Advanced Awards 2018


The Advanced Awards of 2018 in chronological order:



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Quantum Simulation and Computation Conference | Bilbao, Spain| 12-16 February 2018
The prize for the best poster presentation, which was sponsored by the journal Quantum Technology was awarded to Mrs. Venegas-Gomez.

Araceli Venegas-Gómez from the University of Strathclyde, UK (click image to enlarge).

A. Venegas-Gomez, W. Ketterle, A. J. Daley
Department of Physics and SUPA, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
MIT-Harvard Centre of Ultracold Atoms, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

Time-dependent dynamics of magnetic models corresponding to two-component bosons in an optical lattice were discussed on this poster. One of the challenges in working with these systems in the laboratory remains reaching the low temperatures/entropies necessary to produce some particularly sensitive interacting states. The authors studied new techniques to prepare states with a very low entropy using adiabatic state preparation, modelling these techniques for realistic experimental parameters using numerical methods based on tensor networks. In particular, starting from a known occupation number of particles per site, the dynamical formation of specific magnetic states was investigated under experimental conditions, and investigated how to probe these states using time-dependent dynamics.



Quantum Machine Learning & Biomimetic Quantum Technologies | Bilbao, Spain| 19-23 March 2018
The prize for the best poster presentation, which was sponsored by the journal Quantum Technology was awarded to Mr. Shang Yu.

S. Yu, J.-S. Tang, C.-F. Lui
CAS Key Laboratory of Quantum Information & Synergentic Innovation Center of Quantum Information & Quantum Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, China

Shang Yu (second from left) from the University of Science and Technology of China (click image to enlarge).

Quantum coherence is the most essential characteristic of quantum physics, especially, when it is subject to the resource-theoretical framework, it is considered as the most fundamental resource for quantum techniques. Other quantum resources, e.g., entanglement, are all based on coherence. Therefore, it becomes urgently important to learn how to preserve coherence in quantum channels. The best preservation is coherence freezing, which has been studied recently. However, in these studies, the freezing condition is theoretically calculated, and there is no practical way to achieve the freezing; and also the channels are usually fixed, but actually, there are also degrees of freedom that can be used to adapt the channels to quantum states.
Here, a self-guided quantum coherence freezing method was developed, which can learn either the quantum channels or the initial state to the coherence-freezing zone from any starting estimate. Especially, in fixed-channel scheme, the final-iterative quantum states all satisfy the previously-calculated freezing condition. This coincidence demonstrates the validity of our learning method. This work will be helpful for the better protection of quantum coherence.


Materials Research Society Conference – MRS Spring 2018 | Phoenix, AZ, USA | 2-6 April 2018
The journal Advanced Materials sponsored two prizes for the best poster presentations in the session “Emerging Light-Emitting Materials and Devices — Halide Perovskite and Low-Dimensional Nanoscale Emitters“. The prize was awarded to Mr. Hyeon-Dong Lee and Mr. Yurii Morozov.

Hyeon-Dong Lee, Hobeom Kim, Wonhee Cha, Chang-Lyoul Lee, Dongho Kim, Hoichang Yang, Tae-Woo Lee
Seoul National University, Yonsei University and Inha University, Seoul, South Korea

From left to right: Tae-Woo Lee, Hyeon-Dong Lee, Yurii Morozov, Jos Lenders.

Metal-halide perovskites are promising materials for the application as a light emitter of light-emitting diodes (LED) based on their narrow emission spectrum and the tunable bandgap. We developed perovskite LEDs with the modulated quasi-2D perovskite emitter by controlling the ratio between phenethylammonium bromide (PEABr) and methylammonium bromide (MABr). The device with the modulated quasi-2D perovskite, (PEA)2(MA)2Pb3Br10 had the maximum current efficiency of 20.18 cd/A and maximum external quantum efficiency of 4.98%.


Yurii Morozov, Shubin Zhang, Masaru Kuno
University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA

Laser refrigeration of semiconductors is an emerging field of science with exciting possible applications, one of which is optical refrigerator operating in the sub-10 K regime. Recently, it has been shown that hybrid perovskites can exhibit laser cooling through photoluminescence (PL) up-conversion. We investigated PL up-conversion in CsPbBr3 nanocrystals (NCs) using temperature-dependent, frequency-dependent, and excitation intensity-dependent up-conversion measurements. We conclude that PL up-conversion is phonon-assisted and demonstrate first observation of PL up-conversion from CsPbBr3 NCs at both the ensemble and single-NC levels. Ensemble up-conversion efficiencies are estimated to be on the order of 75% for a ΔE = 23 meV excitation detuning into the NC bandgap.


12th International Symposium on Polymer Therapeutics | Valencia, Spain | 28-30 May 2018
The journal Advanced Therapeutics sponsored a prize for the best short talk, which was awarded to Ms. Irene Dolz from the Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe in Valencia, Spain.

Irene Dolz from the Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe, Valencia, Spain (click image to enlarge).

Irene Dolz, Esther Masiá, Daniel Morelló, Marwa Sallam, María D. Pérez del Caz, Vicent J. Nebot, María J. Vicent
Polymer Therapeutics Laboratory & Polypeptide Therapeutic Solutions S.L., Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe, Valencia, Spain
Department of Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Alexandria University, Egypt
Servicio de cirugía plástica, Hospital Universitario y Politénico La Fe, Valencia, Spain

The cause of the skin disease psoriasis is unknown, although it appears to be an autoimmune disease with the additional likelihood of genetic predisposition. Although the skin provides a widely accessible surface for the adsorption of therapeutic agents, the topical administration of drugs presents with certain limitations. Polymer-drug conjugates represent an appealing platform for drug delivery in different pathologies with demonstrated clinical benefit. The authors investigated the feasibility of polypeptides to cross the skin and localize within the specific skin layers for the advanced topical treatment of skin diseases, using for it anti-inflammatory drugs.


Symposium on Digitalization and Big Data in Biotech & Pharma | Zürich, Switzerland | 6 June 2018

The journal Advanced Theory and Simulations sponsored three prizes for the best poster presentations. The prizes were awarded to:


Michael Sokolov (left) together with poster prize recipient Clemens Isert (click image to enlarge).

Matlab-based App for Multivariate Descriptive and Predictive Process Data Analysis

Massimo Morbidelli, Michael Sokolov, Clemens Isert
DataHow AG – Zurich, Switzerland & ETH Zurich, Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering

Data sets from biotechnological production processes are typically very high-dimensional, i.e. containing information in dozens, hundreds or even thousands of variables. Extracting meaningful and actionable information from such data sets re

quires the use of advanced multivariate statistical methods such as Partial Least Squares Regression and Principal Component Analysis. A Matlab-based application with a graphical user interface is presented, which allows the generation of a multitude of interactive plots describing and predicting the process evolution of 84 runs for the production of the Fc-Fusion protein (e.g. Sokolov et al., Biotechnol. Prog. 2015, 31, 1633.). The application enables users with limited understanding of the underlying mathematics to make use of powerful multivariate statistical tools.


Poster prize winner Vanni Doffini (left) and Stefan Spiegel (click image to enlarge).

Parallels between biopharma and petrochemistry? – Multivariate tools for predictive process analysis

Vanni Doffini, Michael Sokolov, Alessandro Butté, Massimo Morbidelli
ETH Zurich, Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering & DataHow AG – Zurich, Switzerland

Petrochemical industries are able to provide incredibly enormous datasets including time evolution of process variables and the status of a plant. These data could be processed using already established multivariate statistical tools such as Partial Least Squares Regression and Principal Component Analysis with the aim to extract useful information about importance of variables and to perform predictive maintenance. A methodology to analyze the coking phenomena occurring in a visbreaker plant, which is responsible for heat transfer problematics, is presented. Such procedure includes: i) the segregation of raw data, containing measurements along 8 years of 79 variables, into subgroups called cycles; ii) the development of a standard predictive model; and iii) proposal of different techniques to improve the prediction of mentioned model.


Poster prize winner Dominik Mächler (left) and Stefan Spiegel.

Rational bioprocess design: beneficial associations between data evaluation and process simulation

Dominik Mächler, Iwo Zamora, Chantal Stenger, Verena Looser, Karin Kovar
Zürich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology (ICBT), Wädenswil, Switzerland

The lengthy period of bioprocess development together with the high risk of failure represent a major hurdle for the successful introduction of novel biotechnologies, in particular, for products where chemical synthesis or extraction from natural material are already well-established in the manufacturing process. During routine bioprocess monitoring a wealth of data of large specificity is generated by multiple sensors. Proprietary software solutions and expert knowhow are needed to abstract information (i.e. patterns, trends, and associations) from these data in order to gain the knowledge required for optimisation or development of biotechnological process designs. Our aim is to present a comprehensive, systematic approach to bioprocess development based on experimental data and empirical models, exploiting them for specific computations, advanced data analyses and simulations.


From left to right: René Janssen, Robin Willems, Emilio Palomares.

International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics 2018 | Benidorn, Spain | 28-31 May 2018

Mr. Robin Willems from the group of Prof. Janssen at the TU Eindhoven, the Netherlands, was awarded the the Advanced Energy Materials poster prize at the International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics 2018 in Benidorm, Spain. He obtained the prize for his study on 19 diketopyrrolopyrrole-based polymers, which are prominent electron donor materials in organic solar cells. The authors used square-wave voltammetry, ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy and DFT calculations to determine the HOMO energies and the ionization potential of these polymers. As a result it was found that the oxidation potential from SWV is a better empirical predictor for the open-circuit voltage of the solar cell.


European Materials Research Society Spring Meeting 2018 | Strasbourg, France | 18-22 June 2018

The journal Advanced Functional Materials sponsored two prizes for the best poster presentations in the session “Advanced materials and architecture for organic, printable and bio-inspired photonics“. The prizes were awarded to Ms. Sabine Weidlich from the University of Oxford, UK, and Mr. Paul Grey from the University of Lisbon, Portugal.

Sabine Weidlich from the University of Oxford, UK.

Sabine Weidlich, Harry L. Anderson
Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Encapsulation within a macrocycles represents an important approach to enhance photo-physical properties and for preventing the aggregation of fluorophores. For example, the rotaxination of squaraine dyes into tetralactam macrocycles by hydrogen bonding. The authors showed here that this approach can also be adapted to indigoids. The carbonyl groups can be used to bind the indigoid dye to a tetralactam macrocycle with hydrogen bonds, and thus, provide easy access to a supramolecularly encapsulated indigoid. This is important as indigo displays a low solubility and fluorescence due to its strong inter- and intramolecular hydrogen bonds.
Furthermore, the covalent encapsulation of indigoids was explored. Functional chaines with terminal double bonds were introduced which permit the self-encapsulation following a metathesis reaction.


Paul Grey from the University of Lisbon, Portugal (click image to enlarge).

P. Grey, S. N. Fernandes, D. Gaspar, I. Cunha, R. Martins, E. Fortunato, M. H. Godinho, L. Pereira
Department of Materials Science, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) represent a class of nanoparticles with unique liquid-crystalline properties. They self-assemble into chiral nematic left-handed superstructures that selectively reflect left-handed circular polarized light (LCPL) and transmit right-handed circular polarized light. The wavelength of the reflected LCPL depends on the distant of a full rotation of the director and can be tuned extrinsically. On their poster, the authors discussed the usage of  inorganic semiconductors that respond in the desired wavelength, where the CNC films show maximum response. The results showed the characterization of the CNC films regarding their photonic and electrochemical behavior as electrolytes and their final integration into transistors. Combining the photonic character of the CNC films with the employed light sensible semiconductors, the devices are capable of precise discrimination between LCPL and RCPL signals. These type of devices could find application in photonics, emission, conversion or sensing with CPL but also imaging or spintronics.


International Society for Stem Cell Research – ISSCR 2018 Annual Meeting | Melbourne, Australia | 20-23 June 2018

Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biologysponsored three prizes for the best poster presentations at the ISSCR annual meeting in June 2018. The prizes were awarded to Mr. Yishai Avior, Ms. Tarja Yvanka de Soysa and Mr. Jeffery Davis.

Yishai Avior, Nissim Benvenisty, Kevin Eggan
The Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have been previously shown to harbor several types of genetic aberrations that accumulate during culturing. Recently, point-mutations in the gene coding for the p53 tumor suppressor (TP53) have been found in hPSCs using whole exome sequencing (WES). These mutations gradually take over the culture, suggesting they provide a growth advantage in vitro. The authors developed a pipeline using publicly available RNA-sequencing data sets to identify mutations within the TP53 gene. Screening over 160 different RNA sequencing samples from these lines allowed the researchers to identify acquired mutations listed in the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC). Following the identification of genes impaired in both cell lines, over 450 induced PSC samples were screened for mutations within these genes, aiming at identifying recurrent aberrations acquired in culture. The results highlight the need for mutation identification in hPSCs prior to their use in both basic and clinical research.


Tarja Yvanka de Soysa, Sanjeev S. Ranade, Satoshi Okawa, Srikanth Ravichandran, Yu Huang, Hazel T. Salunga, Amelia Schricker, Antonio Del Sol, Casey A. Gifford, Deepak Srivastava
Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, San Francisco, USA
Roddenberry Center for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at Gladstone, San Francisco, USA
Computational Biology Group, Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB), University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, USA

The embryonic heart comprises myriad cell populations as several progenitor compartments undergo sub-specification to multiple descendent lineages. Subpopulations are lost or dysregulated in the setting of congenital heart defects, however dissecting the molecular networks governing specification and differentiation of these lineages is challenging due to heterogeneity of cell types. In this study, the researchers interrogated thousands of early cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) and populations specified towards multiple cardiac lineages with single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNAseq). Subsequently, a network-based computational method was applied that identified the broadly expressed bHLH transcription factor Hand2 as a specifier of the outflow tract (OFT) myocardium lineages from the anterior second heart field (AHF). This work provides insight into the initial specification of CPCs and reveals mechanisms of disrupted cardiac development at single-cell resolution.


Jeffrey C. Davis, Tiago C. Alves, Jennifer H. Kenty, Aharon Helman, Rebecca L. Cardone, Richard G. Kibbey, and Douglas A. Melton
Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
Departments of Internal Medicine & Cellular & Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, USA

Stem cell-derived β (SC-β) cells offer an unlimited source of material for the curative treatment of diabetic patients. The authors reported that differentiation of SC-β cells produces transplantable endocrine organoids that respond to glucose in vitro. However, the magnitude and consistency of response is not as robust as observed in human islets. Studies of differentiated tissues have largely used gene expression to understand regulation of cell identity and tissue-specific function. However, the β cell response to elevated glycemic levels is a post-translational process coupled to tightly regulated metabolism of glucose unique to β cells. To specifically focus on glucose metabolism the focus of the research was on in-depth metabolic analysis of SC-β cells and human islets using the recently reported MIMOSA technique, combining 13Carbon tracing and mass spectrometry analysis. Several differences in glucose metabolism were identified between human islets and SC-β cells, including the inappropriate accumulation of citrate, which appears to inhibit normal β cell glucose sensing. Correcting or bypassing these metabolic deficiencies significantly improves SC-β response to nutrients and produces a cell type that recapitulates the function of bona fide human islets.


XIV International Conference on Nanostructured Materials – Nano 2018 | Hong Kong | 24-29 June 2018

The journal Advanced Science sponsored a prize for the best poster presentation at the Nano 2018 conference. The prize was awarded to Mr. Yunhe Lai from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, China.

Yunhe Lai, Ximin Cui, Jianfang Wang
Department of Physics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China

Andrey Rogach and the award-winning Yunhe Li from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Plasmonic Fano resonance arises from the destructive interference between a broad, superradiant and a narrow, subradiant plasmon mode that overlap spectrally with each other. The authors here report on the observation of Fano resonance with a deep dip in gold nanoplate or nanosphere heterodimers. The Fano resonance can be “turned off” when the in-plane excitation light is polarized perpendicular to the connection axis. In addition, when a gold nanospehere is positioned at the top facet of a gold nanoplate on Si substrates, the interaction among them also gives rise to a deep Fano dip under out-of-plane excitation. The dip depth and asymmetric line shape of the scattering spectra possessed in both structures can be controlled by varying the sizes of the involved nanocrystals and/or changing the dielectric environment of the heterodimers.
The authors state that these results will be helpful for understanding the emergence of Fano resonance in plasmonic systems, and for engineering Fano resonance to develop various potential applications, including nonlinear and switchable metamaterials, displays and new types of nanoantennas.


European Materials Research Society Fall Meeting 2018 | Warsaw, Poland | 17-20 September 2018

Eun Gyo Jeong in front of his winning poster.

The journal Advanced Materials Interfaces sponsored a prize for the best poster presentation at the E-MRS Fall Meeting 2018. The prize was awarded to Mr. Eun Gyo Jeong from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea.

With the development of the Internet of Things, wearable devices which integrated electronic functions in clothes or garments are currently receiving increasing attention. Among them, organic devices are very attractive because they are easy to fabricate on large-scale flexible substrates at low cost. However, they need an encapsulation barrier which is likewise flexible and reliable. In addition, unfortunately, damage that occurs during the washing process can deteriorate the characteristics of the barrier. In this study, the authors have developed a multi-functional SiO2 capping layer to reduce the residual stress of the encapsulation barrier and at the same time to prevent the water induced phase transition of ALD-Al2O3. This washable encapsulation technology is expected to play a role as universal barrier for various wearable organic devices used in the 4th industrial revolution.


4th International Conference on Perovskite Solar Cells and Optoelectronics | Lausanne, Switzerland | 30 September – 2 October 2018

The journal Energy Technology sponsored two prizes for the best poster presentations. The prizes were awarded to:

Mr. Quentin Jeangros from the EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland;

Perovskite/Perovskite/Silicon Monolithic Triple-Junction Solar Cells with a Fully Textured Design

From left to right: John Uhlrich, Editor-in-Chief of Energy Technology, Quentin Jeangros and Eike Köhnen.

The market-dominating crystalline silicon photovoltaic technology is likely only a first step in the solarisation of energy systems. Perovskite/silicon multi-junction solar cells have been identified as a promising approach to overcome the efficiency limit of any single-junction technology at potentially lower production costs compared to the currently available III-V multi-junction cells. So far, the development of perovskite-based solar cells has focused on either single junction cells or double-junction tandem solar cells such perovskite/perovskite, perovskite/CIGS or perovskite/silicon devices. However, increasing the number of junctions further should increase efficiencies by decreasing thermalisation losses. In this work, the authors demonstrated the first monolithic perovskite/perovskite/silicon triple junction solar cell and achieve promising open circuit voltages up to ~2.7V. While these proof-of-concept devices currently show a limited efficiency, these results pave the way towards the development of high-efficiency perovskite-based multi-junction solar cells.

and to Mr. Eike Köhnen from the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, Germany;

Highly Efficient monolithic perovskite silicon tandem solar cells: analysing current-mismatch conditions

Silicon solar cells dominate the solar market and develop gradually towards higher efficiency. However this single junction technology is approaching its fundamental efficiency limits and thus new ways to significantly overcome the inherent limits in the near future are needed. A smart way to enable much higher performance is to use multiple absorbers with different bandgaps that can be combined into tandem solar cells. With this combination a large fraction of the solar light can be converted efficiently by the two tandem partners. The group of Prof. Steve Albrecht at the Helmholtz Zentrum in Berlin, Germany, is working on the combination of perovskites and silicon into monolithic tandem solar cells.
The authors have realized a highly efficient monolithic tandem solar cell with an independently certified efficiency of 25%, which is among the highest efficiency currently published in literature for this tandem architecture. This finding is highly important for future optimizations and energy yield analysis, especially when comparing 4- and 2-terminal architectures in outdoor applications.


4th ERC Grantees Conference “From supramolecular towards systems chemistry” | Tel Aviv, Israel | 27 November – 29 November 2018

Marta Pazo in front of her winning poster.

The journal Advanced Science sponsored a prize for the best poster presentation at the ERC Grantees Conference in November 2018. The prize was awarded to Ms. Marta Pazo from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Positively charged molecules and macromolecules with a certain degree of hydrophobicity can interact with anionic membranes and can be taken up by cells. Cell generating peptides are good vectors that translocate the cell membrane and introduce a wide variety of different cargoes inside cells. The limitation of many drugs is the release from endosomes into the cytosol.
The hypothesis of group of Prof. Javier Montenegro is that if the helical structure of peptides can be controlled in various media also the endosomal release can be controlled: from random coil peptides in water to strong helical character in membranes. The results of this hypothesis were presented on their poster.


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