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Newsletter September 2023 | Menu of Newsletters

Vibration Isolation Improves Specimen Examination at the
Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County

The museums' microscope is supported by negative-stiffness vibration isolation, which enables precise clarity of specimens being viewed at high magnification and high resolution

The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC), which include the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles' Exposition Park, the La Brea Tar Pits, and the William S. Harding Museum, is the largest natural and historical museum in the western United States, holding one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history—more than 35 million specimens and artifacts covering 4.5 billion years of history.

The NHMLAC collections are strong in many fields, but the mineralogy and Pleistocene paleontology collections are among the most impressive, the latter thanks to the wealth of specimens collected from the La Brea Tar Pits located in the heart of Los Angeles. The worlds most powerful gateway to the Ice Age, the asphalt seeps at the La Brea Tar Pits represent the only active urban fossil dig site in the world. The site contributes an ongoing wealth of extraordinary specimens, like saber-toothed cats, mammoths, dire wolves, and mastodons, as well as the tiny microfossils of insects, plants, mammals, and reptiles from the last 50,000 years.

Fundamental to the activities of NHMLAC is research. Essentially, close examination of these objects, artifacts, and specimens for the purposes of illustration, preparation of scientific papers for publishing, and photography for displays within the museum. Much of this research is conducted with the use of microscopy, viewing specimens at high magnification and high resolution to observe and examine fine details.

Researchers at the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, for example, are examining the structure of prehistoric fish teeth, minerals, insects, and other small creatures, said Brian Brown, PhD, curator of the Entomology Section. Even ancient feathers from 100 million years ago encased in amber. Amber influences clarity and distorts and changes the viewability of the feathers. Very high microscopy resolution is needed to examine minute, fine details from these and other specimens..
For the examination of its specimens, the museum uses a digital microscope.

Digital microscopes incorporate observation, image capture, and measurement capabilities while providing an on-screen interface for viewing objects. Compared to conventional optical microscopes, digital microscopy provides superior imaging capabilities. Even at higher magnification, images are fully focused due to a large, depth- of-field composition function.

The digital imaging system gives us up to 1,000 times magnification, continued Brown. The microscope allows us to view great detail and fidelity in our specimens.

Vibration problem
For several years ambient vibrations severely plagued the microscopes ability to deliver precision images.

At high magnifications things get very sensitive, added Brown. This requires great stability. But our microscope is located on the third floor of the Entomology Section in the museum, in a cantilevered room extending from the main building. An elevator is located right next to the room, so we were constantly dealing with vibration issues that were affecting the quality of our images. We would wait for periods of relative stability, like between elevator movement, to view images. Even if the elevator was not running, we would still get ambient vibrations from people walking around in the department.

Vibration can be caused by a multitude of factors within a building. Every structure is transmitting noise. Within the building itself the heating and ventilation system, fans, pumps, compressors, elevators, doors closing, and footfall are just some of the sources that create low-frequency vibration that will affect microscopy imaging and data sets. Depending on how far away the microscopy instrumentation is from these vibration sources, and where in the structure the instrumentation is locatedwhether in a basement or in a cantilevered roomwill determine how strongly the instrumentation will be influenced.

External to the building, sensitive instrumentation can be influenced by vibrations from truck movement, road traffic, nearby construction, loud noise from aircraft, and even wind and other weather conditions that can cause movement of the structure.

Essentially, we were getting so-so results from the microscope, and we knew the problem was coming from the ambient vibrations in the room, explained Brown. We tested an active cancellation vibration isolation system, but found it hard to set up, and it really did not cancel vibrations very well. We then did a demonstration of a negative- stiffness passive vibration isolation system and found it to perform very well.

Article continued...

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- Neuronal Vibration Isolation - Learning & Memory Research | Univ of Texas

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in 52 countries use Minus K Technology

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Featured Product: BM-4 Bench Top Vibration Isolation Platform

The BM-4: The most cost effective bench top platform capable of 1/2 Hz performance vertical and horizontal.
  • Can also be made cleanroom and vacuum capatible.
  • Vertical natural frequency of 1/2 Hz or less can be achieved over the entire load range.
  • Horizontal natural frequency is load dependent. 1/2 Hz or less can be achieved at or near the nominal load.
  • See Performance for a typical transmissibility curve with 1/2 Hz natural frequency.

Pricing & sizes for BM-4

Specifications (pdf)

Announcing the 2024 Minus K Technology Educational Giveaway to
U.S. Colleges and Universities

Minus K Technology, Inc. is giving away $25,000* worth of patented vibration isolators to colleges within the United States.

Your college could receive one of our superior performing negative-stiffness low-frequency vibration isolators, which use no air or electricity and are currently being used for biology, neuroscience, chemistry, crystal growing, physics, audio reproduction and many other fields.

If you have an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), Electron Microscope, Interferometer, Laser Optical System, Micro Hardness Tester, or any other special equipment that would be assisted by our vibration isolation, simply complete the giveaway submission form and send it back to edgiveaway@minusk.com. If you're one of the top applicants, we'll send you one of these free vibration isolators to assist you with your research.

Submission deadline for applications is February 29, 2024. More...

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Fighting Cancer with CelTivity & Interferometer Vibration Isolation

Inadequate real-time tissue assessment of biopsies from different cell types, like cancer cells, immune cells, granuloma, and others, forces proceduralists, such as bronchoscopists and radiologists, to choose between intraprocedural partial tissue adequacy assessment, rapid on-site evaluation (ROSE), or sending tissue samples for full pathology review. Neither truly answers the question, “Do we have enough cells to submit to pathology for the best chance of a conclusive diagnosis?” This can lead to prolonged delay for patient results, the need for a redo procedure, and potential delays for treatment options for the patient.

Consider lung biopsies, which are excised from patients and then sent to the laboratory for advanced cancer testing. These tests require that patients have an adequate amount of high-quality tissue to conduct advanced tests such as EGFR, kRas, or PD-1/PDL-1. To collect these biopsies, transthoracic needle biopsy (TTNA) is commonly used, which requires a needle to be inserted through the chest wall from outside the body. The risk of a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) can result in an average of 20 percent of procedures. Navigational bronchoscopy has emerged as a technology to collect lung biopsies with a lower risk of complications.

A better solution would be to assess tissue adequacy intra-procedurally, to interrogate and image the biopsy in its entirety, to determine: Do we have the tissue? What exactly are we looking at (cancer cells, immune cells, granuloma)? And, do we have enough cells to submit to pathology to gain the best chance of a conclusive diagnosis? The results would allow clinicians intraprocedural identification and interpretation to properly assess tissue samples for adequacy.

Vibration Isolation
Because CelTivitys technologies function at the micron level, vibration isolation is critical to maintaining the systems highest level of operation, explaiins Le Conte de Poly. Footfall from someone walking by, the closing of doors, HVAC units operating, or elevators in motion create low-frequency vibrations that can influence FFOCT and DCI imaging.

Consequently, Celtivity is supported by vibration isolation designed to more thoroughly cancel out low-frequency vibrations, says Le Conte de Poly. For this purpose, negative-stiffness vibration isolation was selected because of its high-performance capability, and ease of adaptability to hospital and laboratory environments.

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