Sandia National Laboratories (www.sandia.gov) has designed a microdevice that can easily collect and release proteins in aqueous solution in less than one second. The device is a series of gold-coated lines, each line apart by a thickness of one-third of a human hair. It separates proteins from the solution and from each other by electrically heating the metal lines which warms a 4 nm-thick polymer film. The film then changes from a hydrophilic to a hydrophobic state, which enables the film to absorb proteins passing over it. The proteins now separated from the water molecules, are released in a natural cleansing action in the hydrophilic state.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicleís parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but thatís just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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