University of Arkansas researchers combined an alkali with heat to produce ceramic nanowires that coat titanium medical implants, creating more biocompatible surfaces. Muscle tissue often does not adhere well to the smooth surfaces of titanium, leading to failure after about ten years. In experiments with mice, muscles adhere to the new nanowire compound in about four weeks. "We can control the length, the height, the pore openings and the pore volumes within the nanowire scaffolds" by varying the time, temperature and alkali concentration in the reaction, said Z. Ryan Tian, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. "This process is also extremely sustainable," requiring only that the device be rinsed in reusable water after the heating process.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
Researchers at MIT's d'Arbeloff Laboratory are developing shoulder- and hip-mounted robotic arms to help workers in aircraft manufacturing perform difficult or complex assembly tasks that would normally require two people.
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