Sandia National Laboratories recently hosted a contest among university teams to develop new low energy microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices. The competition was as fierce as you’d expect. The winning team from Texas Tech University developed a micro rheometer, a device used to study the flow of liquids, which may end up handy for quick analysis of bodily fluids like those that build up in injured knees.
The device essentially vibrates very small drops of liquid and detects the change comapred to baseline. Because it requires tiny amounts of liquid to stick to its vibrating components, it works with extracting only small samples from patients.