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Empa


— Medical

Self-moistening chest strap could be used for multi-day ECGs

By - May 6, 2015 1 Picture
In order to conduct electrical signals from the skin, the electrodes on heart rate monitors need to be slightly moist. That's why gel is first applied to patients' skin. Unfortunately, that gel dries up within 24 hours. Now, however, scientists from Switzerland's Empa research institute are developing a solution – a self-moistening heart rate-monitoring chest strap, for use in situations where electrocardiograms (ECGs) need to be recorded over a period of several days.

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Hybrid road sweeper keeps air cleaner, too

A Swiss joint venture has developed a hybrid-electric powertrain for road sweepers that's said to consume half the energy of diesel-hydraulic vehicles and reduce emissions by more than 60 percent. The modular system can also be adapted to cleaner fuel types such as hydrogen.

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— Science

Empa invents chemical computer faster than a satnav

By - October 28, 2014 2 Pictures
If you’re going out for pizza in Budapest, which would you choose to get you there; a smartphone with GPS or a drop of gel on a little maze? A team of scientists from Switzerland, Hungary, Japan and Scotland under the leadership of Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, thinks that the gel might be your better bet because that little bit of plastic and goo is a chemical computer capable of navigating a maze faster than a satnav. Read More
— Automotive

Affordable, lightweight ceramic/aluminum brake rotors developed

By - October 6, 2014 1 Picture
When it comes to making cars more energy-efficient – whether they're battery- or gas-powered – getting their weight down is one of the best things you can do. Unfortunately, the cast iron brake rotors currently used in most vehicles are quite heavy. Lighter ceramic rotors certainly do exist, although their high price mostly limits their application to expensive sports cars. Soon, however, ceramic-coated aluminum rotors may be a cost-effective lightweight alternative for economy cars. Read More
— Environment

Moth eyes inspire more efficient photoelectrochemical cells

By - July 17, 2014 3 Pictures
As nocturnal creatures, moths need to maximize how well they can see in the dark whilst remaining less visible to avoid predators. This ability to collect as much of the available light as possible and at the same time reflect as little as possible, has inspired Researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) to design a new type of photoelectrochemical cell using relatively low cost materials. Read More
— Environment

Sponges made from wood waste may soak up oil spills

By - May 6, 2014 5 Pictures
As the Deepwater Horizon incident showed us, oil spills can be huge environmental disasters. That said, there are also considerable challenges in dealing with the waste products generated by the forestry and agriculture industries. Now, scientists from Switzerland's Empa research group have come up with a method of addressing the one problem with the other – they've developed sponges made from cellulose waste, that can soak up 50 times their own weight in oil. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Diamond Armor bullet-proof suit provides stylish protection for a cool US$3.2 million

By - March 23, 2014 8 Pictures
If you're looking to extend your bulletproof wardrobe with something that won't be out of place alongside other garments, such as the Miguel Caballero bullet-proof polo shirt, the Bullet-Proof Gentleman’s Square and Garrison Bespoke's bulletproof three-piece suit, then the Diamond Armor could be a good fit. Developed by SuitArt, the Diamond Armor is a diamond-studded, bullet-proof, air-conditioned, bespoke-tailored suit costing US$3.2 million, making it the most expensive custom-tailored suit in the world. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Piezo-resistive fibers enable "blood pressure watch" with continuous monitoring

By - June 13, 2013 1 Picture
Blood pressure is one of the main vital signs, measuring the pressure of the blood upon the walls of blood vessels as it is pumped around the body by the heart. High blood pressure, or hypertension, places increased stress on the heart and can be an indicator of other potentially fatal health problems, such as stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. Most people will have had their blood pressure tested using a sphygmomanometer on a visit to the doctor, but a new wristband device is set to provide a more convenient and continuous way to keep a watch for signs of trouble. Read More
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