In case you missed it (ICYMI), here are some of the stories that made headlines in the world of cleanrooms and nanotechnology in the past week:
An eight-year-old California girl who was born with symbrachydactyly — the four finger bones on her left hand never developed because of poor blood circulation in utero — has received a 3D printed hand to help her form a better grip on things. A team from UC Berkeley printed the prosthetic’s parts from ABS plastic (which is also used to make Legos) and put them together with some basic hardware, meaning that the end result cost less than $10 to make. The prosthetic still needs work, but the UC Berkeley team hopes to eventually develop a more durable, aesthetically pleasing product, perhaps with sensors included. The hand was constructed with red and black materials, like Iron Man.
An institute in Moscow has patented biosensor chips based on graphene, graphene oxide, and carbon nanotubes. The technology will mainly be used for pharmaceutical and scientific research, medical diagnostics, food quality control, and toxin detection. These label-free biosensors are very reliable for obtaining data on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs in pre-clinical studies.
Finally, the cleanroom at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. has been busy this week. NASA engineers have successfully completed two deployments for the James Webb Space Telescope’s “wings” – aka, the side portions of the backplane structure that fold up. The wings and telescope structure are crucial because they compose the telescope’s carbon fiber framework. The framework will house the telescope’s 18 mirrors and the tower for the primary mirror. The wings were deployed one at a time, and each deployment took up to 16 hours to complete.