Special Coverage

Iodine-Compatible Hall Effect Thruster
Precision Assembly of Systems on Surfaces (PASS)
Development of a Novel Electrospinning System with Automated Positioning and Control Software
2016 Create The Future Design Contest Open For Entries
Clamshell Sampler
Shape Memory Alloy Rock Splitter
Deployable Extra-Vehicular Activity Platform (DEVAP) for Planetary Surfaces
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Thought-Controlled Robotic Arm Mimics Real Limb

Researchers developing a thought-controlled robotic arm. Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University are developing a robotic arm prototype and its control algorithm using myoelectric signals. The mechanical limb will independently recognize the motions of its owner and perform the same motions as a healthy arm.

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3D Printer Produces Cartilage from Strands of Bioink

A multi-arm bioprinter that can print cartilage. (Ozbolat Lab/Penn State) Strands of cow cartilage substitute for ink in a 3D bioprinting process that may one day create cartilage patches for worn out joints. A cartilage strand substitutes for ink in a 3D printing process. Using a specially designed prototype nozzle that can hold and feed the cartilage strand, the 3D printer lays down rows of cartilage strands in any pattern the researchers choose.

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Mobile Phone-Based Microscopes Diagnose Parasites in the Field

A local lab technician in the Ivory Coast is being trained on a portable, handheld, battery-operated microscope. (Photo: Dr. Isaac Bogoch) Handheld, mobile phone-based microscopes can be used in developing countries after minimal training of community laboratory technicians to diagnose intestinal parasites quickly and accurately. A community-based study carried out in the Republic of Ivory Coast in West Africa found that two different handheld microscopes could both effectively rule in individuals infected by parasites.

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Space Station Crew 3D Prints Student-Designed Tool

The tool created by student Robert Hillan was printed on the International Space Station. (NASA) A college student who won a NASA design challenge recently had the tool he designed 3D-printed on the Additive Manufacturing Facility on the International Space Station. The Multipurpose Precision Maintenance Tool was printed by astronaut Jeff Williams onboard the station.

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Bacteria Helps Make Chemicals from Wood Waste

(Photo: Colourbox) The present-day chemical industry is based on oil. Many chemical products – from plastics through to detergents and solvents, to medication and crop protection products – have their origins in oil and its constituents. A research team has demonstrated an alternative manufacturing method for a major basic chemical product, succinic acid, which can be manufactured in a cost-effective, environmentally friendly and safe manner using bacteria.

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New Technology “Prints” Customized Pills

The drug tablet consists of three components: a casing, a non-drug-containing polymer, and a polymer containing the drug in a specially designed shape (shown in photo) that determines the rate of release of the drug. (Photo: National University of Singapore) Researchers have found a way to make personalized medicine cheaper and easier through a tablet fabrication system that 3D prints a myriad of pills in just one tablet. While there are existing tablet-production methods, they can only fabricate tablets that release drugs with a limited type of profiles. The new fabrication method can be applied at individualized settings where physicians could produce customized pills on the spot for patients, or in mass production settings by pharmaceutical companies.

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Researchers Keep Hydrogels Hydrated

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a way to prevent hydrogels from dehydrating. The water-based technique could lead to longer-lasting contact lenses, stretchy microfluidic devices, flexible bioelectronics, and even artificial skin.

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