Counting White Blood Cells at Home
Yu-Chong Tai, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and colleagues have developed a portable device to count white blood cells that needs less than a pinprick's worth of blood and takes just minutes to run. The heart of the new device is a 50-micrometer-long transparent channel made out of a silicone material with a cross section of only 32 micrometers by 28 micrometers—small enough to ensure that only one white blood cell at a time can flow through the detection region. The stained blood sample flows through this microfluidic channel to the detection region, where it is illuminated with a laser, causing it to fluoresce. [Caltech Release]
An Engineering Art Exhibit
Hillary Mushkin, Visiting Professor of Art and Design in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, worked with a group of students taking her new media art history seminar (E/H/Art 89 - the first Caltech course cross-listed in engineering and humanities) to conceptualize, design and fabricate their own original new media artwork using technologies and fabrication methods of their own choice. Students created electroencephalogram (EEG) art, automatic drawing machines, conceptual art-inspired visualizations of mathematical concepts, interactive video projections, electronic instruments and other novel forms. [Photos of the exhibit]
International Scholarship Focused on Engineering Global Challenges Announced
The Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have established a new scholarship program, named after outgoing National Academy of Engineering (NAE) president Charles M. Vest at their institutions, along with six other universities around the country. "The Vest Scholarship is a superb opportunity for high-powered international graduate students to work with faculty and researchers who are international leaders in their engineering disciplines," says Chair Ares Rosakis. "At Caltech, due to its small size and strong interdisciplinary philosophy, the students will have the opportunity to work closely with not only these international leaders in engineering research, but also with their collaborators in all areas of science and technology." [Caltech Release] [Application Information]
Sponge Wars: Attack of the Drones!
Robots designed and built by undergraduate students battled in head-to-head competition, in this year's ME 72 Engineering Design Contest entitled "Sponge Wars: Attack of the Drones!." Each team was tasked with designing, building, and operating a pair of vehicles that would:retrieve dry kitchen sponges from a four-foot high platform, place these sponges in goals their team controlled, navigate autonomously to place sponges in their autonomous goal, and maintain their own score while reducing the opposing team’s score. The blue team named "Blacker Air and Machinery Force" received the most points and was honored with the ME-72 trophy. [More information]