When you’re conducting a study focused on easing the sizable medical cost in third world countries – where do you go to conduct research? You’re regional metrology company probably wouldn’t be your first thought, but that’s exactly where Professor Sinniah and his research students went!
Dr. Sinniah is a professor of chemistry at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. His three research students are chemistry and bio-chemistry majors. They were nearing the end of their summer project when a problem arouse. The equipment being used to perform the tests was proving to be incompetent, for the students needed to use high-quality metrology equipment in order to generate results.
The purpose of their study was to determine if mesh fabric in mosquito nets could serve as a substitute for the medical mesh used in hernia repair surgeries in third world countries. Medical mesh is these regions is very expensive and often unaffordable, but mosquito nets are much more economical – priced roughly around $20. If the mosquito material was established as a sufficient substitute to the medical mesh, third world countries could confidently make the switch to the more cost-effective and equally safe solution. While this practice is already in use in some parts of Africa, the Calvin student’s study ultimately confirms the mosquito nets are a suitable, safe and practical alternative.
The students had performed a comprehensive heavy metal analysis of the two materials prior to their visit at Grand Rapids Metrology, however they still needed to measure the break strength of the mesh materials post sterilization. Recall their equipment was not suited for the testing of such materials, the Calvin students needed GRM’s help.
After a brief internet search, Dr. Sinniah came across Grand Rapids Metrology’s website prompting a call to our office. After speaking with our Technical Sales Manager, Seth Damoose, the Calvin team was all set to visit our calibration lab and use our Starrett Force Measurement System 500. This machine is able to grasp cloth and other thin materials. The machine the students used at Calvin was designed to hold metals and plastics making it ineffective for testing mesh.
Dr. Sinniah and his students were very grateful to have access to Grand Rapids Metrology’s calibration lab and Starrett Force Measurement System. They reported the FMS500 to work impeccably for their application. They hope to purchase a force measurement system of their own to be used in upper-level teaching and research laboratories.
Grand Rapids Metrology was more than happy to help the Calvin students with their summer project, one that’s impact will extend far beyond West Michigan.