Brown University School of Engineering

News from June, 2014

2014 Solar Decathlon Europe

RISD/Brown/Erfurt team unveils unique fabric solar house

Assembly at Versailles:
A team of students from RISD, Brown, and the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, now in France, has unpacked and reassembled a solar house they built in Providence this spring. They are in an international competition on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles.

New research from Prof. K.S. Kim and Mazen Diab

How a wrinkle becomes a crease

The natural history of wrinkles, creases, and folds:
Kyung-Suk Kim and Mazen Diab have worked out the mathematics of how wrinkles form in solid materials under compression — and how, under more compression, those wrinkles can become creases. The mathematics of wrinkles and creases could help in the design of flexible electronic circuits, artificial skin, and soft robotic grips and may help explain brain injuries due to compression.

A virus reveals the physics of nanopores

A better way to study what actually happens at the nanopore:
Nanopores could provide a new way to sequence DNA quickly, but the physics involved isn’t well understood. That’s partly because of the complexities involved in studying the random, squiggly form DNA takes in solution. Researchers from Brown have simplified matters by using a stiff, rod-like virus instead of DNA to experiment with nanopores. Their research has uncovered previously unknown dynamics in polymer-nanopore interactions.

Research Update from Prof. Palmore and Pacifici

Progress on detecting glucose levels in saliva

Dealing with the 1 percent:
Researchers at Brown have developed a new biochip sensor that that can selectively measure glucose concentrations in a complex fluid like saliva. Their approach combines dye chemistry with plasmonic interferometry. A dependable glucose monitoring system that uses saliva rather than blood would be a significant improvement in managing diabetes.

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