29,745 research outputs found

    Causation as an Element in Delict/Tort in Scots and Louisiana Law

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    Delict in Scotland in 2012

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    Distributed Control of Microscopic Robots in Biomedical Applications

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    Current developments in molecular electronics, motors and chemical sensors could enable constructing large numbers of devices able to sense, compute and act in micron-scale environments. Such microscopic machines, of sizes comparable to bacteria, could simultaneously monitor entire populations of cells individually in vivo. This paper reviews plausible capabilities for microscopic robots and the physical constraints due to operation in fluids at low Reynolds number, diffusion-limited sensing and thermal noise from Brownian motion. Simple distributed controls are then presented in the context of prototypical biomedical tasks, which require control decisions on millisecond time scales. The resulting behaviors illustrate trade-offs among speed, accuracy and resource use. A specific example is monitoring for patterns of chemicals in a flowing fluid released at chemically distinctive sites. Information collected from a large number of such devices allows estimating properties of cell-sized chemical sources in a macroscopic volume. The microscopic devices moving with the fluid flow in small blood vessels can detect chemicals released by tissues in response to localized injury or infection. We find the devices can readily discriminate a single cell-sized chemical source from the background chemical concentration, providing high-resolution sensing in both time and space. By contrast, such a source would be difficult to distinguish from background when diluted throughout the blood volume as obtained with a blood sample

    Using Surface-Motions for Locomotion of Microscopic Robots in Viscous Fluids

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    Microscopic robots could perform tasks with high spatial precision, such as acting in biological tissues on the scale of individual cells, provided they can reach precise locations. This paper evaluates the feasibility of in vivo locomotion for micron-size robots. Two appealing methods rely only on surface motions: steady tangential motion and small amplitude oscillations. These methods contrast with common microorganism propulsion based on flagella or cilia, which are more likely to damage nearby cells if used by robots made of stiff materials. The power potentially available to robots in tissue supports speeds ranging from one to hundreds of microns per second, over the range of viscosities found in biological tissue. We discuss design trade-offs among propulsion method, speed, power, shear forces and robot shape, and relate those choices to robot task requirements. This study shows that realizing such locomotion requires substantial improvements in fabrication capabilities and material properties over current technology.Comment: 14 figures and two Quicktime animations of the locomotion methods described in the paper, each showing one period of the motion over a time of 0.5 milliseconds; version 2 has minor clarifications and corrected typo

    Delict in Scotland in 2011

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