20 things we learnt in 2020

December 23, 2020
Lauren Hood

As 2020 draws to a close, we look back on some of our researchers’ most exciting work achieved in a year like no other.

  1. A breakthrough in the development of new technologies to treat muscle loss, published in Frontiers in Chemistry;
  2. The realisation of new high energy density sodium metal batteries for more efficient, longer storage capacity, published in Nature Materials;
  3. We were able to create a model of the upper airway through digital imaging and 3D printing for the treatment of sleep apnea;

  4. A wearable device that can be used to harvest body heat and turn it into electricity, published in Advanced Energy Materials;
  5. Threads (sutures) can be used to deliver drugs into soft tissue models using electrofluidics, published in Scientific Reports;
  6. A new design optimisation, sensing and control paradigm for soft robotic systems was established;
  7. Hand-held free form bioprinting is possible, published in Bioprinting;

  8. Wireless stimulation of nerve cells using bipolar electrochemistry is possible, Applied Materials Today;
  9. Deep Brain Stimulation increases life expectancy and this medical benefit comes with ethical consequences;
  10. We demonstrated the efficacy of conveying multi-sensor information via fewer feedback channels, conveying grasp force to human users of prosthetics;
  11. Inert gas bubbles can promote electrochemical reactions;

  12. Reduction in pancreatic tumour volume is possible through a novel dual delivery technology, Advanced Healthcare Materials;
  13. The performance of non-aqueous redox flow batteries were improved by using mixed ligand complexes to increase solubility;
  14. Can you imagine measuring the force required to pull a single stem cell of a biomaterial surface? We did and we measured it…. Acta Biomaterialia;
  15. Modelling and experiments, revealed ether assisted ion transport in ionic liquids, accelerating practical application in lithium metal batteries;
  16. Ambient mass spectrometry can be applied to threads, upon which we can immobilise important target biomarkers, such as insulin, The Analyst;
  17. A printable polymer composite was used to create robust humidity sensors, published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces;
  18. A new form of graphene – highly dispersible in water and with high conductivity can be produced using a scalable patent;
  19. Ammonia is likely to become an important energy carrier of the future through the staged evolution of ammonia synthesis technologies;
  20. Machine learning can be used to enable much faster optimization of 3D printing parameters.

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