Tech Exchange

Lateral-Flow Device Produces Quantitative Diagnostics

A patent suite enables quantitative diagnostics from inexpensive and disposable lateral-flow test strip technology. Multiple, simultaneous analyses can be conducted on the same strip. The method reduces the hook effect, a dangerous false negative, without requiring long wait times; larger, tagged molecules, which are used as a differentiator, reach the limited reagents in the reporting area first. Using a reporter and magnetic particles can reduce hook effect even further and increase accuracy.

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Piezo-Electric Actuator Provides Motion Control Alternative

An alternative piezo-electric ceramic actuator simultaneously provides greater force and deflection, while producing no appreciable magnetic field or heat. The RLP domed piezo, a PZT disk laminated between two metal layers under heat and pressure, increases deflection 1,000-fold from an unmodified 0.2 micron to 200 microns. Viva, a scalable actuator, utilizes a pre-loaded stack of PZT ceramic piezos that flex against a fixed base. The device has one or two output arms that mechanically amplify movement. Without the magnetic signature, Viva’s linear motion can be converted to rotary motion to replace brushless DC motors.

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Materials That Build Viscosity Upon Dilution with Water

A new material needs to maintain a low viscosity when concentrated or anhydrous, and then build viscosity when diluted with water. It should have an approximate concentrated viscosity of less than 500 cps, and a diluted viscosity greater than 1,000 cps when diluted to 50% or more with water. The water-soluble or water-dispersible creation must have low environmental impact and low toxicity. Possible solution areas include colloids, water-soluble polymers, and functional polymers. Previous attempts involved salt-concentrated and salt-sensitive polymers.

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Non-Smoke, Non-Halogenated Fire Retardants

A company needs non-halogenated polymeric mix additives that provide non-smoke fire retardance for wiring jackets and cables. The additive must have low enough loadings so that product performance and flexibility are maintained. Wires and cables must meet a variety of requirements, some imposed by regulatory or testing authorities, and some imposed by market expectations. The additives must produce consistent fire retardance over time and manufacturing runs. The temperature-resistant solution should also be compatible with high-speed production lines.

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Pipe Alignment and Clamping Tool Offers High-Quality Alloy Welding

For welding purposes, a clamping device aligns two adjacent sections of pipe internally. The apparatus has a variety of clamping members movable between retracted and extended positions. Each of the members holds a clamping shoe that connects to the device frame. The technology is particularly useful when welding large diameter alloy pipe such as 12-16" stainless steel.

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Mobile Therapy Systems Deliver Ultrasound to Reduce Pain

New mobile devices deliver ultrasound for the relief of major conditions, including arthritis, tendonitis, and back pain. In addition to pain relief, the system can be used to heal wounds, promote transdermal drug delivery, and improve skin health. The ZetrOZ system, about the size of an iPod, is battery-powered and can be used in a doctor’s office, at work, or at home.

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Establishing a Network of pFab Innovators

The Fabrication organization at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is in the process of establishing a personal fabrication (pFab) lab for innovators to build quick and economical (plastic) parts and hardware with 3D desktop personal fabricators. The fabricators are low cost and designed to be modifiable and hackable. Recently, several of these economical fabricators were purchased, and upgrades have been made to enhance the performance, including: • Installation of safety cutoff switches to turn off the heater circuit and prevent the cartridge heater from overheating. • Interface board to independently operate the fabricator through an SD card so that a computer is not necessary to build a part. • Installation of an automated heated build platform so that multiple objects can be printed consecutively without a person having to reload the drawing files.

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