Harvard bio-prints kidney

October 21, 2016

The important parts of a kidney have been replicated using 3D bio-printing at Harvard University. kidney

The pioneering development could make “organ transplant lists” obsolete reported 3D Printing Industry. The paper on how this was done was published early this October and its title is Bio-printing 3D Convoluted Renal Proximal Tubules on Perfusable Chips.

Within the structure of a kidney there are nephrons which are responsible for filtering waste from the body as well as absorbing nutrients from the blood, within the nephron are millions of proximal tubules (PT) and these are what make up a kidney.

The way this was done was to place a “PT structure on to a glass slide” and the extracellular matrix (which is what surrounds all cells in the human body) was injected over it. Once this was done the PT was removed from the structure which left a hollow mould where “living cells” were then injected into the space acting as a “guideline for the structure of a PT”. The cells grow and take on the “characteristics of a normal PT” which can then be used for testing new medication.

This process “follows the same sorting-out concept of cell manipulation” and has been used in “bio-printing a miniature heart and kidneys” in this instance the “sorting out” means that by giving cells a form to follow they will “eventually retain the order of the synthetic structure around them” meaning that they can operate as they would in the healthy body.

Jenifer Lewis is a professor at Harvard as well as an essential faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the “lead researcher” on this project and is a leading name in the world of 3D bio-printing research.

The next challenge will be to organise the PTs into a “vascular structure” progressively constructing the tissue until “it is suitable to be transplanted”. A quote from the research paper said “Three-dimensional models of kidney tissue that recapitulate human responses are needed for drug screening, disease modelling, and, ultimately, kidney organ engineering. Our bio-printing method provides a new route for programmable fabricating advanced human kidney tissue models on demand.”








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Armor prepares to sell solar products

October 19, 2016

The French company is ready to release its “flexible energy-generating films”.

Optics.org reported that the Armor Group is “poised to enter the nascent market for organic photovoltaic (OPV) films” and has reportedly invested €40 million ($43 million) and six years of developing the technology. The company has different branches to its business including inkjet cartridges (Armor Office Printing), laser-printed labels and thermal transfer, and has been working with French Research Institutes and a German company, Merck, which was the provider of photoactive polymers.


According to Optics.org, Armor “have not revealed important technical details such as efficiency” nor the cost, but did say that the product “weighs just 500 grams per square metre” and that it has as “annual manufacturing capacity of one million m2 readied to start on its roll-to-roll equipment in January 2017”.

Armor announced in turn that “the first ASCA films are ready to be released and their applications will be progressively unveiled during 2017”, adding that it “already produces more than one billion m2 of thin film material annually”, which could be an advantage in the market. Armor employs 2,000 workers and its turnover in 2015 was €235 million ($258 million), and it has six bases in Europe as well as some in Asia and North America.

The Recycler reported two years ago that Armor revealed it had partnered with Cambrios Technologies Corporation, who produce “silver nanowire-based solutions for the transparent conductor markets”, to develop a “scalable manufacturing process” that allows Armor to “mass produce” organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices that are flexible.

Armor developed and designed “flexible solar modules” using Cambrios’ ClearOhm silver nanowires as electrodes, with OPV technology a “maturing” market that Armor is looking to enter. One of the barriers to achieving “high volume, appropriate costs and required performance” in the market is indium tin oxide (ITO), the traditional conductor used in such devices, and which is “brittle, expensive and not scalable to very large volumes without huge capital investment”.

The two companies’ partnership however was said at the time to have “successfully achieved” a “cost-effective, scalable” production process for the silver nanowire electrodes, which are “not only highly conductive and transparent” but also enable solar cells that are “flexible, foldable, formed into different shapes and even wrapped around a pillar or building”.

Armor stated that it anticipates “the ASCA films to find use in both static and ‘street furniture’ and mobile applications”, and has “has set up a design office” which will be devoted to the development of “custom applications”, which it plans to reveal next year.



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Katun launches new promotional video

October 19, 2016

The company’s video promotes its new European printer catalogue.Katun

The video, which you can view at the end of this article, highlights the company’s new European printer catalogue, stating that “our new printer catalogue is here” with “lower prices” and “new products”, with the “dozens” of new products featuring “reduced pricing”, “excellent print quality” and designed for “every major OEM line” with a “two year warranty”.

The company recently announced that its “colour growth [has] accelerate[d]”, and that it “continues to expand its colour supplies offering with the launch of several new colour products”. Up to and including September, the company has introduced “more than 95 colour toner product part numbers for copiers, printers and MFPs worldwide”, with recent releases including colour products for Canon, Konica Minolta, Lexmark, Olivetti, Ricoh, Sharp and UTAX printers.

Katun added that it “anticipates introducing several new colour toner products through the remainder of the year”, in turn “providing even more opportunities for office equipment dealers and distributors to increase their profitability”. The company pointed out that “since its inception in 1979”, it estimates that “well over a trillion pages have been produced on printers, copiers and other imaging equipment using Katun colour and monochrome toners”.

The US arm of Katun meanwhile launched a comedy sales video in September that mocks the way some toner cartridges are sold.

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HP Inc and HPE remember HP’s origins

October 19, 2016

The garage in which HP began, in California

The garage in which HP began, in California

The companies have discussed reinvention but both noted they “still remember [their] roots”.

Financial Post reported on the OEM’s links back to HP and its HP Labs research arm, which is “celebrating its 50th anniversary this year”. After the split into HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) last year, both have experienced “an interesting year”, having both also claimed the split “allowed it to focus on its core business, without the distraction of the other very different business’s priorities”.

The article added that neither however have “forgotten their history”, having both come together to “create a joint entity” to preserve the “famous garage” in which HP founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard “created their first products”, in order to “make sure the artefacts and 75 years of company history aren’t lost”. As part of this, both companies “share an archivist” who “also acts as docent during tours of the garage, shed and house where Hewlett and Packard lived and worked”.

HP Labs, after the split, saw “each of the two companies” take over facilities “dealing with its areas of interest”, with HP Inc inviting journalists and alumni of HP Labs to take part in an anniversary celebration in Palo Alto, California at the Labs facility. HP Labs’ CTO and Global Head Shane Wall stated that for HP Inc, “innovation is still part of its DNA”, with “reinvention” the event’s theme, adding that “innovation is culture. It’s not individuals, or labs, or engineering – it has to be in every aspect of the company. We anchor where we’re taking the labs in humanity”.

In turn, HP Inc’s CEO Dion Weisler added that “innovation can be born anywhere, at any time”, with the inkjet printer’s genesis coming “out of a chat between two guys waiting for coffee”, and noting that “if we get innovation from all over the world, it raises the boat and makes all of us better. HP is a company on the move, with a vision”. HP Inc also showed its 3D printing technology, demonstrated by Vice President and General Manager of 3D materials and advanced applications Tim Weber.

Weber added that the OEM “plans to partner with materials companies to develop new 3D printing applicatons”, and pointed out that “HP is not a materials company. We are creating an open materials platform for partners to develop on”, with the OEM to “certify those materials on its printing platform, charging what he called a small licensing fee”. The relationship between HP Inc and HPE has “only strengthened” since the split, and “don’t take each other for granted anymore”.

The event culminated with HP Inc COO Jon Flaxman speaking to address the recent controversy of the OEM’s firmware update, with Flaxman noting that “it was not our finest communication experience”, and claiming that the aim was “not to put the many cartridge refillers and remanufacturers out of business”, but to “stop the vendors who illegally clone HP’s proprietary security chip in their own cartridges”.

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Brother releases new printers

October 18, 2016

The new MFC J5830DW and J6535DW have been released as part of the INKvestment MFP series.brother-logo

The line is said to reduce TCO and is designed to meet the requirements of SMBs said a press release and combine high quality printing, cloud services, and mobile functionality and touch screens. They come with two years worth of ink. Printing black prints costs less than one cents (€0.009) and colour prints for less than five cents (€0.045) and the high yield cartridges print approximately 3,000 pages for black and 1,500 for colour.

There are also two other models in the release – the MFC-J5930DW and the MFC-J6935DW – which have additional paper trays, double sided copying and scanning and near-field communication (NFC) connectivity, and all new models are compatible with Amazon Dash Replenishment. The Business Smart Plus MFC-J5830DW and MFC-J6535DW feature a maximum print speed of 22ppm in black and 20ppm in colour, and a print resolution of 4,800 x 1,200dpi.

The J5830DW will retail for $249 (€225), while an XL version including 16 cartridges – with yields of 11,000 pages in black and 6,500 pages in colour – will retail for $469 (€425). In turn, the J6535DW will retail for $279 (€253), while an XL version – again including 16 cartridges with yields of 14,000 pages in black and 8,000 pages in colour – will retail for $549 (€498). The two additional models, the MFC-J5930DW and J6935DW, are available respectively for $299 (€271) and $349 (€316).

Phil Lubell, Senior Director and Product Marketing for Brother International, said: “The top-of-mind concerns of small businesses when it comes to printers are the cost of ink, cartridge yields, and the durability of their printer. This expanded line of Brother INKvestment all-in-ones was developed specifically for small businesses. With its high-quality printing, rich feature package, durable build, and low-cost ink cartridges, customers can spend less time worrying about buying ink and more time growing their businesses.”




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Indian partner gets patent for toner products

October 18, 2016

ucanThe UCAN technology is said by the company to be a “break-through technology in monochrome laser printing”.

UCAN’s Anurag Kumar told The Recycler that the company has “researched, developed and patented technology in monochrome laser printing”, specifically related to “supporting HP and Canon laser printer[s]”, stating in turn that “in today’s world printer consumable industry [the] US alone was observed (2015) at $24.09 billion (€21.85 billion), and is expected to grow with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.4 percent until 2024” to $37.75 billion (€34.25 billion).

He added that “likewise the global share has been increasing every year”, and that “with the growth comes the constraints – the biggest constraint is OEMs trying to monopolise the printer consumable industry – it’s where the money lies, thus resulting in many compatible cartridge brands and remanufacturers popping up almost everywhere offering cheaper than OEM cost cartridges”.

Kumar went on to note that “the whole alternative industry has been battling with bringing the cost of supplies down, whereas no-one has worked on any technology enhancements nor developed it”, which could “serve the purpose of bringing the cost down to end consumers while being ecologically benefitting to [the] environment”.

The UCAN continuous toner supply cartridge (CTSC) is, according to Kumar, an “alternate option to the industry to beat the conservative approach of [a] market ruled by OEMs of high printing cost per page and also very high regard for our environment and ecosystem”, with the technology said to offer “OEM-quality prints”.

In more detail, the technology is used in monochrome HP Inc and Canon laser printers, and can print over 12,000 pages, features the “easiest refilling with secure-fit refill design”, and offers the “cheapest printing cost per page based on ISO/IEC 19752:2004 standards”. Over 124 laser printers models are supported, with “more models under development”, with Kumar adding that “we are already serving Chinese and Indian markets with constant growing demands and now we are eyeing other markets across the globe. For this we are also constant[ly] scour[ing] for suitable partner overseas”.

The cost per page is said to work out at around $0.0050 (€0.005) per page, with benefits including a “globally-patented technology”, “consistent quality with highest yield”, no “waste toner dump”, a design featuring “over 25 less plastic used than OEM cartridges”, and a saving of “around two ounces of oil upon refill”, as well as keeping 12 pounds “of waste out of landfills”, which it says is “equivalent to six OEM cartridges at two pounds per cartridge”.

The company also believes another benefit is “greater cost-savings over OEM, compatible and refill laser printing cartridges”, as well as “longer durability and performance” and “lowest toner powder waste”, and there is “no refilling vendor or technical expertise required”. It also noted that cartridges can see a “performance gain of between 471 and 700 percent depending on the model, with “guaranteed quality performance”, “tailored components manufactured by Mitsubishi” and “continuous in-house R&D for more compatible laser printer models”.

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Toner–saving software launched in India

October 17, 2016

TonerSaver, to be sold by Hitachi Systems Micro Clinic (HSMC), has been launched in India, and can reportedly help cut toner consumption “by up to 75 percent”.tonersaver

In a press release, the India-based company stated that the TonerSaver software is “revolutionary”, and is Windows-based technology that can “help businesses and other organisations slash their toner consumption by up to 75 percent, thereby reducing printing costs substantially”. HSMC noted that it will “licence, sublicense and distribute” the software to Indian customers “under a licencing agreement” with Japanese provider Spline Network, the developer.

The technology uses “patented printer driver algorithms” that control toner or inkjet usage on “all Windows-based printers”, and “reduces consumption” at an “incremental rate of one percent”. The technology is also said to contribute “to environmental protection by reducing cartridge waste”, with patents granted “in six countries around the world” including the US, UK, Japan, France, Canada and Germany, and awards won in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The companies added that TonerSaver “works as an intermediary between the application requesting printing and the printer driver”, responding after a user hits print by capturing “the entire print data” and applying its technology “to deliver the cost-optimised printed documents”. The software “auto-detects laser [and] inkjet printers and applies optimised saving technology for each type”, also enabling “high quality of printing while saving toner or ink”.

HSMC’s distribution of the software will “leverage” the company’s “vast customer base with over 25 years of robust experience in IT integration services”, with HSMC providing “free customer support, maintenance release (bug fix) and version-up support to all its customers”, as well as “licence, sublicense and distribute the printing software to its end customers”.

Tarun Seth, Managing Director of HSMC, stated: “Leading research firms say large organisations spend as much as one to three percent of their annual revenues on printing. This figure goes up substantially for organisations with workflows involving physical documentation. TonerSaver is the ideal product for such organisations as it helps generate substantial cost savings, which in turn make a direct difference to the bottom line.”

Yoichi Yukino, President and CEO of Spline Network, added: “Spline Network takes great pride in our environmentally conscious innovations like the TonerSaver software, which build upon our deep understanding of the print industry. We have introduced TonerSaver in 920 companies so far and granted 1.12 million licenses. We are very excited to bring TonerSaver to India in partnership with Hitachi Systems Micro Clinic, which will help distribute this technology throughout the country.”

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Techno-rage affecting office workers

October 13, 2016

A study reveals the effects of technology malfunctions on office employees.tech-rage

According to a study, Americans will “experience 40,800 technology malfunctions in a lifetime” reported The Mail Online, and this is having a big effect on the levels of stress in the working environment. The site added that although this may not sound realistic, the reality is that most people have experienced some form of tech rage.

In 2015 a man in America “carried his computer into an alley and shot it eight times” after a build up of stress caused by the computer not working, and a study by 24 Hour Fitness showed that 64 percent of adults in the US are “regularly overcome with fury” because of “unreliable technology”. Other triggers are “slow downloads, pop-ups, and logging in” as well as “password problems”, and the study of 2,000 Americans showed that they felt that the machines have a “mind of their own”, which “increases stress levels”.

Other stress indicators were shouting at technology, throwing phones across a room and arguing with partners because of technology failing, and 16 percent said that they have been “reduced to tears”. The physical effects of stress have been reported as stiff necks, aching joints and muscles and stress-induced migraines, with experts saying that the best stress relief is exercise, many office workers going to the gym after work or doing yoga.

Mike Carney, Vice President of Marketing for 24 Hour Fitness, said: “Fitness goals are about more than exercise. At 24 Hour Fitness, we believe the time you spend in the gym helps make the life you lead outside the best it can be, and that includes helping you deal with the daily stress of technology breakdown. The survey revealed that most vulnerable place for tech stress is in work environments.”

Of those polled, 50 percent said that tech stress strikes when they are under time pressure, and “one in seven had missed an important deadline because technology had failed them”. During the research, it was found that 70 percent of people felt that their job restricted them from moving around, and 31 percent said that they felt exercise alleviates the stress. Walking and listening to music were the most popular methods to relieve stress.

Carney added: “The ‘workout effect’ as a solution to combat tech stress […] lasts for over four hours. Science has proven how important a healthy lifestyle is, not only for disease prevention, but also in dealing with the many stressors of daily life. When you practice these skills, you become better prepared for enjoying daily life and managing annoying and more serious life stressors.”






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TROY Group launches new MICR product

October 12, 2016

The manufacturer announced the launch of its 200 Mobile MICR Printer.molbile200printer

A press release said that the printer is specifically designed for businesses and insurance companies who want to print cheques. It is powered by a battery and weighs nine pounds, is light and small for users on the move, and can be used to “print insurance claims, payroll and other business cheques”, with print speeds of up to 20ppm.

The MICR uses TROY MICR ink, and the printer features fonts which the company said ensures “a consistently high quality of MICR printing”, adding that it also increases security for businesses as there are no pre-printed cheques to carry.

John Hodgson, Vice President and General Manager for TROY Group, said: “Leading insurance companies came to us asking for a more reliable mobile MICR solution, and TROY delivered. The TROY 200 Mobile MICR Printer is the next generation mobile solution. The positive feedback we are receiving from our customers validates our view that TROY has raised the bar for mobile check printing with the 200 mobile printer.”




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Jet Tec launches 3D pens

October 12, 2016

The UK remanufacturer has launched 3D printer pens that allow users to “create your own 3D designs by hand”.

Jet Tec's Future Make 3D pens

Jet Tec’s Future Make 3D pens

In a release, the company stated that the pens are “in stock now”, and offer “good margins” as well as being a “great Christmas present” or “ideal for schools”. There are two separate models of the pens, with the first the 3D Styler, which offers “adjustable temperature and speed”, “colourful filaments”, the ability to “create sturdy structures”, and a “unique base unit”, available for £39.99 ($49.18/€44.51).

The second pen, the Future Make model, utilises “LED-curing technology” and is “cordless” with “low heat”, while “premium refills [are] available”, and is available for £99.99 ($122.96/€111.29). A video of this particular model in action can be viewed at the bottom of this article.

For more information, visit www.jettec.com.

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