June 23, 2014: As inventions go, Yale biomedical engineer Rong Fan’s entry into the innovation sweepstakes is not much to look at. Fan’s device, impressively named a single-cell, 45-plex protein secretion measurement platform, seems to be little more than a sandwich of two sheets of clear silicon rubber the thickness of window glass, each sheet a bit smaller than a credit card and bearing a smaller, darker rectangle divided into 14 vertical sections. It has no flashing lights, no intriguing noises, no moving parts, no signs of Applesque high design. Indeed, the object, displayed in Fan’s bustling laboratory on the first floor of the Daniel L. Malone Engineering Center, doesn’t appear to be doing anything at all.
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