Implantable micro-devices may one day help regenerate nerves in humans, but for now they are limited by several factors. One limitation is the processing methods used for making the micro-devices, which sometimes require etching patterns into the biodegradable materials. Shoachen Chen is helping medical equipment designers develop micro-devices by improving the processing of biodegradable materials. The Iowa State University professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering uses lasers for producing micro-features on polymer surfaces. He is carving out answers to questions about how lasers remove materials from polymers. His work, funded by the National Science Foundation, is important to understanding how designers integrate materials into biodegradable micro-devices. For more information, contact Chen at (515) 294-2298.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
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