, but in completely new forms.</strong></div> <div>Read the full article here: <a href="/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Mimicking-the-ultrastructure-of-wood-with-3D-printing-for-green-products.aspx">https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Mimicking-the-ultrastructure-of-wood-with-3D-printing-for-green-products.aspx</a>  </div> <div> </div>Wed, 08 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0100