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Morteza Gharib and Abbas Nasiraei Moghaddam Show Function of Helical Band in Heart

12-01-08

Using an MRI technique, Morteza Gharib, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Bioengineering, and his colleague Abbas Nasiraei Moghaddam, a Caltech graduate and visitor in Bioengineering, were able to create some of the first dynamic images of normal heart muscle in action at the tissue level. They showed that a muscular band--which wraps around the inner chambers of the heart in a helix--is actually a sort of twisting highway along which each contraction of the heart travels. "We tagged and traced small tissue elements in the heart, and looked at them in space, so we could see how they moved when the heart contracts," Gharib explains. "In this way, we were able to see where the maximum physical contraction occurs in the heart and when--and to show that it follows this intriguing helical loop." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MedE health Morteza Gharib

John Dabiri Named One of "Brilliant Ten" by Popular Science Magazine

10-15-08

John Dabiri, assistant professor of aeronautics and bioengineering, has been named one of "Brilliant Ten" by Popular Science Magazine. Dabiri is the youngest scientist on the list at just 28 years of age. Dubbed "the jellyfish engineer" by the magazine, he garnered the award for his studies of the intricacies of jellyfish locomotion. Using a custom-built, high-definition video camera and a water-particle-illuminating laser, Dabiri and his colleagues are able to examine the fluid dynamics that determine how jellyfish propel themselves through their watery environment. Their hope is that those insights will be used to improve the designs of nonbiological systems as diverse as military submarines and onshore windmills. [Popular Science Article]

Tags: honors research highlights GALCIT John Dabiri fluid dynamics

Morteza Gharib Honored with R&D Magazine's R&D 100 Award

09-02-08

Morteza Gharib, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and professor of bioengineering, and his team has been honored with R&D Magazine's R&D 100 Award recognizing significant new technologies from the past year. The team designed a three-dimensional camera with a vast array of possibilities, ranging from 3-D movement tracking for rehabilitation to underwater surveillance. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: honors research highlights GALCIT Morteza Gharib

Recent Cover Story in Science News Highlights the Work John Dabiri

02-23-08

550 million years of jet-setting (and jet paddling): modes of jellyfish propulsion are finally being understood and used for engineering inspiration. Read the recent cover story in Science News that highlights
the work of Professor John Dabiri.

Tags: research highlights GALCIT John Dabiri