Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dissolvable Surgical Clips

Dissolvable Surgical Clips

Standard surgical clips can be a cause of many complications during and after surgical procedures. Most surgical clips are usually made from titanium and as many as thirty to forty of them could be used in any one procedure. However, the Division of Mechanics and Physics of Materials at the Kobe University Graduate School of Engineering has collaborated with the Division of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine to create a completely safe and dissolvable version of the surgical clip.
The big issue with standard surgical clips used today is that they remain inside the patient’s body after the wounds are healed. The clips left behind lead to lesser quality CT and MRI images around the wound and can cause other complications. The new clip designed at Kobe University is 5 mm and created from a magnesium alloy. It is also dissolvable and will be absorbed by the patient’s body after a certain amount of time.
Evaluations show that these newly designed clips dissolve while creating very little gas and and causes no inflammation of the surrounding tissue. This means that these clips can be used without very harmful effects. The studies has also shown that the clip will most likely dissolve and exit the body over the course of one year.
The new surgical clip designed by Kobe University is a promising solution for future procedures.


Friday, May 22, 2015

UAV for the Nepali

The Nepal quake happened in one of the world’s most active seismic zones. That is the trans-global mountain belt that stretches from the Pyrenees and through Alps forested ranges. This forcible meet of the two tectonic plates has caused of quake with a 7.9 magnitude, which struck the mountain nation of Nepal on Saturday, April 25th.


There are general warning systems used in place to identify the magnitude of quakes such as the seismograph; a device used to accurately record the vibrations of the ground during the quake. Drones, however, will play an interesting part in international responses to the disaster.


Nepali citizens are currently suffering from lack of available helicopters due to questionable media coverage. With the help of these camera-bearing machines, responders hope to utilize unused helicopters for rescue missions as drones are used for damage mapping updates. Drones used during this disaster are being equipped with UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) technology. This makes these devices all the more necessary to use versus ground surveys (Seismographs), aircrafts, and satellite imagery.  


These drone-driven UAVs can cover 5 to 10 km2 in a few hours at high resolution values. Aerial imagery captured by these UAVs provides large collections of photographs that are processed to create a 3D model of the Nepali terrain. These detailed models are beneficial to response groups when determining local points for rescue missions.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Brain-like Computing

Brain-like Computing

Man-made computers are very impressive in their own right; however, the most efficient computer possible already exists and that is the human brain. It adapts without programming or updates, is speedy, and has nearly infinite memory. Computer scientists around the globe wish to mimic these abilities in physical technology.
Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois are a few steps closer to making brain-like computing a reality. The team completed work on memristors. Memristors are resistors in a circuit that can “remember” how much current has flowed through them. A researcher at the university says that memristors are stable and can remember their state even when power is lost. However, the team did run into a problem when implementing the memristors. Since they are two-terminal electronic devices, they can only control one voltage channel. Researchers at Northwestern wanted to change it into a three-terminal device which could be used in more complex systems. To do so, the team used a two-dimensional nanomaterial semiconductor called single-layer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). By using this material, they were able to create a three-terminal device that can be adjusted.
"With a memristor that can be tuned with a third electrode, we have the possibility to realize a function you could not previously achieve," Hersam said, "A three-terminal memristor has been proposed as a means of realizing brain-like computing. We are now actively exploring this possibility in the laboratory."



Recent meeting update

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting with the juniors, which I found to be both a teaching and a learning experience. I was glad to pass on some of the things I learned in the last summer about lab work and research--and this advice will likely come in handy to this summer's interns. It was also an honor to present my research poster once again and discuss some engineering careers that I learned about in the past year and that we as a group are interested in. Overall, it is exciting to see that some EVO members are going to be lucky enough to have the same awesome experiences that I had last summer.