• How 3-D Printing Can Guide Human Face Transplants

    3-D printers continue to evolve and shape the landscape of the medtech industry, as researchers look for new ways to apply the transformative technology to create medical devices and materials. Recently, researchers began using computed tomography (CT) in tandem with 3-D printing technology to recreate life-size models of human skulls to assist in face transplantation surgery.Researchers and physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have been conducting a study that can assess the...
  • 3 Ways Big Data Can Help Medtech Slash Healthcare Waste

    How can that advance of “Big Data” help healthcare? Perhaps one of the biggest ways is that it can cut out waste in the system, said Martin Kohn, MD, at BIOMEDevice San Jose. Kohn is the chief medical scientist at Sentrian (Aliso Viejo, CA), which bills itself as the first remote patient intelligence company.Formerly working on IBM's Watson project, Kohn is now the chief medical scientist at Sentrian.An average 34% of U.S. healthcare spending is wasteful, according to a recent study from Don...
  • What Medtech Can Learn from Google Maps

    Developers of medical technology should study how GPS continues to disrupt how people navigate from point A to point B, said Alan Greene, MD, chief medical officer of Scanadu (Moffett Field, CA) at BIOMEDevice San Jose. Google Maps is already in its ninth iteration, giving users turn-by-turn navigation instructions with a bevy of contextualized information. For instance, it can show live traffic information, calculate how much an Uber ride will cost, or inform users of transit schedule changes....
  • 3-D Printed Circuitry Could Be Just Around the Corner

    As the days go by we continue to hear more stories about the vast capabilities of 3-D printing technology—from printing working medical devices such as vein finders, to producing actual viable blood vessels from 3-D printing technology. Now, Princeton University researchers are looking to expand the technology a step further by exploring the potential to print functioning electronic circuitry out of semiconductors and other materials.The idea is to eventually use ...
  • How Nanotubes Can Help Healing Hearts Beat On

    Researchers at a children’s hospital in Texas have developed carbon nanotubes that can serve as bridges that allow electrical signals to pass unhindered through new pediatric heart-defect patches, according to a recent news release from Rice University.The project, led by bioengineer Jeffrey Jacot and chemical engineer Matteo Pasquali, set out to create patches infused with conductive single-walled carbon nanotubes. The patches themselves are made of a sponge-like bioscaffold that contains...
  • Tackling Sports Concussions with a Digital Camera

    A small Pittsburgh company called Neuro Kinetics thinks it has a digital camera-based solution for better and faster diagnosis of the concussions that have been plaguing high-impact sports including American football and hockey.The digital imaging and data challenges that Neuro Kinetics has had to overcome as it seeks FDA approval provide a hint at just how difficult speedy diagnosis of concussions can be.The stakes could not be higher for sports such as American football: The National Football...
  • 4 Consumerization Strategies Medtech Need to Learn Fast

    Andrew AtwellIt’s official: the consumerization of healthcare is now a huge trend, and evidence of it is everywhere. But what should medical device companies do about it? There are four key things they should keep in mind, Andrew Atwell, principal at Samsung Open Innovation Center, said Wednesday at BIOMEDevice San Jose.1. Free the data.There are tons of devices in the world right now that can gather health information. But to really drive healthcare forward—improving outcomes while...
  • How Biological Circuits Could Be a Next Big Thing

    Yeast cells (middle) are wired together like electronic components, communicating not with electrical wires, but with chemicals that only plug into cells with the proper receptor. (Image: MIT)Ever heard of biological circuits? Odds are you will, according to a recent report in EE Times.Researchers have been engaged in pioneering work in which they "wire" naturally occurring cells into a circuit that performs a new function, such as filling in for the dopamine-generating cells destroyed by...
  • The Band-Aid of The Future

    A new technology known as VetiGel could transform how medical professionals treat wounds and address situations involving serious bleeding. The product was developed by Joe Landolina, founder and CEO of Suneris, the company now preparing the technology for the open market.The VetiGel technology at work.According to Bloomberg News, the new technology could be a game changer when it comes to wound healing, and is said to be able to stop severe bleeding in as little as 20 seconds. The gel-like...
  • Converting 2-D Textiles into 3-D Medical Devices

    BIOMEDevice San Jose exhibitor J-Pac Medical (Somersworth, NH) has a knack for thinking outside of the box. For instance, the company managed to take blister packaging and convert it into a diagnostic product that is receiving international attention from diagnostic companies.The product is but one example of the evolution the firm has undergone in the past three decades—an evolution many medical device contract manufacturers have been going through. The company’s roots lie in doing...
  • How Nanotech Could Improve Imaging Tech

    Image courtesy of RutgersA new potentially lifesaving imaging technique developed at Rutgers University uses nanotechnology to reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions deep inside the body, according to a report in Qmed's sister media site European Medical Device Technology. The researchers utilized dyes made out of nanocrystals from rare earth elements. The nanocrystals react to shortwave infrared light with fluorescence. Past fluorescent dyes that react to this kind of...
  • 4-D Printing Could Come Sooner Rather Than Later

    The arrival of 4-D printing—what Skylar Tibbits at MIT calls "programmable materials that build themselves"—could be sooner than one might think, medtech industry analysts tell European Medical Device Technology. Related Slideshow: Coolest Technologies of 2014For example, 4-D printed neurovascular coils could soon reach the prototype stage, says Venkat Rajan, an analyst for Frost & Sullivan. “Recently, advances with the coils involve having them covered with bioreactive coatings that...
  • How 3-D Printing Could Help Medtech Right Now

    The potential applications of 3-D printing are vast, and include everything from making synthetic tissue and organs to custom medical devices—but such innovations could be years if not decades away.For now, medtech industry insiders need to identify how 3-D printing can help them meet their most pressing need: developing innovative medical devices in a manner that helps them save time and money, and reduce the risk inherent in new product development.Michael Patton, MD says the greatest current...
  • This Ultrasound Technique Can Penetrate Bone

    Researchers recently developed a technique that enables ultrasound to infiltrate both bone and metal, using custom structures that offset distortion usually caused by the “aberrating layers.”In the future, researchers may be able to eliminate ultrasound image distorting when bone or metal interferes or blocks the waves creating the image, according to a news release from North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC). Tarry Chen Shen, a PhD student at NC State and lead author of the paper...
  • The Long Goodbye to DEHP-plasticized PVC

    While DEHP is still common in a range of medical devices, available alternatives are enabling manufacturers to shift to the use of less-fraught materials By Rudi Gall, Raumedic Inc.To Read Other Guest Blogs, go to:Plastics and Metals Team Up in Medical Device AppsThe idea of scrapping the use of polyvinylchloride (PVC) materials containing di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) plasticizers is not new. However, despite such endeavors, both PVC and DEHP plasticizer still abound in a variety of...
  • Are You Ready for the Metal-to-Plastic Conversion?

    Metals have been used in the healthcare industry for decades to manufacture a range of instruments and implantable medical devices. But because they offer cost-cutting potential and distinct manufacturing advantages, plastics are gradually encroaching on the domain long held by metals. In the following Q&A, Dane Waund, global healthcare market manager at Solvay Specialty Polymers (Alpharetta, GA), probes some of questions and challenges that manufacturers face when they consider embarking...
  • Bionic Limbs: Examining The Promise and Pitfalls of Powered Prosthetics

    From wireless prosthetics that can grip and move, to advanced prosthetic limbs that can mimic the sensation of human touch, the research into high-tech prosthetics has really taken off in the past few years. Lately, much of the focus has been centered around powered prosthetics, and a recent study that examines the technology has revealed not only the promising future of bionic limbs, but the potential dangers as well.Photo of one of the designed malfunctioning powered prosthetics used in the...
  • How This Gecko-Inspired Technology Can Transform Adhesives

    Researchers at Stanford University have created gecko-inspired adhesive grips that can help humans climb more efficiently, and may provide a better grip for robotic arms in factories, and possibly even in space.Researchers at Stanford University have created gecko-inspired adhesive grips that can help humans climb more efficiently, and may provide a better grip for robotic arms in factories, and possibly even in space.The new adhesive technology—discussed in this month’s Journal of the Royal...
  • What Types of Biocompatibility Testing Do You Need to Perform?

    On Thursday, December 4 at BIOMEDevice San Jose, Thor Rollins, in vivo biocompatibility section leader at Nelson Laboratories Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT), will speak on “Materials Selection and Sampling Techniques for Biocompatibility (ISO 10993).” Some of the themes that he will present at the conference are addressed in the following Q&A.MPMN: Please go into ISO 10993-1 and why cytotoxicity testing is used for screening medical device materials.Rollins: Cytotoxicity testing is used for...
  • 3-D Printing Takes on Injection Molding

    Despite the promise of 3-D printing, it has yet to replace injection molding systems, which have historically been substantially less expensive and faster than 3-D printing for most applications.But that could soon change, however.The capabilities of 3-D printing systems are growing at an exponential rate, leading the company 3D Systems to proclaim that Moore’s law could be used to describe its growth trajectory. Originally used to describe the doubling of transistors on integrated circuits...