• A Coating That Could Thwart Infection in Medical Implants

    Researchers believe they may have found a potential game changer when it comes to medical implants, with the development of a bacteria-repelling coating that could help increase the success of implanted devices.In a study from A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), researchers reported encouraging results from a material composed of polyelectrolyte multilayers, onto which a number of specific bonding molecules, known as ligands, were attached to create a unique biomedical coating...
  • This Brain-Computer Interface Executes Thought Based Commands

    Brown University's head-worn wireless brain-computer interface transmitter enables patients to control electronic devices with their thoughts. Research out of Brown University has yielded some of the most exciting results in brain-computer interface (BCI) technology yet, with the development of a new wireless transmitter that could give paralyzed patients a practical way to control various electronic devices with their thoughts.A project that is nearly a decade in the making, researchers from...
  • So You Want to Develop a Wearable Device...

    Zephyr Anywhere’s BioPatch, which measures a patient's vital signs and beams them to caregivers, is an example of a medical-grade wearable.Wearables are huge these days, and there is real potential in the field. Not convinced? While it is true that the only wearables to gain traction thus far resemble pedometers on steroids, a growing number of wearables are measuring medically relevant data.And while these are early days for wearable devices and it is anybody’s guess where we end up five to 10...
  • Getting Entangled in Quantum Computing

    Drawing of the silicon ring resonator with its access waveguide. Courtesy of Università degli Studi di Pavia, through The Optical Society.An international team of researchers has reportedly achieved a significant step toward the development of quantum computing, with the creation of a new micro-ring that can entangle individual particles of light, a breakthrough that could pave the way toward quantum computing capabilities.The Optical Society reports that the new micro-ring...
  • 5 Things You Need to Know About Energy Harvesting

    Max DonelanEnergy harvesting seems like a pretty common sense idea: medical devices powering themselves from the human bodies they serve. But it really isn’t that simple, says Max Donelan, PhD, associate professor of biomedical physiology and kinesiology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. There are plenty of lessons to be learned.Donelan should know. He is a scientific adviser to a Simon Fraser spinout called Bionic Power that he helped start in 2007. The company’s...
  • How Microsoft Is Getting Wrapped Up in Wearables

    Microsoft has taken an interesting spin on wearable technology, as researchers revealed a smart scarf that has been designed to work in tandem with a smartphone—and eventually work with biometric and emotion sensing devices.The smart scarf contains a sensor that is designed to help determine when you’re feeling down, and react with a warming sensation that helps soothe the body, according to a report from MIT Technology Review. Researchers believe this sensor could be particularly useful for...
  • Validate Your Process Using Design of Experiments

    Design of experiments enables engineers to demonstrate or understand a process while providing information required for achieving regulatory compliance.A valuable method for predicting process variability, design of experiments (DOE) allows medical device engineers to validate their processes in order to improve product quality. On February 12 from 10:45 to 11:15 a.m., Robert Launsby, president of Launsby Consulting, will present a workshop at MD&M West exploring the advantages of the DOE...
  • 5 Risky MIT Research Ventures You Should Know About

    High-risk investments can yield high returns. And such projects are exactly why MIT has set up the Amar G. Bose research grant. The university wants to help fund potentially revolutionary research pursuits that might sound too good to be true and, as such, might encounter difficulties in attracting investment cash.  Many of these ideas are considered impossible to fund through traditional sources, and thus often go unexplored. Such endeavors were of particular interest to Bose, an engineer...
  • Designing Devices to Be More Useful Than You Think

    Andy SchaudtSure, you can build what seems like a really high tech medical device, but is it going to be useful in an actual healthcare environment? And is the wireless functionality you’ve spent so much time integrating into that new device actually going to be useful?With so many changes taking place in the healthcare industry, such answers are rapidly changing for Andy Schaudt, director of usability services for the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare at the MedStar Institute for...
  • Elastic Waves Boost Medical Imaging

    Elastic waves are an interesting breed of acoustic sound waves that pass through objects leaving a trail of ripples and shockwaves in their path. These elastic waves travel at the surface, or even through material, without causing any permanent changes to the makeup of the substance. In recent years, researchers have been studying these elastic waves, in the hopes of understanding how they move through materials in an effort to better control them to our benefit.Recently, researchers from the...
  • How Lasers Make Super-Hydrophobic Materials

    Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York have taken a significant step in developing hydrophobic materials, with a new technique that enables them to transform metals into extremely water repellent hydrophobic materials, all without the need for temporary coatings.Super-hydrophobic materials have become more and more desirable for a number of different applications such as rust prevention and anti-icing. Within medtech, hydrophobic materials are of interest for woundcare...
  • Wearable for the Tongue Tackles Traumatic Brain Injury

    This device, which is now in development by Helius Medical and Ximedica, helps people overcome mental deficits caused by traumatic brain injury.Here’s a wearable unlike any you have ever heard of before: a device that connects to the tongue to stimulate the cranial nerves to help treat traumatic brain injury.  The device, which is in development by Helius Medical Technologies (Vancouver) and Ximedica (Providence, RI), was inspired by the work of Paul Bach-y-Rita, an American...
  • How a New Coating Could Enable Tinier Electronics in the Body

    An electrode with Amplicoat, inside an operating room-type environment. Photo courtesy of Biotectix.A University of Michigan spin-off has found a more durable way to enhance electrodes with conductive polymer coatings. The development could further enable the miniaturization of implantable medical devices.An undisclosed medical device company is seeking a CE mark this year for a novel electrophysiology (EP) catheter that uses Biotectix’s Amplicoat, with plans to win an FDA approval soon after,...
  • Look Ma, No Gel: Dry Electrodes Could Enable Longterm EKG

    Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a potentially transformative technology that can seamlessly track electrophysiological signals, such as electrocardiography (EKG) and electromyography (EMG) signals. The silver nanowire sensors conform to a patient’s skin, creating close contact, according to North Carolina State. Image credit: Yong Zhu. The new sensor could potentially be used for long-term monitoring, and is just as accurate as the “wet electrode”...
  • Amazon VP on Wearables, DNA Sequencing, and Studying Cell Biology

    Amazon’s latest vice president Babak Parviz, PhD, is a symbol of the blurring lines between medical technology and consumer technology. The former director of the secretive Google[x] research facility, Parviz helped innovate both Google Glass and the company’s glucose-sensing contact lens. He has also been involved in a medical diagnostics project that resulted in the founding of a firm called Claros Diagnostics Inc., played a role in developing an inexpensive method of detecting HIV, and has...
  • Avoid Glitches: Validate Your Process Automation Software

    Process validation in the medical device sphere is no simple matter. To get a grasp on how to solve tough software process automation glitches, MD&M West will be offering two sessions on overhauling process validation. On Thursday, February 12 from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m., software experts can participate in a hands-on session focusing on validating process automation software. Headed by Vincent DeFrank, software validation manager at Philips Healthcare, the session will address the kinds of...
  • 6 Reasons 3-D Printing Will Take Over Medtech

    Rob Richards3-D printing has been around for decades. But in medtech, it is still mostly a prototyping technology. The situation could soon change, and 3-D printing could catch on for manufacturing medical devices, says Rob Richards, business development manager for Orchid Design (Shelton, CT), which is part of Holt, MI–based orthopedic contract manufacturer Orchid. In Orchid’s space, about 90% of 3-D printing is used for prototyping, 7% is used to make surgical instruments, and 3%...
  • 20 Highlights of MD&M West 2015

    The huge MD&M West conference and exposition continues its growth trajectory as the show turns 30 this year. Running this year from February 10–12 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, the event will feature a plethora of technologies and an impressive lineup of speakers discussing everything from wearables to innovations that have shaped the medical device industry over the past three decades.February 101. Keynote: Computers We Can Wear | 9:30 a.m. Hear from the man who helped...
  • Controversial Wearable Device Could Debut Soon

    The GoBe wristband is either a revolutionary device, a scam, or something in between. Its maker, HealBe (Moscow), says the device can measure caloric intake, calories burned, heart rate, stress levels, hydration levels, and sleep quality. Available for sale in the U.S. for $299.99, the brand-new device is supposed to start shipping in March. But is it for real?While the device earned over a $1 million on IndieGogo and received considerable buzz last week at CES, it is debatable how accurate the...
  • How 6 Medical Materials Fare in 3-D Printing

    Severine ZygmontMaterials have been a major hurdle when it comes to 3-D printing customized implantable medical devices. But Oxford Performance Materials (South Windsor, CT) has seen some success when it comes to using polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) for patient-specific cranial devices and facial devices.Oxford spent five years honing down its manufacturing process with EOS-made sintering machines so that it could 3-D print PEKK structures layer by layer while still retaining up to 90% of...