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UCLA Researchers Create Microscale Alphabet Soup

LithoParticles could be used to develop tiny pumps and for medical applications.

Thomas Claburn

March 23, 2007

1 Min Read

UCLA scientists have created billions of fluorescent microscale "LithoParticles" shaped like alphabet letters in a liquid solution.

The letters demonstrate "the power of a new method, at the microscale, to create objects of precisely designed shapes that are highly uniform in size," says Thomas Mason, a UCLA chemistry professor and a member of the university's California NanoSystems Institute. The research could lead to the development of tiny pumps, medical motors and containers, and security applications, Mason says.

Meantime, the scientists are playing a microscale Scrabble with laser tweezers.

About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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