• Gore Gets Its Close Up

    Gore (Newark, DE) will be featured in a story about great workplaces on "CBS News Sunday Morning" this Sunday, March 15, at 9 a.m. Crew from the show recently visited the company's Barksdale and Elk Mills facilities to film interviews with CEO Terri Kelly and Gore employees Steve Shuster, Mary Tilley, and Jacques Rene. Earlier this year, the company was ranked #15 on Fortune's 2009 "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. This year marks the twelfth consecutive year that Gore has been named to...
  • Gene-Spiked Nanoparticles Nuke Tumors

    As reflected in recent Medtech Pulse postings, there's a lot going on in the area of nanotechnology-based cancer research—the stuff of future medical device inventions. Here's the latest news. Scientists from Cancer Research UK (London) have learned how to use nanoparticles to selectively transport genes into cancer cells in order to kill them. Headed by Andreas Schatzlein from the School of Pharmacy, University of London, the research team discovered not only how to insert antitumor...
  • User Poll: Improving Product Design is Determining Factor for Using New Materials

    When determining whether to incorporate a new-to-market material into a medical device, the deciding factor is whether the material can improve the product. For the User Poll that MPMN has been hosting on its Web site since January, we asked you to choose which factors most affect the likelihood of a new-to-market material being incorporated into the design of your product. As of yesterday, the largest percentage (42.9%) indicated that whether the material can improve the...
  • Report Analyzes Global Nanotechnology Market

    Nanomaterial-enabled healthcare and life sciences products represent a market opportunity in excess of $1 billion in 2009, according to the Web site www.nanoposts.com. Providing analysis of the global market and applications for nanotechnology in medical and pharmaceutical applications is a new report released by Research and Markets. Available for purchase at the organization's Web site, the 213-page report includes analysis of the global market for nanotechnology in healthcare applications...
  • MPMN: The 'Best in the West?'

    The Western Publishing Association (WPA) has named Medical Product Manufacturing News, headquartered in Los Angeles, as a 2009 Maggie award finalist in the Tabloids/Trade category. From the organization's Web site: "One of WPA‘s primary objectives is to promote the pursuit of excellence among publishing professionals... WPA believes recognition is the best way to honor achievement. For more than fifty-eight years, WPA has bestowed awards of excellence to deserving individuals and...
  • Digging for Gold

    Diagram showing the process used to synthesize gold nanoparticles from soybeans and water. Last week, Medtech Pulse reported on a breakthrough invention for treating cancer that uses gold nanoparticles to seek and destroy tumor cells without affecting healthy tissue. Indeed, scientists, medical device manufacturers, and medical practitioners have high hopes for nanoparticles. But with their production expected to climb dramatically in the coming years, researchers are...
  • Microtubes Sprout Up in the Strangest Places

    Behold the spontaneous growth of microtubes. Although this notion sounds somewhat like a magic trick of sorts, it's science, rather than magic, that's responsible for this impressive feat. A team of researchers from the University of Glasgow (Scotland, UK) has achieved the spontaneous assembly and real-time growth of tiny tubes ranging in diameter from 1 to 120 µm. To grow the tubes, the researchers submerged small polyoxometalate (POM) crystals in an aqueous solution containing a low...
  • Nanoparticles Wage War on Cancer

    Transmission electron microscope image of highly monodisperse nanorods used in cancer therapies. A graduate student and biomedical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has made a splash in the area of nanomedicine with two breakthrough methods for treating cancer—one involving a new class of cancer therapies and another for enhancing drug delivery to tumors. Combining a range of disciplines, from nanotechnology to engineering and medicine,...
  • Teknor Apex Separates Production Lines for Nonphthalate Compounds

    Teknor Apex Co. (Pawtucket, RI) has separated production of medical-grade PVC compounds that contain DEHP and other phthalate plasticizers from that of compounds plasticized with nonphthalate alternatives. The company manufactures and supplies PVC-based compound materials for medical device manufacturing and other industries. The decision to dedicate separate production lines to produce compounds for manufacturers seeking alternatives to DEHP and other phthalates is a response to industry...
  • Millstone Medical Opens New Facility

    A dedicated mechanical inspection area is one benefit of Millstone's new facility. Service provider Millstone Medical Outsourcing (Fall River, MA) has announced that it has opened the doors to a second operating facility in Fall River, MA. The addition of the 30,000 sq-ft facility to the company's existing operations at its original Fall River plant and its Memphis, TN–based facility amounts to an estimated 95,000 sq ft of total operating space. Dedicated to...
  • Using the Brain to Fight Obesity

    Two medical device makers are in the process of developing methods for combating obesity that rely on neuromodulation, regulating how the brain sends neural signals to the stomach. However, while EnteroMedics Inc. (St. Paul, MN) is now testing a device that blocks signals from the brain, Leptos Biomedical Inc. (Fridley, MN) is working on a device that will stimulate the brain to send signals. The body's autonomic nervous system has two types of nerves for controlling bodily functions such as...
  • FDA Examines BPA in Medical Devices

    A common chemical found in many polycarbonates and epoxy resins, Bisphenol A (BPA) is no stranger to controversy. In the past several years, BPA has been the subject of intense scrutiny stemming from reports of it leaching out of such products as aluminum cans and baby bottles. Toxicity experts have expressed "some concern" about exposure of children and infants to BPA. In light of this concern, FDA is now turning its attention to whether BPA-containing plastic parts used in medical devices may...
  • Silk Worms Its Way into Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery

    Serica Technologies Inc. (Medford, MA) has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its SeriScaffold technology, a silk-based biomaterial developed for tissue regeneration. A bioengineered material for soft-tissue repair applications, SeriScaffold has the potential to serve as an off-the-shelf bioresorbable support for the long-term repair of weakened or damaged connective tissue, according to the manufacturer. For the approximately 60,000 women each year who undergo reconstructive surgery...
  • Accel Plastics Acquires Elixir Assets

    Plastics processing services provider Accel Plastics Inc. (Auburn, WA) has acquired the assets of now-closed Elixir Industries, Custom Thermoformed Plastics division (Vancouver, WA). Assisted by Stopol Business Services, the merger and acquisition consulting arm of plastic processing equipment supplier Stopol Inc. (Solon, OH), Accel now owns Elixir's book of business, including sales records, files, and tooling so that Accel can support Elixir's former customer base. Elixir closed its Vancouver...
  • MRI Redesign Could Improve User Experience

    An antenna interacts with the sample via a travelling electromagnetic wave. Its magnetic component B excites nuclear oscillations and receives the resonance signals. Image credit: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. Patients suffering from claustrophobia rejoice: a new MRI design may enable a more-comfortable user experience. Conventional MRI designs rely on near-field coupling, which requires that the detector is as close to the subject as possible, hence the...
  • Diamonds: A Heart Pump's Best Friend

    The inflow opening of an infant-size Jarvik blood pump. The black material on the cage is the diamond coating. Advanced Diamond Technologies Inc. (ADT) has agreed to supply diamond coatings to Jarvik Heart Inc. (JHI) to improve the blood contacting surfaces of heart pumps that are currently under development. Known as UNCD, the thin and smooth diamond surface inhibits the formation of blood clots inside the heart pumps and reduces the need for blood-thinning medications. In...
  • Ironing Out Assembly at the Nanoscale

    A magnetic solution enabled the self-assembly of complex nanostructures. Image credit: Duke University. Magnetic attraction may be the key to sophisticated self-assembling nanostructures, according to researchers at Duke University and the University of Massachusetts. Although scientists have been able to produce simple structures from a single particle type in the past, the researchers claim that this project represents the first time that complex structures have been...
  • MD&M West 2009: A Real Crowd Pleaser

    Bustling aisles, busy booths, long lines at the concessions stands. That's what the Anaheim Convention Center looked like February 10-12 at MD&M West. Times may be tough, but upwards of 16,000 people from far and wide made their presence felt at the world's largest event for medical device manufacturers. A fixture in Southern California for 25 years, the show recorded an increase in attendance of 4-5% over last year and attracted 2200 exhibiting companies. According to Canon Communications...
  • Webinar Combats Kids' Lack of Interest in Engineering

    The American Society for Quality (ASQ; Milwaukee) has made a Webinar titled "Real World of Engineering" available for free on its Web site. Celebrating National Engineers Week, the organization is presenting the Webinar out of concern for ensuring a future work force of highly educated and skilled engineers. The organization's goal in presenting the Webinar is to get more young people interested in the field and to get parents and members of industry to further encourage kids to pursue careers...
  • How Sweet It Is to Grow Vascular Networks

    Who hasn't stared in awe at a cotton candy machine as its spins the tangled fibrous web of the sticky treat? Researchers from New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Cornell University have. But rather than evoking images of county fairs, carnivals, and circuses, the sticky threads served as inspiration for creating complex artificial vascular networks in engineered tissue. Despite the progress that has been made in tissue engineering, development of complex organs has been inhibited by an inability...