Innovation has a new home at Sears think[box]

Engineering students bring solar solution to Botswana family

A family in the village of Mmanoko in Botswana has access to safe, renewable electric power thanks to the efforts of engineering students from the University of Botswana and Case Western Reserve University.

The prohibitively high cost of running power lines to remote villages in Botswana has left some 85 percent of rural households in the country without access to electricity. As part of a research program that addresses sustainable energy issues in the region, students installed a 100-watt solar lighting system in the home of Mmanoko resident Tlhabologang Kebopetswe that will allow her and her family to light their home, watch TV and charge their cell phones.

BME associate professor Erin Lavik's clot-building nanoparticles raise survival rate following blast trauma

Spherical hemostatic nanoparticles accumulate on a clot-stabilizing mesh of fibrin the body produces. Credit: Andrew Shoffstall

A type of artificial platelet being developed to help natural blood platelets form clots faster offers promise for saving the lives of soldiers, as well as victims of car crashes and other severe trauma.

In preclinical tests led by a Case Western Reserve University researcher, the artificial platelets, called “hemostatic nanoparticles,” when injected after blast trauma dramatically increased survival rates and showed no signs of interfering with healing or causing other complications weeks afterward.

Mechanical engineering professor Ozan Akkus growing replacement tissue for torn rotator cuffs

A Case Western Reserve University engineer won a $1.7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to grow replacement rotator cuffs and other large tendon groups to help heal injured soldiers and athletes, accident victims and an aging population that wants to remain active.

Ozan Akkus, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, already devised a technique to reconstitute collagen—a building block of tendons—into tough fibers and induce adult stem cells to grow into tendons on those fibers.

“This is a concept that works on a lab bench,” Akkus said. “We will refine the concept and test the validity on an animal model.”

Doctoral student Jaesung Lee wins best student paper competition on nanoscale devices

Jaesung Lee, a PhD student in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS), won the Best Student Paper Competition at the 2014 IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium (IEEE IFCS 2014), for presenting his paper, “Atomically-Thin MoS2 Resonators for Pressure Sensing.” Philip Feng, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science and T. Keith Glennan Fellow, mentors Lee.

In the paper, Lee and Feng reported an experimental investigation of a new type of nanoscale devices that are exceptionally responsive to small pressure variations and yet can tolerate pressure changes over wide ranges.

Watch the Northeast Ohio National Day of Making Google Hangout!

Did you participate in the National Day of Making on June 18? Case Western Reserve University hosted an open house promoting its high-tech maker space, think[box], and participated in a Google Hangout with other Northeast Ohio maker spaces, including Ingenuity Cleveland, the Great Lakes Science Center, Lorain County Community College's FabLab and Cleveland Public Library's TechCentral. #NationofMakers. #NEOMakers.
Watch the Google Hangout now!