This week I began brainstorming ways to attach the cornea, in this case a contact lens, to the eye model. I started drawing up different ways to mechanically fasten the contact lens to the model, but after some thought, I decided that using a hot glue gun may be more effective for an air tight attachment. I believe that creating a notch in the model for the contact to sit will allow for the placement of the contact to be repeatable and stable. I also worked on another BBS post and read a paper that Yuan Shuai gave me. He sent me a few articles about coaxial electrospray so that I have a better understanding of the physics behind how microparticles are created.
On Tuesday morning I received the files from another OSU student containing the drawings for the eye model. He already sent me these files last week, but I had trouble opening them because I have an older version of SolidWorks. I changed one of his drawings so that I there is a notch in the eye model for the contact lens. The next step in this process is to buy the necessary 3D printing materials. Shen Shuwei helped me buy the contact lenses from a store in the university later that day.
After lunch on Tuesday I went to the bank to solve my problems with converting USD to RMB. I have already been to the bank twice with Lei Fan, and most people there speak English well, so I decided to go on my own. I wasn’t sure how to get there, but I was pretty confident that I would find my way. When I left campus the other boys from the lab seemed a little bit confused about what I was doing, but I told them that I would be okay and would be back soon. I was so proud of myself when I found the bank and talked to the woman working the front desk to help me understand what I needed to do. When I turned around to sit down, I saw the boys from the lab outside of the bank. I thought it was hilarious that they had followed me there. They told me that they were letting me find the bank on my own, but wanted to make sure I was okay. Afterwards we went and got some ice cream!
In the meeting on Tuesday night I was able to talk to my advisor, Dr. Dong, and other students about my project. I showed them the SolidWorks drawing of the eye model, and we discussed materials that would be appropriate to use for printing. Dr. Dong suggested that we consult with a company nearby that has a machine that is able to print 2 different materials at one time. One is a hard rubber material, and the other is a soft material. He asked Shen Shuwei to contact the companies for me.
I have been very lucky that most of the people I have met can speak some English, but my inability to speak and read the language has been difficult for me to adjust to. There are times when I would like to be able to find information on my own, but I am unable to do so. I am so grateful that everyone else in the lab has been so willing to help me in these situations, but I still need to work on asking questions when I know I need help.
Wednesday I enjoyed going to the supermarket with Jiaqi and a couple of her friends. We wanted to get some of the supplies that we will need for the trip on Friday. Afterwards we went to dinner in the mall. The mall is very close to the school and has a lot of unique restaurants in it. The food was delicious and we got ice cream after!
In the lab on Wednesday I was able to try making my own taylor cone again without Yuan Shuai’s help. I think that doing this on my own was very beneficial, because I was able to work through many of the problems that I didn’t know I would have. Creating a stable cone can be difficult because there are many different parameters that affect the stability of the cone including: temperature, voltage applied, voltage connection, distance from the needle to the electrode, flow rate, and many others. It takes practice to determine and correct the parameter that inhibits the stability of the cone. I tried for a long time to do this on my own, but every time I applied the voltage, there was an odd buzzing noise. When I asked Yuan Shuai for help he immediately realized that something was affecting the voltage connection. There was an iron object on the table close to the wire. As soon as he pick it up my experiment started working. I practiced forming the cone at flow rates of 0.3, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mL/hr. Below is a photo of one of the stable cones. This photo is not as clear as the last because Yuan Shuai did not help me find the ideal lighting.
Above is a photo Lei Fan and I took with Jiaqi in the graduation robe. She will be graduating on June 20th and heading back to Beijing.
Thursday and Friday:
On Thursday I tried to split the sclera of the eye model into layers for it to be 3D printed. I worked on this for a long time, but the model has unique geometrical features that made this very difficult. I eventually decided that I would need to find some help with this after I got back from my trip this weekend. In the afternoon I went to a yoga class and went home early to pack!
I met up with Jiaqi and her two friends early Friday morning to go to the train station where we met the rest of the group. I was very embarrassed because I packed significantly more than everyone else in our group. Most people only brought a backpack, but I brought a rolling carry on sized suitcase and a bag. I don’t know how some people were able to fit everything they would need in their small bags, but I need to learn from them how to pack lightly. When we arrived in Changsha we met our tour guide outside the train station. I was proud of myself for keeping up with the group in the train station because there are so many people around, and huge crowds of people funnel through small gates. It is a very different experience because I am accustomed to standing in lines and giving others a comfortable amount of space.
From the train station, we got on a bus that drove for about an hour before stopping on an island that translated to “Orange Continent”. This Island is known for its huge statue of Chairman Mao, who was the founding father of the People’s Republic of China. Below are photos from this stop on the island.
We hopped back on the bus for the rest of our 5 hour drive to Zhangjiajie. On the drive we passed a lot of small towns in the rural areas of China. There were stark differences between these areas and the more urban areas. We passed a lot of broken down and empty buildings and small shelters. Some of which were filled with trash. Most of the stores or small shops that were around had no one in or around them.
Saturday and Sunday:
Saturday we woke up early to climb Tianzi Mountain. It was refreshing to breathe the fresh cool air. To get to lunch at the top of the mountain, we had to climb up more than 3,700 stairs. By the time I reached the top of the mountain, I was more concerned with my pained legs than the beautiful scenery around me. After lunch we took some more pictures and walked around a nearby park. We also stopped at McDonalds to get some ice cream. I think it is funny that we found a McDonalds on the top of a mountain! To get back down the mountain we took a cable car which gave us a great view of the surrounding mountains! Below are some photos.
These sandstone mountains are famous for being the site of the movie Avatar!
Later in the day we decided to see Huanglong cave. The park around the cave was beautiful and had a lot of interesting statues and scenery. Overall, we had a fantastic and exhausting day! It was nice to eat dinner and relax in the hotel afterward.
Sunday we woke up early to go on another hiking trip. We went to the Huangshi Zhai national forest park to hike and look for monkeys. Below are two photos from our hiking trip!
There were so many monkeys around and they were not afraid to come up to you and grab the food from your hands. Jiaqi had some of her food stolen. After a lot of hiking we got lunch and went on a long bus trip to Fenghuang, Phoenix ancient town. On the way we stopped to visit a village of the Miao people, an ethnic minority in China. We were given a tour of the village, and there was a show at the end that featured dancers and a magician. It was interesting to learn about this group of people! Below is a photo of me with 2 of the Miao people dressed in their traditional clothing.
At one of the stops on this trip, I tried a new food made out of some kind of grass and wrapped in a leaf. Inside the ball were small sweet grains. I was nervous about trying it because it didn’t look very appetizing, but it was actually very good!
We didn’t get to Fenghuang until around 10. The city was on Tuojiang River which caused the air to be very humid and hot. There was a very lively atmosphere with soothing music and lights everywhere. Many people were wearing crowns made of beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, it started raining after a while so we went back to our hotel to get some sleep. Below is a photo of me in the city at night. I am excited to see more of this city tomorrow morning!