Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blog 10

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
I began my week in the lab by reading an article written by Yuan Shuai. He sent me this so that I could gain a better understanding of his research, because much of his work is applicable to mine. While reading through his article I noticed many grammatical errors and unclear sentences. I spoke to him about his plans for his article, and he asked me to revise his paper for him. I spent most of my Monday afternoon doing this. It felt great to be able to help someone else because I have received so much help the last few weeks. For the rest of the day I practiced speaking Chinese on my Rosetta Stone program. Though I don’t know much, there are some phrases that I have noticed getting stuck in my head. I haven’t had the opportunity to use one of them yet, but hopefully I will be able to soon!
On Tuesday I began my day by doing more research on different materials that can be 3D printed. I need a material that is more flexible than the current material. I brought these ideas to a meeting I had later that day. After lunch I watched and helped Yuan Shuai with another coaxial electrospray experiment. This time we used the same liquid for both the outer and inner portions of the microbubble. Overall, this was not as effective at making microbubbles in comparison to the prior experiment. I was able to practice forming a stable cone by changing the voltage applied to the setup. This is a pretty easy process because Yuan Shuai has done a lot of work to develop his experiment. Hopefully I will have more pictures of this in future blog posts! I am planning on building my own coaxial electrospray equipment with Yuan Shuai’s help either at the end of the week or the beginning of next!
Tuesday was Jiaqi’s birthday, so we went out to dinner on Tuesday night to celebrate! I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to get her for her birthday, so I decided to decorate a jar and fill it with the candy I love. Below are a couple of photos from Jiaqi’s birthday!

The cake in the photo above was half mango and half green tea flavored.
The meeting on Tuesday night was very beneficial for my project. One individual in the room brought up the idea of using PDMS to create the eye model instead of 3D printing materials. I think that this is a great idea because PDMS is a much softer material than most 3D printing materials. The tricky part of this project will be to find a way to create a sphere of PDMS. There were a lot of great ideas that were brought up, but the first one I plan to try is to create the model by casting it. I will need to figure out how to make the sphere hollow. One good idea was to use a dissolvable substance, like soap, to create the hollow center. Overall, a lot of great ideas were shared at this meeting, and I will need to do more research to figure out which one is most appropriate. 

On Wednesday morning I spent my time working on a presentation for my meeting on Thursday morning. My presentation is about the progress of my microencapsulation project. After I was done working on my PowerPoint slide, I started working on a mold for my eye model project. Below are 2 photos of the outline of the mold I made.

On Wednesday evening I took care of a problem I had been having in my room. For the last couple of weeks, I would find a large black beetle in my room. The body of the beetle was about the length of AA battery, and it had long antenna. I had a lot of trouble capturing or killing the beetle because it was all black, hard to see, and very quick. Eventually I was able to kill this one, but a few days later another very large beetle showed up. When I came to my room on Wednesday afternoon, I found 4 smaller beetles. I think they started a family in my room! With Jiaqi’s help translating, I asked the front desk for help. They decided to have me switch rooms instead of trying to kill the beetles. I spent the rest of my night moving my belongings to another room, but I am very happy I don’t have to worry about the beetles anymore!

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