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Summary of Reflective Tape on Antennae

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  • Summary of Reflective Tape on Antennae

    Hello fellow Biomechanicists,

    Thank you all for your reply. From the number of people who replied, it
    seems as if many of us are trying new ways to collect kinematic data using
    this reflective material from 3M.

    All in all, we have tried painting the antennae using the reflective
    material from JDL. However, the reflectiveness is not as high as we had
    expected. We are currently using a half-mirror setup and have purchased a
    beamsplitter (50 Reflectance/50 Transmittance). We will be working over
    the next 2 weeks using this new beamsplitter in the hopes that the paint we
    bought will do the job.

    Also, we will be measuring the weight of the antennae with the tape on it
    or with paint on it to determine if adding such material will affect the
    cockroach's moment of inertia. Furthermore, we are collaborating on new
    software that will be able to digitize all the video images. Using the
    reflective tape, we hope that we will be able to create enough contrast so
    that the computer can pick up the feature points on the organism of interest.

    I am very thankful for the following people who have graciously spent their
    time in replying back with suggestions...

    Chuck Bell - Duke Biology
    Catherine G Ambrose - Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Texas - Houston
    Jeremy Houser - JSC NASA
    Larry Fennigkoh - Milwaukee School of Engineering
    Ruth Mayagoitia-Hill - Staffordshire University
    Jeremy Bauer - Oregon State University
    Michael Pierrynowski - McMaster
    Glenn N. Williams - University of Delaware
    Brian Moyer - University of Pittsburgh
    Chris Poletto - NINDS NIH
    Cheryl A. Pattin - Triodyne, Inc.
    Mark Musolino - UPMC Health System
    Micheal Feltner - Pepperdine

    These are the responses I received over the past week.

    1. Use the reflective paint and apply it to the antennae from JDL Industries.
    2. Sandwich the antennae using squares or circles
    3. Spray paint the antennae using the reflective material
    4. Glue reflective powder on the antennae.
    5. Use epoxy to stick the tape onto the antennae using tweezers and
    6. Try bird-banding style, as on bird legs, by attaching a strip of
    Scotchlite to itself. This may not be rigid enough for your purposes, but
    that depends on antenna morphology, i.e., hourglass regions, and your
    skill. Another area to consider is directly on a joint, but that may change
    the bending or torsional stiffness of the antennae, also a problem if you
    are hoping to avoid changing the fluid-solid coupling of the moving organ.
    7. Use existing hairs as register pins: make the strip like a bird band,
    but leave one or more holes for hairs or spinous processes to pass through,
    locking it longitudinally in place.
    8. Have you tried stripping the adhesive off the Scotchlite and using
    cyanoacrylates directly? (Are the roaches actively grooming the markers off?)
    9. Sew a small punched piece of Scotchlite into the soft chitin at a joint
    (but see caveat in #1 above).
    10. Drill into the harder chitin (rotary drill, micro-abrasive, heat,
    chemical, ultrasound, laser) to fix a pin to which to attach the marker.
    11. Forget the Scotchlite --- use the glass beads themselves. Obtain them
    from the film or order them as raw materials. Glue the retroreflective
    beads directly onto (or embed them into) the surface of the antennae.
    12. Can you clear and stain a portion of the antennae surface without
    destroying the underlying nerves, etc.? Then one might surgically implant
    the beads just under the surface. Perhaps this can instead be done without
    the prep under the joint membrane, or at one of the locations of the
    sensory papillae, in the pocket. That one assumes that you do not mind
    affecting the feedback loop of those living strain gauges.
    13. Use Paint: deposit (evaporate, sputter coat, spray, brush, dip, dab,
    etc.) a reflective surface onto the antenna.
    14. Depending on the morphological variation between individuals, one could
    first make a *mold* of the desired region of the organ (left and right
    pair), make cast *positive, 3D copies* of the antennae from those, then use
    the 3D copies as forms on which to build a tiny conformal "saddles" to hold
    one or more retroreflective beads. Then either use those saddles directly
    to glue onto the antennae at the proper location, or make an overmold on
    the saddles on the 3D positive copies, which will permit you to make as
    many "bead saddles" as you wish. I would use the finest retroreflective
    power as either a filler in or a surface coat on cast 5-minute epoxy
    saddles. If used as a surface coat, one could fill the tiny saddle volume
    with glass or phenolic microballoons to lighten the saddle. All of this
    stuff is available at good hobby shops.

    If anyone has further questions or comments, please e-mail me. I would
    like to keep this dialogue open in the hopes that our discussion will lead
    to a better way to capture kinematic data.

    Randy Wei

    Randy L. Wei Associate Editor -
    Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    University of California, Berkeley Journal of Young Investigators
    2400 Durant Ave. BC-341
    Berkeley, CA 94720
    cell: (510) 384 - 2009 Homepage:

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