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NSF grant gives Villanova X-Ray Vision

Every comic-obsessed geek dreams of developing x-ray vision. You could see into the girl’s locker room or find out the answers to a test. Luckily, the folks behind Villanova’s acoustic technologies research have more honorable principals in mind.

The university’s Center for Advanced Communication announced receipt of a $600,000 National Science Foundation grant this week to aid in their use of acoustic and ultrasound technologies in medicine and industry. The frequencies allow researchers to see inside heavy machinery or even a human heart, take images and find microscopic cracks or tears, allowing for prevention of much bigger problems.

“These technologies could improve clinical diagnoses of medical problems concerning blood flow, heart abnormalities and anomalies in tissues and organs,” says chief researcher and director of the CAC, Dr. Moeness Amin. “In addition, for industrial application, it will allow performing better machine monitoring and predictive maintenance of equipment.”

Already, the technology has worked on projects like finding cracks in wind turbine blades and photographing blood clots. This new funding will allow the CAC to hire additional research fellows and, in a partnership with Bucknell University, develop a new course in acoustic and ultrasound which can be jointly taught at both campuses in their undergraduate engineering programs.

As this project is just a week old, it is too early to tell when a marketable product may emerge but perhaps CAC should hold off on producing x-ray specs just yet. They may fall into the wrong hands.

Source: Moeness Amin, Center for Advanced Communication
Writer: John Steele

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