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Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(02):30-35. doi:10.1115/1.2013-FEB-1.
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This study explores the application of nanotechnology in the treatment of diseases and creating artificial organs. Nanotechnology enables new types of therapies that do not use drugs. This would enable physicians to treat infections and tumors that resist medication and are difficult to remove surgically. Nanoparticles could also be used as diagnostics. Nanomaterials promise a combination of approaches that may overcome some of these limitations on drug delivery. Researchers believe that nanotechnology can also help us alter natural designs. If tissue engineering represents the promise of the future, then nanomedicine is the emerging reality of the present. Nanotherapeutics to treat pain and infectious diseases are under development as well. Nanotechnology is well suited for delivering medications. Experts have tested that rationally designed nanocarriers can take advantage of size and shape. Nanomedicine is rapidly moving into the mainstream and is poised to increasingly influence the treatment of diseases such as cancer.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(02):30-35. doi:10.1115/1.2013-FEB-2.
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This article discusses various aspects and uses of hydrokinetics in the turbine industry. Hydrokinetics is a rapidly developing field, where both big companies and start-ups can compete equally in engineering and design. Designs for hydrokinetic devices continue to evolve. The most popular hydrokinetic device is the turbine. As these turbines are installed underwater, which is much denser than air, hydrokinetic turbines provide much more power than wind turbines at relatively low water current speeds. Considerable research and development are being conducted on three aspects of hydrokinetics technology: optimization of the devices to maximize their capture of wave energy; overall electromechanical system design; and development of control approaches to maximize power output under a variety of sea states. In addition to the efforts to optimize hydrokinetics, important research is also dealing with critical aspects of site evaluation, seabed mechanics and engineering, environmental impacts, and regulatory compliance. Research shows that interdisciplinary engineering and environmental analysis is at the forefront of identifying potential environmental impacts of hydrokinetics and mitigating them through engineering design.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(02):30-35. doi:10.1115/1.2013-FEB-3.
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This article presents a research that demonstrates the need for experimental validation of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models for complex processes, such as blending. An additional result of the study is that it provided researchers a better understanding of how to use CFD models in general. The principle for blending is the same for all blender-pump designs: the business end of a centrifugal pump will be submerged in the salt solutions in the tank. Lab researchers found that, although CFD provided good estimates of an average blending time, experimental blending times varied significantly from the average. The issue of experimental uncertainty is inherent in CFD modeling as well as in many empirical equations used for modeling and design methods. In order to bring all of this research together, the process variables investigated were the fluid velocities in the tanks and the times required to blend the fluids. The large scatter in experimental data shows that large errors can be obtained from CFD models in the absence of experimental correction factors.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(02):30-35. doi:10.1115/1.2013-FEB-4.
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This article presents a study on new electric power gas turbines and the advent of shale natural gas, which now are upending electrical energy markets. Energy Information Administration (EIA) results show that total electrical production cost for a conventional coal plant would be 9.8 cents/kWh, while a conventional natural gas fueled gas turbine combined cycle plant would be a much lower at 6.6 cents/kWh. Furthermore, EIA estimates that 70% of new US power plants will be fueled by natural gas. Gas turbines are the prime movers for the modern combined cycle power plant. On the natural gas side of the recently upended electrical energy markets, new shale gas production and the continued development of worldwide liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities provide the other element of synergism. The US natural gas prices are now low enough to compete directly with coal. The study concludes that the natural gas fueled gas turbine will continue to be a growing part of the world’s electric power generation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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