• Why Lean and Six Sigma Should Matter to You

    Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma principles are more important for the medical device industry than ever before, says Dave Schleder, director of OEM/international operations at B. Braun (Allentown, PA).That’s because these decades-old production philosophies can go a long way in helping medical device companies respond to the increased cost pressures and quality requirements they are facing, Schleder says.Dave Schleder is director of OEM and International Operations at B. Braun’s OEM Division....
  • The New Ortho Material Innovation You Need to Know About

    German researchers recently have been engaged in pioneering work involving biodegradable orthopedic materials that are materially strong enough to be suture anchors. The demonstrator for a suture anchor made of iron-tricalcium phosphate (FE-TCP)is only slightly larger than a match head, according to Fraunhofer. (Image courtesy of Fraunhofer)Their innovation involves using powder injection molding to manufacture a suture anchor made of degradable metal-ceramic composites, according to...
  • How a Ubiquitous Device Could Save Even More Lives

    Researchers from MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics have recently discovered an algorithm that could help medical professionals quickly determine whether or not a patient is suffering from acute emphysema versus heart failure, based on readings from a common piece of medical equipment. A capnograph, as shown on WikipediaIn a news release from MIT news, details were revealed about the work of several professors working alongside physicians from Harvard Medical School and the Einstein...
  • This Headpiece Changes Color Through Thoughts

    Brain interface technology has long since been considered the ultimate user interface experience, giving us the power to control computers and mechanical systems with thought alone. While we still have a ways to go before we see a truly noninvasive, long-lasting brain interface device, we are seeing some brilliant advancements in technology that are bringing the idea to life. The color-changing headpiece, as shown on The Unseen's website.For the first time, researchers are utilizing...
  • Google Glass Concerns Continue to Mount

    Google Glass has piqued the interest of consumers and medtech experts from around the globe. But the initial buzz seems to be calming as potential vision and headache issues rise to the fore.A recent study of participants who wore the head-mounted display system found that the glasses create peripheral vision obstruction, creating significant blind spots that could prove to be hazardous.The study—conducted at the University of California, San Francisco and published in a recent issue of the The...
  • Synthetic Collagen Fibers Could Revolutionize Tissue Engineering

    Researchers at Rice University recently published a pair of papers detailing an advanced understanding of collagen fibers, and how they can self-assemble with their sticky ends. Further research could lead to better synthetic collagen for tissue engineering for both cosmetic and reconstructive medicine. Rice University graduate student Katherine Jochim, left, and chemist Jeffrey Hartgerink demonstrated the self-assembly of standalone, sticky-ended triple helices that form collagen, the...
  • How a Tragic Stomach Tumor Led to a New Medical Device

    Sometimes something good can come out of tragedy and heartbreak. That seems to be exactly what happened in the case of the Fitzgeralds, a family who amid the loss of their young daughter achieved a medical device innovation that could shape the lives of others in a positive way.The CareAline Sleeve, as shown on the company's websiteMike and Kezia Fitzgerald were still adapting to life as new parents when doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital found a cancerous tumor in the stomach of their...
  • Why Google Wants to Put Nanoparticles in Your Body

    Google has infiltrated so much of our lives; now it wants to get inside our bodies, via disease-detecting nanoparticles.The tech giant has announced its ambitious project to develop nanoparticles that would be coated with a disease-detecting substance and possibly packed into a pill, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. 5 Ways Google Could Transform Medtech, and Maybe Cheat DeathGoogle’s cofounders may have once downplayed that they’re interested in turning the tech...
  • 3 Questions You Should Ask about Surface Coatings

    Biocoat Inc. (Horsham, PA) plays an important role in the medical device industry with its Hydak-brand immobilized hyaluronan coatings technology, which can be applied on most commonly used polymers and metals using a relatively simple process using conventional coating equipment and curing ovens. Biocoat president and CEO Keith Edwards during his Wednesday presentation at MD&M Minneapolis“We are strictly there for those clients that want lubricity, and they want to be able to...
  • How a Prevalidated Rigid Packaging System May Cut Costs, Save Time

    The BargerVPAK is a prevalidated, off-the-shelf packaging solution.After kicking around the notion of launching an off-the-shelf rigid packaging system for some time, Elkhart, IN–based Barger, which specializes in custom medical packaging solutions, finally pulled the trigger. Upon custom-designing the sterile packaging system for a client, Barger realized its broader potential as a prevalidated stock system for spinal and extremities implants. And the BargerVPAK was born."In our market,...
  • How a Shape Memory Polymer Could Drive Medical Device Innovation

    Shape-shifting thiolene/acrylates could open the door for a whole new host of applications in medtech, according to Walter E. Voit, assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. Walter E. VoitSpeaking Thursday at MD&M Minneapolis, Voit said 3M Co. undertook research on thiol-type polymers in the late 1970s, but shelf life issues and small commercials their adoption.. But it was only in recent years that Voit and fellow researchers at UT Dallas latched...
  • The Top Medical Technologies of 2015 according to the Cleveland Clinic

    Today the Cleveland Clinic announced its annual list of top medical innovations that are most likely to have a major impact on patient care in 2015. Among the various breakthrough technologies is a mobile stroke ambulance, a new quick and painless blood-testing method, and the world’s first dengue fever vaccine.The list of emerging technologies and drug therapies was put together by a panel of 110 Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists, and was announced at this year’s 2014 Medical...
  • What the Target Data Breach Fiasco Should Teach Medtech

    It was one of the major stories in the Twin Cities over the past year: personal data on up to 70 million Target Corp. customers stolen by hackers.Olayinka James Medical device companies actually have a great deal to learn from the story, because the Target hackers didn’t make a frontal assault on the Minneapolis-based company; the hackers came in through a third-part HVAC company’s systems, says Olayinka James, recently promoted to a new chief information security officer (CISO) position...
  • FDA Approves New One-Hour Ebola Test

    The global ebola scare has driven considerable innovation. It seems that not a day goes by that some new anti-ebola technology is announced. We recently reported that a new paper-based diagnostic for the virus was developed.Now, the FDA has temporarily approved a new Ebola test known as FilmArray BioThreat-E, an innovative new test that can produce results in an hour rather than the standard day or two needed for today’s existing methods.The test was developed by bioMérieux, and was designed to...
  • Meet The New Paper-Based Ebola Test

    While ebola fears continue to escalate, be it for rational or irrational reasons, the need for detection and the prevention of any major outbreak continues to be a high priority. The elevated threat level has lead to an innovative new genetic test that can detect the presence of ebola, among other viruses, all with the simple use of a diagnostic paper strip.A photo of the slips of paper that could serve as a diagnostic tool for various microbes.James Collins, a synthetic biologist at Boston...
  • New Battery Can Charge in Minutes

    Scientists in Singapore have developed a new battery technology that could be recharged up to 70% in only two minutes. The potentially revolutionary technology will also have a longer lifespan that can last over 20 years.In a news release from Nanyang Technological University, details were released about the battery that would have potential applications across a wide range of industries from electric cars to power-hungry portable medical devices and machines.NTU’s scientists developed the...
  • Microscopic Devices 'Walk' to Cancer Cells

    Nature has developed a knack for guiding cells, enzymes, and molecules in the body to specific structures and locations. White blood cells easily find their way to the site of an infection, while scar-forming cells easily flock toward the site of a wound. However, replicating this sort of autonomous cell activity to benefit medicine has been a process that has long eluded science for many years. That is, until recently when researchers from MIT demonstrated a brand new target-finding mechanism...
  • Bionic Eye Enables Man to See for First Time in Decades

    Recently, a patient from North Carolina became just the seventh person in the U.S. to have a bionic eye implant activated to help restore his vision.In a news release from Duke University, the world was introduced to Larry Hester, a patient  suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness. At the time of his diagnosis, little was known about the disease, much less any effective treatments. The disease took Hester’s...
  • Device Hacking May Have Become a Homeland Security Issue

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is apparently taking a greater interest in medical device cybersecurity, if a report from Reuters is to be believed.Reuters recently cited a “senior official at the agency” saying Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, or ICS-CERT, is investigating about two dozen cases of suspected medtech cybersecurity flaws. There have been no reported hacking instances, but Homeland Security officials consider the threat great...
  • When Materials Choices Are Not Intuitive

    The look and feel of technology is evolving at a breathtaking clip. Consider how far we have come: it wasn’t long ago that most desktop computers were colored in an unimaginative shade of gray. Early cell phones, too, were roughly the same color and roughly the size of a brick.Now picture the iPad and iPhone and their chic use of glass and aluminum. Clever material choices, coupled with the miniaturization of electronics, have enabled substantial breakthroughs in technology’s ability to evoke a...