Play us a song: the (Hyper)piano man

Christopher Taylor has the hands of a musician, his fingers most at home striking the keys of a piano, and an analytical mind honed by years of computer programming. Now after tackling his latest endeavor, Taylor can also call himself an engineer, a builder, a maker.

Taylor, a professor in the School of Music at UW-Madison, recently finished building a Hyperpiano– an instrument of his own design– in the Fab Lab of the Medical Engineering theme at the Morgridge Institute for Research. The master instrument has two keyboards that outsource sound by wirelessly sending signals to two secondary pianos.

“I’d never done any woodworking before, and certainly nothing in the machine shop,” Taylor says. “Going into this project, I barely knew the different sizes of screws. But designing and creating has been very satisfying, and I’ve enjoyed learning all these new skills.”

Kevin Eliceiri, director of the Fab Lab, says it was Taylor’s unique vision and passion for the project that made him and his piano a good fit for the Fab Lab.

Read the story at the Morgridge Institute for Research News . . .


Building a piano is no small task, and this novel design required mechanical and electrical work over a nearly five year period.  The Fab Lab team offered resources and technical assistance to help Taylor accomplish his goal.



Andreas Velten wins major imaging award

The Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) and Image Engineering GmbH & Co. KG are pleased to announce that the 2016 Image Engineering Innovation Award (IEIA) is given to Andreas Velten, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “for the development of a time-of-flight, ultra-fast photography system.”

Andreas Velten leads the Computational Optics Group at the Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation (LOCI) at UW-Madison. He is a fellow of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, a member of the UW Living Environments Lab, and an affiliate of the Medical Engineering Group at the Morgridge Institute for Research in Madison.

He also is the co-founder of two active startup companies: OnLume, a medical device company, and Formula Database, an online learning platform.  

Read the story at Morgridge Institute for Research News . . .

UW-Madison and Morgridge researchers associate collagen architecture with glioblastoma patient survival

A new report in the Journal of Neurosurgery, "Association of collagen architecture with glioblastoma patient survival" by University of Wisconsin-Madison investigators Kelli PointerCellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program in the laboratory of John Kuo, Department of Neurological Surgery and Kevin EliceiriLaboratory of Optical and Computational Instrumentation (LOCI) as well as Alex Schroeder, Medical Physics Graduate ProgramLOCI, and the Morgridge Institute for Research shows a correlation between collagen and glioblastoma progression.  The group was the first to visualize collagen architecture in glioblastoma using the Optical Workstation at LOCI: a multiphoton laser scanning system with second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging capabilities.  The group showed that glioblastoma can be visualized by SHG and collagen alignment can be correlated with tumor invasiveness and patient survival.                                                                                                                                                                                              

Glioblastoma histology slide CC-BY-SA-3.0 

Sarah Erickson-Bhatt: Bridge to a breakthrough

When Sarah Erickson-Bhatt lost her mother to breast cancer before she began undergraduate study in 2001, the physics student determined that fighting cancer would become her life’s work.

The question of “how” emerged when she joined the biomedical engineering PhD program at Florida International University. There, she encountered a remarkable technology called optical imaging, which uses harmless near-infrared light to detect and diagnose disease, including breast cancer.

For the past decade, she has been working to perfect this technology and create applications that could save lives.

Today, as a new Morgridge Institute for Research postdoctoral fellow in medical engineering, Erickson-Bhatt is taking her work full-circle. Having devoted great energy to the technical issues of building instruments, she now will expand her knowledge on the biological underpinnings of cancer.

“I wanted to learn more about breast cancer itself and cancer biology,” says Erickson-Bhatt, who joined Morgridge this summer from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “How can we use these technologies to study the fundamental biology, and not just determine whether cancer is there or not?”


Read the story on the Morgridge Institute for Research News . . .

Sarah Erickson-Bhatt

UW researchers pioneer a camera that can see around corners

From The Cap Times Aug 6, 2016 

A team of University of Wisconsin researchers have received a major grant from the Department of Defense to further develop a sophisticated piece of optical technology: A camera that can see around corners.

The idea behind the groundbreaking tech is that light particles from a bright flash can be collected by camera sensors and analyzed to visualize objects hidden from view. Through recent experiments at the UW, researchers have borne out the theory.

The team used a laser to fire a pulse of light at an angle toward a far wall, resulting in some of the light particles reflecting off the surface and bouncing across objects set up around a corner. Those particles eventually bounce all the way back to near the point of origin, where they're collected by a camera.

"The light comes back, like an echo essentially. And based on what that light looks like, you can reconstruct an object using a computer," said the imaging specialist Andreas Velten.

Velten, a researcher with the Computational Optics Group Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation and the Morgridge Research Institute, is largely responsible for pioneering the "scattered-light" imaging system. 

Velten's field specializes in using computer processing to take imaging beyond simple, visual recreations of what a person could otherwise be able to see — in other words, beyond photography in the traditional sense.

"We want to design imaging systems that allow us to capture information that's beyond the human eye," he said.


Read the story in The Cap Times . . .