• 3-D Printed Electronics: It's Now Real

    Princeton University researchers have succeeded in embedding LEDs on a plastic contact lens, opening the door to the use of 3-D printing to produce a range of electronic components, including semiconductors.Although the lure of using 3-D printing technology to create electronic components is great, the challenges are perhaps greater. Nevertheless, when asking the question earlier this year what’s next for 3-D printing, our answer was: printable electronics.Now, researchers at Princeton...
  • Detecting DNA on Your Smartphone

    Not content with developing a lens-free microscope that can detect cancer, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) are working to convert an ordinary smartphone into a fluorescent microscope so powerful it can measure the size of DNA molecules.Fluorescent microscopes work by labeling samples with fluorescent molecules that are activated with a laser. This process gives off different colored light that the microscope can detect and use to build an image of fluorescent-...
  • Need Info on Surgical Medical Device Materials? Try This.

    A page from the ASM International/Granta Design database on surgical medical device materials shows stress/strain graphs of titanium alloys.ASM International and Granta Design have developed a surgical module in the ASM Medical Materials Database. Focusing on materials used in surgical devices, the module combines engineering material properties and biomedical response data with surgical application information.The data include descriptions of surgical devices and the materials from which they...
  • A Lens-free Microscope That Could Detect Cancer

    These days, most cell-level abnormalities such as a cancer and other malignant tumors often require costly high powered optical microscopes to diagnose. That may change, however, as researchers from UCLA are developing a lens-free microscope that can be used to detect these malignant abnormalities with the same accuracy as their larger, more expensive counterparts.The lens-free microscope is one of the latest developments in a series of computational imaging and diagnostic devices developed at...
  • Mind-Controlled Arm Boasts Fine Precision

    This robotic arm used at the University of Pittsburgh offers ten dimensional control of hand movements. Jan Scheuermann, a patient with longstanding quadriplegia, has managed to control a robotic arm with a range of complex human hand movements using a brain–machine interface, according to a story from the Institute of Physics. The maneuverability of the mind-controlled robotic arm has recently increased from seven dimensions to ten (which includes 3-D translation, 3-D orientation, and 4-D hand...
  • Ebola-Detection Chip Could Help Save Lives

    A microchip-based analyzer detects the presence of Ebola in a few microliters of blood, enabling rapid detection of the virusCapable of detecting the Ebola virus in blood samples, an RT-PCR-based portable analyzer is equipped with a microchip from STMicroelectronics.Tragically, thousands of people have died from Ebola in the desperately poor countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. While far from a cure, a portable analyzer from STMicroelectronics (Geneva) and Clonit, together with with...
  • Could This Ultrasound Chip Disrupt Medical Imaging?

    Imagine a world where imaging a person’s chest could be as simple as grabbing your smartphone and capturing a vivid 3-D image of what’s inside. This is the vision of entrepreneur Jonathan Rothberg, who has raised $100 million to create an innovative medical imaging device that could be “as cheap as a stethoscope.”Rothberg says he raised the money in an effort to provide a cheap alternative medical imaging device, while also making doctors “100 times as effective,” he said in a story from MIT...
  • Wireless Implants Knock Out Infection Before Dissolving

    Silk – it’s not just for stitches anymore, and remote controls aren’t just for TVs, either.A team of researchers from Tufts University and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana put them together to develop a resorbable electronic implant that eliminated a staphylococcus aureus infection in mice by delivering heat to infected tissue when triggered by a remote wireless signal.The technique had previously been demonstrated only in vitro, but the silk and magnesium devices harmlessly...
  • Building a Cell on Silicon

    Cells are complex structures, making them difficult to replicate in the lab. But a team of Israeli scientists have taken a step in that direction by engineering a silicon chip that can produce proteins from DNA, the most basic function of life.The system, which was designed to be relatively simple, suggests a path to mimicking life with partly manufactured components, according to an article from MIT Technology Review. Roy Bar-Ziv, a materials scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in...
  • How to Get the Most Out of Microextrusion

     Minute processing adjustments for medical tubing can be extremely challenging. Image: American KuhneAlthough the fundamental extrusion process remains unchanged, microextrusion requires increased precision and accuracy compared with the "traditional" extrusion process, according to Bill Kramer, president of Ashaway, RI–based American Kuhne, which provides extruders and extrusion systems. "Medical processors should beware of equipment that is only scaled down from a larger machine versus...
  • A Tiny Spectrometer that Costs 10 Bucks

    Oakland, CA–based startup NanoLambda has devised a $10 spectrometer-on-a-chip that it says can be used for an array of medical applications. Described in sister publication EE Times, the device could be used to analyze the tongue and internal organs."Fusion or multi-mode sensing abilities will definitely bring the solution to next-generation healthcare," said NanoLambda CEO Bill Choi to EE Times.It could also be used for a range of consumer-facing applications. For instance, it could be used to...
  • In the Future, Pulse Oximeters Could Be Wearable and Disposable

    The pulse oximeter sensor prototype makes use of organic electrodes.Fitness-tracking wearables are all the rage now. While most of the devices primarily monitor basic activity levels, a growing number of devices, such as Apple’s forthcoming iWatch are adding pulse and number of calories burned to those list of metrics.Researchers at University of California, Berkeley are laying the groundwork to enable future wearables to track blood-oxygen levels as well.While a number of pulse oximeters are...
  • How 3-D Printing Is Solving a Stent Problem

    Stents that keep patients’ airways open haven’t changed much in the past 20 years, according to George Cheng, MD, a pulmonary and critical care fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.Traditional tracheal stents are made of metal, silicone, or a combination of the two. They can move around within the trachea or lodge in the mucous membranes, creating a benign tumor, according to Cheng’s mentor and research advisor, Adnan Majid, MD, director of the fellowship in interventional...
  • Why Women Are Embracing Biomedical Engineering

    Is it possible that women could end up dominating biomedical engineering—or at least gain some workforce parity with men in coming years?Shreya Chandrasekhar, a graduate student in SJSU's biomedical engineering program, says many women are drawn to the field out of altruism. It is still a pretty open question. But one had to at least hope for more gender diversity after a recent informal talk with about a dozen San Jose State University biomedical engineering students at BIOMEDevice San Jose....
  • Forget IoT: The Internet of Moving Things Is Where It Is At

    An mCube business card shows the evolution of the firm's motion sensors from a package measuring 3 x 3 mm to a future generation measuring 1.1 x 1.1 mm. Not content with the run-of-the-mill Internet of Things (IoT), a startup named mCube says it is helping to drive something better: the Internet of Moving Things.It’s been a good year for the San Jose, CA–based company, which makes tiny motion sensors. Its next-generation product will measure 1.1 mm by 1.1 mm. In November, the firm was named “...
  • 7 Employers You Might Want to Work At

    Workplace review site Glassdoor recently announced its 2015 Employees’ Choice Awards, which selected 50 companies based on average reviews from workers.Frankly, there was a dearth of medical device companies included in the Best Places to Work list. But there were a decent number of employers with ties to the medtech industry.Here are seven employers among the honorees that medical device experts should take note of:1. GoogleNo. 1 among Best Places to WorkWhile not usually considered a...
  • Wireless Brain Sensor Could Change Neuroscience Paradigm

    The wireless sensor would free patients from having to be tethered to a nearby computer via a cable. A wireless brain sensor developed at Brown University could open new doors for neuroscience, enabling subjects to be monitored in natural environments rather than to be tethered to a nearby computer via a bulky cable plugged into the patient’s head.“We hope that the wireless neurosensor will change the canonical paradigm of neuroscience research, enabling scientists to explore the nervous system...
  • A Wearable for the GI Tract

    Before coming to medtech, Steve Axelrod, PhD, started out as an elementary particle physicist. Now, his interest is in developing technology to help people with gastrointestinal disorders, a problem affecting as many as 1 in 4 people. “I have a strong personal connection here,” Axelrod explained at last week’s BIOMEDevice San Jose. “In the summer of 2007, I spent five weeks sleeping on an air mattress in the hospital next to my 13-year-old daughter who had just been diagnosed with Crohn’s...
  • The Artificial Knee Meets the Internet of Things

    In 2012, I wrote an article about dream medical devices that could go far to advance healthcare. Included on the list was chip-based orthopedic implants that could communicate information on wear levels, potentially prompting users that an artificial joint needs replacing.The need for technology is high, considering that the patients receiving artificial hips and knees are trending younger, often wanting to lead active lifestyles. Meanwhile, traditional implants are designed for elderly...
  • Now that Medical Devices Have Gone Wireless, Which Protocol to Use?

    Despite the wearables boom and frequent mentions of mobile health technology in the press, the majority of patients still go to their doctor’s offices or a local hospital to have their health evaluated. “I don’t think we are there yet for the true Quantified Self,” said Martin Kohn, MD, in a panel discussion at BIOMEDevice San Jose.The Latitude NXT remote patient management system and communicator from Boston Scientific uses cell signals to send patient data to doctors. So where are we? As a...