This week on The Pulse, we’re making a wheel-based suspension to traverse hard impacts, using a nanosponge to absorb toxins, inventing a $500 portable ventilator, and 3D printing kidneys for practicing surgery.

Reinventing the Wheel: SoftWheel has developed an innovative wheel-based suspension, called the Acrobat, that incorporates a selective suspension mechanism that acts only when an impact above a certain threshold is encountered. The threshold is pre-set according to user requirements and is easily changed.

Nanosponge Decoy: A team of engineers at UC-San Diego have created a nanosponge to combat drug-resistant infections. The nanosponge, made from biocompatible and biodegradable polymer nanoparticles, is camouflaged with a red blood cell membrane. It circulates in the bloodstream, absorbing the toxins produced by the infection.

$500 Portable Ventilator: Students in BYU’s Engineering Capstone program have created a portable ventilator that costs only $500 to produce. Like the $40,000 ventilators found in a newborn ICU, the ventilator gives oxygen to sick infants continuously until they no longer need breathing assistance.

3D Printed Kidneys: A group of surgeons from Kobe University in Japan has combined the 3D imaging with 3D printing to produce an exact model of kidneys prior to surgery. This allows surgeons to practice surgery in difficult kidney cancer cases.

For more information about Avalara, visit

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