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36 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2018 Kolk: I started at the university in R&D, then I moved to engineering companies and spent 15 years at EMS companies in different parts of world. Shaughnessy: Is there anything else you would like to talk about? I think Americans need to know more about this part of the world. Kolk: Again, in IT, we have many success sto- ries in Estonia. Skype was first developed in Estonia, for instance, and there are now more unicorns (private companies worth $1 billion) coming up, so we try to repeat the same suc- cess in electronics as well. There are some rather promising young companies now. For example, there is one company called Skele- ton Technologies. They have developed some supercapacitors that are record breaking. They have one factory in Estonia, and they have built a new one in Germany for all the automo- tive and aerospace business. There are some other crazy things now on the boundaries of different sectors. For exam- ple, an Estonian company called Starship Tech- nologies is making delivery robots. These are small, six-wheel things which drive on a side- walk amongst the people, and they can cover the last mile for delivery, be it pizza or per- sonal parcels, or something like that. And it's fully autonomous, so it finds its own way. Now they are cooperating with German automotive industries so that they can have a small mini- van to serve as a base for these guys. The mini- van stops in the middle of a city block, and then these small robots swarm out and deliver parcels. Then they go to next block. They call themselves a logistics company. I call them an electronics company because they have com- plex electronics and processing inside. Shaughnessy: If it can drive down the sidewalk among crowds of people, it must have sonar. Kolk: It has sonar and a bunch of cameras and lot of real-time processing. Shaughnessy: That's fascinating. It sounds like a good time to be in electronics in Estonia. Kolk: Absolutely. Shaughnessy: Thanks for your time, Arno. Kolk: Thank you for the opportunity, Andy. DESIGN007 In a step toward better diagnosis and treatment of digestive conditions, such as inflammatory bowel dis- ease, scientists report in ACS Biomaterials & Engineering that they have developed a first-of-its-kind collagen- based membrane for use in microchips. R e c e n t l y, re s e a rc h e rs developed a way to grow liv- ing cells in microfluidic chips. Commonly called a n organ- on-a-chip, each device is typically composed of a pair of flexible, translucent poly - mers or plastics that sur- round a porous membrane. The researchers produced three types of microfluidic devices. One had no membrane, and the second had a plas- tic-derived membrane. For the third device, the research t eam used collagen to form the membrane. Then, they placed human colon cells in each device. The research - ers concluded t h a t u s i n g c o l l a g e n - b ased mem- branes in organ-on-a-chip de vices enhance the growth, viability and barrier function of human colon cells and that the method likely could be extended to cells from other organs. More Realistic and Accurate Organs-On-Chips

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