April 14, 2021

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Creating helpful gizmos | EurekAlert! Science Information

Necessity is the mother of invention, and nowhere does that aphorism use additional than in the realm of humans and their bodily demands.

That need to have has inspired Paul Hansma, a UC Santa Barbara biophysicist, to devote many years of his vocation to producing instruments that can advance medication in the prognosis and procedure of some of the most debilitating circumstances, thus strengthening human wellness.

“What I obtain most interesting and exciting about inventing is functioning with an interdisciplinary team to create actually practical gizmos,” Hansma explained.

For his do the job, which has resulted in basic insights into and innovations for conditions such as bone injuries and osteoporosis as well as serious soreness, Hansma has been chosen to be a part of the Nationwide Academy of Inventors (NAI). Hansma, according to the NAI, has “demonstrated a really prolific spirit of innovation in building or facilitating fantastic inventions that have manufactured a tangible effects on the excellent of life, economic advancement and the welfare of culture.” He joins 174 other distinguished academic inventors throughout the state in this year’s cohort of NAI Fellows.

“I am honored to be a part of distinguished inventors like Stephen Chu, Kumar Wrickamasinghe and Paul Alivisatos as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors,” Hansma said. “I am grateful to the people who nominated me and all those who elected me.”

“I congratulate Paul Hansma on this significant achievement,” mentioned Pierre Wiltzius, dean of mathematical, everyday living and bodily sciences at UC Santa Barbara. “His election to the National Academy of Inventors is properly-deserved, as his get the job done has advanced our fundamental comprehension of the human overall body and contributed realistic options to the way that people today recover. General, Paul’s research is marked not only by groundbreaking innovation, but also by prevalent affect. I am proud of his continuing contributions, and delighted for him to acquire this recognition”

Becoming a member of the Section of Physics in 1972, Hansma introduced to the campus his know-how in the system of electron tunneling, a phenomenon identified to be useful for a new process of imaging that would give scientists a glimpse of the atomic structure of a content. Usually on the lookout for advancements to the technologies, when at UCSB he co-invented Scanning Tunneling Microscopes (STMs) that could function exterior the ultra-high vacuum that was required for the operation of prior STMs, permitting imaging to just take location in the existence of air, and water.

Hansma then shifted his research to an additional type of nanoscale imaging identified as Atomic Pressure Microscopy (AFM), a technologies that could operate on a a lot more substantial selection of samples than STM. In particular, it could operate on biological samples in drinking water, opening the doorway to what has turn into a enormous region of existing organic and biomedical exploration: AFM of organic procedures to recognize points this sort of as the system of motion of antimicrobial peptides. It is the optimum resolution microscopy available for biological samples in drinking water, other than that of one more know-how he co-invented, termed Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy (SICM). SICM is more tricky to use than AFM and so, thus much, is only employed by professionals.

He collaborated with fellow physics professor Virgil Elings, who begun a organization, accredited Hansma’s UCSB patent and made the world’s initially commercial AFM, the Multimode.

Hansma ongoing to establish much more innovative AFMs at UCSB. Elings’ Digital Instruments (in the end obtained by Bruker) and its spinoff Asylum Investigate have certified UCSB inventions and have effectively made innovative business AFMs in Santa Barbara.

It was with AFM that Hansma and his interdisciplinary collaborators in 2005 discovered a biopolymer in human bone that permits healthful bone to take up shocks with no breaking — a basic insight that could direct to new therapies for bone fracture.

That fundamental discovery was adopted with a new machine, a Reference Place Indentation instrument that can measure the hardness of bone in a affected person, which can assistance medical practitioners make faster and extra precise diagnoses about their patients’ fracture hazard.

Today, Hansma’s investigate is focused on supporting people today prevail over long-term soreness, through a different collaboration that includes a large selection of know-how throughout the UC Santa Barbara campus. He and colleagues UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang, Professor Linda Petzold, Professor Michael Miller, Franklin Ly, Destinee Cheng, Elyes Turki, Celia Vann and Tyler Santander are doing the job to establish biofeedback devices to support folks triumph over continual agony. In addition to physics, departments represented include things like mechanical engineering, laptop science, biology and psychology. “UCSB has a distinguished heritage of interdisciplinary do the job that continues to inspire me,” Hansma mentioned.

A Fellow of the American Bodily Society (APS), the American Association for the Improvement of Science and the Institute of Physics, Hansma also is a recipient of the 2000 APS Biological Physics Prize.

NAI will conduct its Fellows Induction ceremony June 7-9, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.

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The 2020 Fellow class signifies 115 analysis universities and governmental and non-income investigate institutes all over the world. They collectively maintain about 4,700 issued U.S. patents. Between the 2020 course are 24 fellows of the Countrywide Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medication, 6 associates of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and two Nobel Laureates, as properly as recipients of other honors and distinctions. Their collective body of exploration covers a assortment of scientific disciplines including biomedical engineering, computer system engineering, elements science and physics.&#13

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