Project Title: Super-Stainer Precision Thermal Control
Team 1427 Members:
Ziad Alrayes, industrial engineering
Cody Kalmick, mechanical engineering
Koriel Lambson, mechanical engineering
Marissa Lopez-Pier, biomedical engineering
Chris Sanford, electrical engineering
Amy Vaughn, biomedical engineering
Sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems Inc.
The team took second place in the Raytheon Sensintel Best Overall Design competition at Engineering Design Day 2015.
With off-the-shelf components, Team 1427 developed a more efficient system for microscopic examination of tissue samples. The system allows for testing a sample at three different temperatures.
“The point of thermal control is that instead of running three different tests under three different temperatures, you can run one thermal test across a single microscope,” explained team member Chris Sanford.
The project expanded on existing slide-staining techniques, in which tissue is attached to a slide by a process called heat fixing and a dye is added to the samples to make cells and cell components easier to view.
Team members, with the help of mentors Chris Donat, Kenyon Kehl and Steven Lei, had several challenges to overcome — like figuring out which materials would make the best slide base without contaminating the sample.
Marissa Lopez-Pier was in constant contact with project sponsor Ventana Medical Systems as the team worked through the different possibilities.
“We couldn’t use certain metals that would give off contaminants, or material that gives off ions like iron and copper that have an electrical charge,” she said.