Nov 09, 2009, 05:56AM

Michelle Khine finds her inspiration all around

How a children's toy brought about a tech revolution.

In 2006, Michelle Khine arrived at the University of California 's brand-new Merced campus eager to establish her first lab. She was experimenting with tiny liquid-filled channels in hopes of devising chip-based diagnostic tests, a discipline called microfluidics. The trouble was, the specialized equipment that she previously used to make microfluidic chips cost more than $100,000--money that wasn't immediately available. "I'm a very impatient person," says Khine, now an assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine. "I wanted to figure out how I could set things up really quickly."


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