World's tiniest hammer to improve treatments for brain injur
To study brain impacts at the nanoscale, researchers built the world's tiniest hammer -- the ?Hammer, or "microHammer." The ?Hammer is a cellular-scale machine capable of applying a variety of mechanical forces to neural progenitor cells, brain-centric stem cells. Eventually, scientists hope to use the hammer to apply forces to neurons and neural tissue.

The hammer piggybacks on existing cell-sorting technology which isolates individual cells for diagnostics and immunotherapy. Once isolated, the machine can apply a range of forces. Post-impact structural and biomechanical analysis will allow scientists study the effects of focus in near real-time.