Students help design a device for capturing rare cells (Day 266)

Rare cell isolation from complex mixtures of cells – such as blood and bone marrow – are used in regenerative therapies and in the management of cancers.

cell mixtureTo improve the process of cell separation and isolation, a multi-disciplinary team of engineers from the University of Florida, US, have teamed up with a biotechnology cell and gene therapy company – Morphogenesis, Inc – to design an advanced, fully automated cell separation system.

Both the faculty members and senior engineering students involved come from a variety of disciplines (mechanical, electrical, biomedical and chemical) and are collaborating with the Tampa based biotechnology company to build a fully functioning prototype of a completed device over the next few months.

Continue reading Students help design a device for capturing rare cells (Day 266)

Human waste could power a lunar space mission (Day 227)

You may remember that I made a few suggestions in my festive blog, ‘Can chemical engineers save Santa?’. One of my suggestions was to process the reindeer’s poo in order to produce biogas for fuel to help Santa travel around the globe to deliver presents.

Moon and earthBut processing waste to biogas for fuel may not be limited to just our planet. Researchers at the University of Florida have been working towards the design of an anaerobic digester that can be used on the moon to power a rocket – this rocket would return astronauts back to earth.

NASA is planning to construct a lunar station over a period of five years between 2019 and 2024 with four crew members. So Pratap C. Pullammandappallil, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Florida and author of the study, has conducted research into optimising technologies for waste digestion.

Continue reading Human waste could power a lunar space mission (Day 227)

Sometimes making people smile is enough (Day 76)

Fracture - Abhi Lokesh and Alex Theodre
Fracture – Abhi Lokesh and Alex Theodre (right)

Every now and again on ChemEng365, we venture away from the many ‘game-changing’ developments and achievements in chemical engineering that help to change the engineering landscape.

Today, we are digressing into the world of business start-ups, entrepreneurship and digital printing.

Our story centres on Abhi Lokesh and Alex Theodore, who co-founded Fracture – a small digital print business with a difference.

Continue reading Sometimes making people smile is enough (Day 76)