Got Physics? Stop by and check out the second Science on Google+ Posterside Hangouts!

Got Physics? Stop by and check out the second Science on Google+ Posterside Hangouts! 

Originally shared by Science on Google+

Posterside Hangouts is a new Hangouts On Air, which is hosted by the Science on Google+ Community ( The theme for the second Posterside Hangouts is Physics and Materials Science (see below for a list of presenters and talks). Please fill out this form ( if you would like to present your research in an upcoming Posterside Hangout.


Titles and Authors

A Microfluidic, High Throughput Protein Crystal Growth Method for Microgravity

Carl Carruthers 

Ultralight microlattice materials

Kevin Maloney and Bill Carter 

Shape Analysis and the Classification of Objects

Brent Neal 


Abstracts and Links

A Microfluidic, High Throughput Protein Crystal Growth Method for Microgravity

The attenuation of sedimentation and thermal convection in microgravity can sometimes decrease irregularities formed during macromolecular crystal growth. Current terrestrial protein crystal growth (PCG) capabilities are very different than those used during the Shuttle era and that are currently on the International Space Station (ISS). The focus of this experiment was to demonstrate the use of a commercial off-the-shelf, high throughput, PCG method in microgravity. Using Protein BioSolutions’ microfluidic Plug Maker™/CrystalCard™ system, we tested the ability to grow crystals of the regulator of glucose metabolism and adipogenesis: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (apo-hPPAR-g LBD), as well as several PCG standards. Overall, we sent 25 CrystalCards™ to the ISS, containing ~10,000 individual microgravity PCG experiments in a 3U NanoRacks NanoLab (1U = 103 cm.). After 70 days on the ISS, our samples were returned with 64% of the microgravity cards having crystals, compared to 48% of the ground controls. Encouragingly, there were more apo-hPPAR-g LBD crystals in the microgravity PCG cards than the 1g controls. These positive results hope to introduce the use of the PCG standard of low sample volume and large experimental density to the microgravity environment and provide new opportunities for macromolecular samples that may crystallize poorly in standard laboratories.


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Ultralight microlattice materials

This poster will introduce ultralight microlattice materials, of interest for energy storage applications, deployable structures, and for acoustic, shock, and vibration damping. We fabricate microlattices with a wide range densities from ~500mg/cc to ultralow densities approaching 0.5 mg/cc (not including the density of the air inside the microlattice). For reference, air at standard temperature and pressure has a density of 1.2 mg/cc and water has a density of 1000 mg/cc. We make these materials by depositing various thin film materials (Au, Cu, Ni, SiO2, parylene) onto sacrificial polymer lattice templates. The result is unprecedented properties including an ability to fully recover after being compressed more than 50%. We present an analytical model that predicts the transition between recoverable “pseudo-superelastic” and irrecoverable compression for all constituent materials.

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Shape Analysis and the Classification of Objects

Quantification of shape remains an area of active study in the field of image analysis and machine vision. We present a comparative survey of three approaches to shape measurement: classical dimensionless ratios, harmonic analysis, and invariant moments, showing their suitability for classification of objects and other statistical analyses, including quantitative structure-property relationships. We show that for topologically simple shapes and well controlled imaging conditions, all three methods can provide robust classification of objects.

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