Meter-scale Optical Coherence Tomography Depth Barrier Broken

The first ever optical coherence tomography (OCT) images of cubic meter volumes have been produced, through an industry-academic collaboration. The advance could open up many new uses for OCT in industry, manufacturing and medicine. It also marks a milestone toward developing a high-speed, low-cost optical coherence tomography system on a single integrated circuit chip. James G. Fujimoto of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said: 1.5-meter Area 3D OCT Optical coherence tomography, first invented by Fujimoto’s group and collaborators in the 1990s, is currently the gold standard of care in ophthalmology and is increasingly used in cardiology and gastroenterology. [Read More]

Vanadium Dioxide Micro-Robotics Actuator Fingers

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley, have devised a new simple yet powerful microscale actuator that can flex like a tiny finger. Based on a material that abruptly expands and contracts in response to small temperature variations, the actuators are smaller than the width of a human hair and are promising for microfluidics, drug delivery, and artificial muscles. “We believe our microactuator is more efficient and powerful than any current microscale actuation technology, including human muscle cells,” says Junqiao Wu of UC Berkeley. [Read More]

Microtweezers for Building MEMS Structures like Microsopic LEGO Blocks

Researchers at Purdue have produced a new type of microtweezers able to manipulate objects for building miniature structures, printing coatings to make advanced sensors, and grabbing and positioning live stem cell spheres for research projects. Moreover, these microtweezers could be used to assemble structures in microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, which include tiny moving parts. MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes are already being used in commercial products. A wider variety of MEMS devices, however, could be produced through a manufacturing technology that assembles components like microscopic Lego pieces moved individually into place with microtweezers, said Cagri Savran, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University. [Read More]

Lab on a Chip Testing Standards Needed for Commercialization

Microfluidic and nanofluidic lab on chip (LOC) devices are microchip sized systems that can arrange and analyze tiny fluid samples with volumes ranging from a few microliters (a millionth of a liter) to sub-nanoliters (less than a billionth of a liter). They are envisaged to one day revolutionize how laboratory tasks such as diagnosing diseases and investigating forensic evidence are performed. But before LOC technology can be fully commercialized, a new paper from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) states, testing standards will need to be developed and put into place. [Read More]