LSU Research Group Wins Award for Project on 3D Detection Device

March 2, 2020

Wanjun Wang recieving an award on stageBATON ROUGE, LA – A group of researchers from the LSU Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering have been awarded Best Paper in 3D Printing by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

The paper, “A Novel Gravity Valve and its Application in a 3D-Printed Centrifugal Fluidic-System for Solid Phase Extraction (SPE),” was presented at the annual SPIE Photonics West conference held in San Francisco. The event is a major international conference and exposium attended by thousands of people from all over the world.

Authors on the work include Yong Zhang, mechanical engineering PhD student; Jiwen Xiang, 2018 PhD graduate in mechanical engineering; Yunxia Wang, mechanical engineering PhD student; Zheng Qiao, mechanical engineering PhD student; and Wanjun Wang, professor of mechanical engineering.

The topic of the paper centers on the group’s proposal to develop a highly sensitive and portable instrument that can be used for in-situ detection of an oil spill.

One popular method of oil analysis is solid phase extraction, or SPE, which separates compounds from one another in a liquid solution according to their chemical and physical properties. However, the equipment that performs this task is bulky and not practical to take into the field. Consequently, the LSU group has designed and fabricated a 3D centrifugal cartridge that allows them to separate the compounds by selecting the speed of the centrifugal platform without having to do it incrementally. This simplifies the design and control of the system and improves its precision.

It’s also easier to operate and maintain and costs less than its lab-confined counterparts. The device is not limited to oil detection; it can also be used in drug discovery and development, life science research, clinical and molecular diagnosis, and monitoring of soil and water.

“We are currently trying to use the prototype device to measure the samples collected from coastal water systems off the Gulf of Mexico for further improvement,” Wanjun Wang said. “We are also working to integrate the spectrometer measurement unit we have built into the system so that they can work as an independent instrument. The data can then be directly transferred through USB connector to a personal computer for data processing. We hope to complete this in a year.”

Funding for this research was made possible by a grant from The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.


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