Designing an Ultrasensitive Imaging System Based on Mantis Shrimp

Caty Fairclough October 18, 2017

How might a rainbow-colored crustacean help improve cancer detection? The answer lies within the mantis shrimp’s amazing visual system, which is one of the most advanced in the animal kingdom. By using the mantis shrimp as inspiration for an imaging system design, one research group hopes to provide a new cancer detection tool.

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Caty Fairclough October 6, 2017

George Westinghouse was a prolific inventor who helped shape how we use electricity in America and throughout the world. Among his notable achievements, he improved the safety of trains and furthered the acceptance and use of alternating current (AC) as a standard way to supply electricity. Throughout his life, Westinghouse started many companies and fostered strong ties to other great thinkers. As today is his birthday, we’d like to celebrate his life and accomplishments.

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Caty Fairclough October 4, 2017

Kelvin probes provide a nondestructive and contact-free method of measuring the work function differences of various material combinations. These probes can have a variety of designs, including different tip shapes, lengths, and radii. To find an optimal design while minimizing the need for extensive testing, one group of researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Here’s what they found…

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Caty Fairclough September 29, 2017

Fusion energy is 30 years away — and always will be. The joke certainly rings true for inertial fusion energy (IFE), which must overcome a number of obstacles before it can become a reality. For example, the current methods for creating IFE targets cannot meet the predicted demand and cost requirements. To solve this problem, researchers designed a new microfluidics method that could address these production bottleneck issues while complying with the strict geometrical requirements of IFE target design.

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Caty Fairclough September 21, 2017

Have you ever plugged one too many devices into an electrical circuit? This can overload the circuit and damage its components. To avoid this issue, many homes have devices like electric switch circuit breakers to interrupt the current when a critical current is reached. Other types of circuit breakers are used to prevent issues in high-voltage situations, like citywide power lines. In this blog post, we discuss using simulation to study a class of heavy-duty circuit breakers: magnetic power switches.

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Caty Fairclough September 12, 2017

When thinking about natural selection, antennas are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But with genetic algorithms, we can use the basic principles of natural selection to solve antenna optimization problems. For example, genetic algorithms enabled one research group to optimize the geometry of an optical antenna. They implemented their study by using LiveLink™ for MATLAB®, an add-on product to the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Caty Fairclough September 8, 2017

Generating complex emulsion droplets that can be used to fabricate highly compartmentalized microconstructs is difficult to achieve with classic droplet-forming fluidic junctions. These junctions have simple geometries, which can result in a narrow range of flow rate control. To address this issue, one research group designed an oscillatory microfluidic junction with a more complicated geometry. This junction, called the bat-wing junction, can consistently produce uniform and complex double-emulsion droplets, with bespoke components and encapsulated reagents.

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Caty Fairclough August 23, 2017

During his lifetime, Osborne Reynolds contributed to many fields, such as mathematics and thermodynamics. However, his most famous achievements were in the realm of fluid mechanics. To celebrate the anniversary of his birthday, let’s take a brief trip through the life and work of Reynolds, including one of his key accomplishments: the Reynolds number.

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Caty Fairclough August 16, 2017

Research shows that microgravity exposure has an effect on the human body, such as by suppressing immune cell activity. This phenomenon also affects cancer cell migration. Making use of this fact can lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for metastatic cancer cells. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how a research team used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to design a culturing system to study cancer cell migration in microgravity.

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Caty Fairclough August 15, 2017

Zone electrophoresis separates different species in a sample into distinct well-resolved peaks, giving scientists the ability to analyze substances like proteins and nucleic acids. Improving this electrophoretic separation technique requires us to accurately model the transport and separation of these species. Here, let’s look at how the COMSOL Multiphysics® software can be used to simulate the movement of species during zone electrophoresis.

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Caty Fairclough August 9, 2017

Studying vacuum system designs can be difficult, since some analysis methods only work when the relative speed of the gas molecules is very large compared to the velocity of the enclosing walls. This is not the case for turbomolecular pumps, which we can model and analyze using a Monte Carlo approach and the Rotating Frame feature in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Let’s check out one example below.

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