MANE News and Events
Heat pipes are devices to keep critical equipment from overheating. They transfer heat from one point to another through an evaporation-condensation process and are used in everything from cell phones and laptops to air conditioners and spacecraft. Normally, heat pipes contain porous metal wicks that return liquid to the heated end of the pipe where it evaporates. But engineers are working to develop wickless heat pipes that are lighter and more reliable. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute initiated the Constrained Vapor Bubble (CVB) project to study these wickless heat pipes for use in near-zero gravity environments for aerospace applications.
Aquaporins are proteins that serve as water channels to regulate the flow of water across biological cell membranes. They also remove excess salt and impurities in the body, and it is this aspect that has led to much interest in recent years in how to mimic the biochemical processes of aquaporins potentially for water desalination systems. An international team of researchers co-led by Georges Belfort has discovered water, in the form of “water wires,” contained in another molecule—the imidazole—a nitrogen-based organic compound that could be used as a potential building block for artificial aquaporins. The findings were recently published in Science Advances by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Belfort is Institute Professor and professor of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Nanomaterials expert Ganpati Ramanath, the John Tod Horton ’52 Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been named a fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS) “for developing creative approaches to realize new nanomaterials via chemically directed nanostructure synthesis and assembly and for tailoring interfaces in electronics and energy applications using molecular nanolayers.”