Abstract

The commercially available high pressure optical cells, used in biological research, can only satisfy a limited range of experimental requirements. Current high pressure cell designs only allow for the measurement of single samples, thus limiting the data which researchers can obtain. We present a new design which enables users to introduce a second component to the original sample, while both components are under high pressure. This allows researchers to observe initial molecular interactions at high pressure via fiber optics and record data which was previously unobtainable. The design innovation which distinguishes the high pressure optical cell from existing models is the introduction of a laser-activated stopper system, which separates the two biological samples until the experimenter is ready to mix them. Concurrent Engineering methodologies and tools were used in conjunction with theoretical analysis to develop this innovative system. A high pressure cell prototype was built to further verify the new design and explore new challenges.

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