Real-time Instrument Characterization Kit (RICK) v4.0

Project number: 
Roche Tissue Diagnostics
Academic year: 
Being able to ensure correct volumes of staining fluid for specimens allows for more reliable testing. Roche Tissue Diagnostics wishes to test and analyze the viability of using strain gauges to estimate volumes of mostly liquid specimens on slides as they are stained in the BenchMark ULTRA staining system.

Because strain gauges typically estimate mass, or weight, this system must use a known density to reverse-calculate the weight.

In addition to the viability study, the team designed a device to fit within the BenchMark ULTRA for RICK v4.0 testing. Specifications included withstanding temperature and humidity fluctuations as well as the system vibrations during the staining without impeding the process or making it more difficult for technicians. The outcome was a system that employs a microcontroller, load cell with a four-strain gauge system running through a signal amplifier, and various methods of power regulation.

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