TANMS Celebrated as a Graduating ERC at the 2022 NSF ERC Biennial Meeting

posted Oct 19, 2022, 11:26 AM by Tsai-Tsai O-Lee

On September 20-21, 2022, over 200 attendees representing the leadership and personnel of the National Science Foundation and the NSF Engineering Research Centers (ERC) nationwide participated in the NSF ERC Biennial Meeting in Arlington, Virginia.  Now entering its 11th year, TANMS celebrated it's graduation with 6 other ERCs that were founded in 2011 and 2012.  

A special graduation awards ceremony was held on the evening of September 21 to recognize the achievements of the 7 graduating ERCs.  Congratulatory video messages from the NSF Director, Honorable Sethuraman Panchanathan, and congressional representatives of each ERC's lead institution, were shared.  Promotional videos produced by each graduating ERC summarizing each center's achievements were presented to the congressional representatives prior to the meeting and also shared with the event attendees during the awards ceremony.  

As part of the two-day event, NSF hosted the Lynn Preston Perfect Pitch Competition where graduate students representing each of the active ERCs are asked to deliver a 90-second pitch to answer the following questions: (1) what real-life problem their research addressed, (2) how they solved it in a unique way, and (3) what impact it would have for society and in achieving their Center’s mission?  Jesse Rivera, TANMS Doctoral Fellow from the UCLA Active Materials Lab, won the TANMS internal competition and represented TANMS at the national competition.  Although Jesse was not selected as one of the finalists at the national competition, he did a wonderful job at delivering his pitch on "Healing Broken Hearts with Multiferroic Antennas" .
 TANMS team at the 2022 NSF ERC Biennial Meeting
TANMS team at the 2022 NSF ERC Biennial Meeting in Arlington, VA.  From left: Rashaunda Henderson, TANMS 2D Thrust Lead; Emily Burnside, TANMS Graduate Student Researcher; Tsai-Tsai O-Lee, TANMS Administrative Director; Jane Chang, TANMS Deputy Director; Gregory Carman, TANMS Center Director; Schaffer Grimm, TANMS Director of Industry Relations; Jesse Rivera, TANMS Graduate Student Researcher (Perfect Pitch Competition Candidate); Shreya Patel, TANMS Student Leadership Council President

TANMS Promotional Video

2022 Lynn Preston Perfect Pitch Competition


TANMS Partners with UCLA Samueli to Provide Fee-for-Service

posted Oct 19, 2022, 9:19 AM by Tsai-Tsai O-Lee

EPS Website ImageCenter for Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems (TANMS), headquartered at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was established in 2012 as one of the prestigious NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Centers.  As we celebrate the Center's 10th year anniversary, the center is partnering with the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering to help advance the technological developments of public and private R&D efforts by providing public access to research processes that were previously largely restricted to institutions of higher education.   UCLA-TANMS Engineering Products and Services now has a growing list of products and services that are readily available to our community outside of UCLA on a fee-for-services basis without cumbersome sponsored research agreements.  Top notch engineering research facilities, equipment, and talents are now available to assist you with your research and development ventures.  Explore our services.  Let us know how we can assist.  

Recognizing and Supporting Community College Transfer Students Through TANMS REM

posted Oct 20, 2021, 2:59 PM by Tsai-Tsai O-Lee   [ updated Nov 3, 2021, 1:52 PM ]

2021 REM Participants
Source: Pilar O'Cadiz, TANMS Education Director

In honor of National Transfer Student Week, TANMS would like to recognize Joshua Rodriguez, community college participant in the Center's Research Experience and Mentoring (REM) Program and our 5th annual recipient of the Elijah S. Johnson Award for Engineering Inspiration, Integrity and Scholarly Promise.* Currently, Josh is enrolled as an undergraduate student at El Camino College and aims to transfer next year to UCLA to complete a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He came to TANMS through our partnership with the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program at El Camino, where he has been an active member.

The REM program includes community college students in a TANMS laboratory research experience alongside high school students. Josh served as an excellent near-peer mentor to his two high school student teammates, Cheyenne Arnold and Aurion Montaque, working in the biochemical engineering laboratory of Professor Dino DiCarlo. Under the mentorship of graduate student Hiromi Miwa, Josh and his teammates completed the research project, Development and Use of Single-Domain Multiferroic Array-Addressable Terfenol-D (SMArT) Micromagnets for Capture and Release of Single Cells. He will be presenting this research at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in Washington D.C. February 3-5, 2022.

Josh is a natural leader with a keen ability to focus on the task ahead, which is not surprising given that he is a Veteran of the US Army serving overseas as a Sergeant in the Airborne Infantry. Reflecting on his TANMS experience Josh says, “I realize how vast the research opportunities are and how cooperative different disciplines can be;” and adds, “My involvement with the various grad students [in TANMS] has humanized my perception of postgraduate education.” Because of his TANMS involvement, Josh is now considering graduate school as a possibility in his future.

TANMS is very proud of all our REM participants from the past four years, many of whom have transferred and continued on STEM pathways since 2018.  After spending the 2021 summer in the Tolbert lab, Los Angeles Valley College student Ruben Bautista transferred to the Biochemistry program at Cal State Northridge this fall. Our 2020 REM participant and E. S. Robinson awardee, Ana Venerio, transferred from El Camino College to the UC San Diego Mathematics program. Another El Camino transfer student and REM alumni, Sepedah Ariana Naghibi, and E. S. Robinson awardee, recently completed her BS degree in Physics at UC Irvine and entered the Electrical Engineering Master's program at San Diego State University in fall 2021.

REM Participants During Lab Tour

*This award is given to a TANMS research participant in memory of Elijah S. Robinson (2000-2017) who exemplified TANMS’ values and vision in his collaborative spirit, resilience and persistence in pursuit of higher education and engineering career goals. 

TANMS Researchers Create Programmable Micromagnets for Single-Cell Sorting

posted May 27, 2021, 10:39 AM by Tsai-Tsai O-Lee   [ updated May 27, 2021, 11:24 AM ]

Advanced Materials Cover Image

A team led by UCLA engineers was able to structure the exotic material Terfenol-D and show it could be formed into arrays of digitally-switchable micro-magnets to control the capture and release of individual cells, promising to enable selection of cells by their function to enhance cell therapies.

New advances in cell engineering for personalized therapies can benefit from selection of individual cells based on their complex behaviors or time-dependent functions (such as cell killing, secretion, or movement). Current cell sorting technologies mainly use cell surface markers as a surrogate for cell function, observing these markers instantaneously during sorting processes, instead of looking at cell function itself.

To address this challenge, a UCLA-led interdisciplinary research team developed arrays of magnets to isolate magnetically-tagged cells, observe them, and then selectively release one based on a time-dependent behavior. Electromagnets at the scale of cells are two weak and consume too much power, so they instead looked to a new type of exotic magnetic material, Terfenol-D, that can maintain strong magnetic poles, but can be switched intermittently with an electric field. These types of materials are called multiferroic, and are the focus of the NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems (TANMS) located at UCLA and directed by Greg Carman, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Timeline showing progress from bulk cell separation via coarsely applied external magnetic fields (left) to single-cell separation via localized and programmable magnetoelastic micromagnets (right).

The study, published online in the journal Advanced Materials, was supervised by Dino Di Carlo, the Armond and Elena Hairapetian Professor of Engineering and Medicine, Greg Carman, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) and Rob Candler, Professor of Electrical Engineering (EE). Reem Khojah, a PhD student in the department of Bioengineering was the lead author. Co-first authors Zhuyun (Maggie) Xiao (EE) and Dr. Mohanchandra K. Panduranga (MAE) with additional collaborators included a team at UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The team first fabricated Terfenol-D microstructures at scales the size of a cell over the surface of a wafer. They found that the structures possessed a single magnetic domain over a larger area than found in previous magnetic materials, leading to higher magnetic field strengths. These Terfenol-D microstructures enabled controlled trapping of magnetic beads with sub-micrometer precision.  Magnetically labeled cells were then captured by the large magnetic field gradients generated from the single-domain microstructures. The magnetic state on these microstructures was switched through applying voltage to another material adjacent to the Terfenol-D micro-magnets. The electric field caused that material to deform and therefore modulated the magnetic state of the Terfenol-D micro-magnets, releasing individual cells.

The researchers showed the system was compatible with an assay used to characterize secreted molecules from T cells, a type of white blood cell that is critical in developing immunity to viruses and pathogens, and being leveraged for new cancer cell therapies. The proof of concept lays the ground work for large arrays of magnets to capture, observe, and selectively release cells with specific functions that may lead to improved performance as a therapy.

Publication: R. Khojah, Z. Xiao, M.K. Panduranga, M. Bogumil, Y. Wang, M. Goiriena-Goikoetxea, R.V. Chopdekar, J. Bokor, G.P. Carman, R.N. Candler, and D. Di Carlo, “Single-Domain Multiferroic Array-Addressable Terfenol-D (SMArT) Micromagnets for Programmable Single-Cell Capture and Release,” Adv. Mater., doi:10.1002/adma.202006651 (2021).

Additional Reading: Programmable Micromagnets for Single-Cell Sorting, Advanced Light Source, May 19, 2021

Ana Venerio Named as 2021 Elijah S. Robinson Award Recipient

posted Mar 15, 2021, 1:24 PM by Tsai-Tsai O-Lee   [ updated Mar 15, 2021, 1:24 PM ]

Ana Venerio
TANMS is proud to announce Ana Venerio as the 2021 recipient of the TANMS Elijah S. Robinson Award for Inspiration, Integrity, and Scholarly Promise in Engineering.* Ana Venerio participated in the TANMS Research and Mentoring Program (REM), which pairs high school and community college students in research teams to carry out a TANMS related research project. This past year, the REM program was offered online this year due to the UCLA campus closure and began in October 2020 through January 2021. Despite the virtual program experience, Ana stood out as a natural leader and a dedicated researcher and mentor to her high school research team partner, as well as a role model to her REM cohort. Ana and her partner Evan Jones carried out their research experience in the laboratory of Yuanxun Ethan Wang, Professor Electrical Engineering, undergraduate student Nancy Qian Gao's mentorship. They completed the project, Ferromagnetic Resonance Enhanced Electrically Small Antennas, and presented together at the national NSF 2021 Virtual REM Meeting,  February 11-12, 2021.

Ana says that the TANMS Research and Mentoring program “gave me the confidence I needed to know I can conduct research. She recognizes the value of learning about diversity in STEM, reflecting that, “It was very eye-opening to see that the sciences field is not as diverse as I thought it would be. This information gave me more fuel to work hard to be part of the science community and represent Hispanic people.  As a result of her REM experience, she is now interested in continuing to pursue “research on ferromagnetic materials and the different ways they can be used to improve different systems.”

Although born in Fresno, California, Ana's family moved to Nicaragua when she was an infant. She returned to the United States as a teenager and quickly devoted herself to learning English and preparing for college. Upon enrolling at Camino College, Ana began working as a Math Coach to fellow students, an experience that led her to discover her gift for teaching.  Ana's goal is to become a mathematics or physics professor. Ana Venerio is sure to achieve her objectives and make a positive impact where ever she ultimately lands.

Congratulations Ana, the TANMS family wishes you all the best!

*In memory of TANMS Elijah S. Robinson (2000-2017) 

Happy Holidays from TANMS ERC!

posted Dec 15, 2020, 12:35 PM by Tsai-Tsai O-Lee

TANMS 2020 Season's Greeting

TANMS Research Team Devises New Ferrobotic System

posted Mar 5, 2020, 7:47 AM by Tsai-Tsai O-Lee   [ updated Mar 16, 2020, 8:44 AM ]

Announced in a recent publication by Science Robotics titled "A ferrobotic system for automated microfluidic logistics", TANMS research team led by Professor Dino Di Carlo in UCLA Department of Bioengineering in collaboration with the UCLA Interconnected and Integrated Bioelectronics Lab led by Professor Sam Emaminejad has successfully devised a robotic system that uses a network of individually addressable ferrobots, each performing designated micro-/nanofluid manipulation-based tasks in cooperation with other robots.  This breakthrough provides a solution to resolving major bottlenecks encountered in fields such as medical diagnostics, -omics, drug development, and chemical/material synthesis.  Congratulations to the team for their outstanding work!

Publication Abstract
Automated technologies that can perform massively parallelized and sequential fluidic operations at small length scales can resolve major bottlenecks encountered in various fields, including medical diagnostics, -omics, drug development, and chemical/material synthesis. Inspired by the transformational impact of automated guided vehicle systems on manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution industries, we devised a ferrobotic system that uses a network of individually addressable robots, each performing designated micro-/nanofluid manipulation-based tasks in cooperation with other robots toward a shared objective. The underlying robotic mechanism facilitating fluidic operations was realized by addressable electromagnetic actuation of miniature mobile magnets that exert localized magnetic body forces on aqueous droplets filled with biocompatible magnetic nanoparticles. The contactless and high-strength nature of the actuation mechanism inherently renders it rapid (~10 centimeters/second), repeatable (>10,000 cycles), and robust (>24 hours). The robustness and individual addressability of ferrobots provide a foundation for the deployment of a network of ferrobots to carry out cross-collaborative logistics efficiently. These traits, together with the reconfigurability of the system, were exploited to devise and integrate passive/active advanced functional components (e.g., droplet dispensing, generation, filtering, and merging), enabling versatile system-level functionalities. By applying this ferrobotic system within the framework of a microfluidic architecture, the ferrobots were tasked to work cross-collaboratively toward the quantification of active matrix metallopeptidases (a biomarker for cancer malignancy and inflammation) in human plasma, where various functionalities converged to achieve a fully automated assay.

Source: Science Robotics 26 Feb 2020: Vol. 5, Issue 39, eaba4411 DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aba4411

TANMS Faculty Receives Lockheed Martin Excellence in Teaching Award

posted Feb 26, 2020, 10:33 AM by Tsai-Tsai O-Lee   [ updated Feb 26, 2020, 10:33 AM ]

On February 22, 2020, UCLA Samueli School of Engineering hosted its annual UCLA Samueli Awards Dinner where the UCLA Engineering Family gather to celebrate the school's impact and honor accomplished alumni, faculty and students.  This year, Professor Rob Candler, TANMS Faculty and 3D Thrust Lead, was recognized with the Lockheed Martin Excellence in Teaching Award.  The Lockheed Martin Excellence in Teaching Award honors the achievements of a senior faculty member who have proven records of offering students the best possible engineering education through innovative and inspirational teaching methods, curriculum development and support of student academic efforts.   

TANMS is honored to have Professor Candler as part of our family and congratulates him on this well-deserved recognition.  

TANMS Recognizes the 2019 CLIMB Award Recipients

posted Feb 24, 2020, 12:17 PM by Tsai-Tsai O-Lee   [ updated Feb 24, 2020, 12:18 PM ]

In Spring 2019, the Chen & Liang Inspiring Multiferroic Brilliance Awards (CLIMB) awards were established through the initiative and generous contributions of TANMS Alumni, Cai Chen and Cheng-Yen Liang to recognize the accomplishments and potentials of talented TANMS undergraduate and graduate students committed to making a positive impact in the world through engineering research, scientific and technological advancement, leadership and education. 

On the morning of January 29, in front researchers representing academia, industry, and government entities attending the TANMS Annual Research Strategy Meeting (ARSM), TANMS Education Director, Dr. Pilar O'Cadiz recognized the four 2019 CLIMB Award recipients: Kevin Fitzell, Sidhant Tiwari, Ka'Toria Edwards, and Christina Seeholzer.  These four award recipients, two doctoral students, and two undergraduate students, were selected from the pool of applicants for their exceptional commitment and achievement in the following areas:
  • Research—application-driven and cutting-edge research within a TANMS partner institution and laboratory
  • Collaboration—cross-disciplinary cooperation with scientists and engineers
  • Innovation—contribution to investigations leading to the invention of new devices
  • Education—commitment to educational activities including mentoring and outreach in the community
Congratulations again to Kevin, Sidhant, K'Toria, and Christina for their outstanding accomplishments.  Applications for the 2020 CLIMB Awards are now being accepted.  Awards will be announced in June 2020.  

For additional information, go to . 

TANMS Successfully Hosts the 6th Annual Research Strategy Meeting

posted Feb 24, 2020, 10:46 AM by Tsai-Tsai O-Lee   [ updated Feb 24, 2020, 11:01 AM ]

On January 28-29, researchers representing academia, industry, and government agencies gathered for the 6th Annual Research Strategy Meeting (ARSM).  This annual event has been generating growing interest in the potentials of multiferroic applications since its first meeting in 2014.  The 2020 meeting with the theme focused on advancing low frequency antennas may be the most successful yet.  As a result of this meeting, TANMS Center Director, Professor Greg Carman, organized a committee of leading experts in the field to propose a potential topic for the Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI).

We look forward to hosting this successful event again next year!

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