• An Exoskeleton First: FDA Clears ReWalk

    The ReWalk Personal System has become the first FDA-cleared wearable, motorized device to aid paraplegics—another first when it comes to what exoskeleton technology is enabling in the medical device field. The device was cleared via the de novo 510(k) classification process.ReWalk Personal SystemDeveloped by Argo Medical Technologies (Marlborough, MA), the ReWalk had already been on the market in Europe since 2012. The company has distribution partners in Great Britain, France, Italy,...
  • Why Designing Hardware with a Purpose Is Worth the Cost

    By Matt Dharm, JumpGen SystemsIt happened again: After screening multiple vendors, the computer hardware you’ve selected to use in your new medical device project is discontinued shortly thereafter. You’re left thinking: There has to be a more efficient, long-term solution to getting the components you need.Medical equipment manufacturers face unprecedented pressure in managing the supply-chain and fulfillment process. They must develop and commercialize innovative products faster at...
  • Bionic Vision Breakthrough Mimics Natural Eyesight

    A step along the road to the restoration of full-fidelity sight was achieved by a team of Stanford researchers who have used the electrical stimulation of retinal cells to produce the same patterns of activity that occur when the retina sees a moving object.                              Chichilnisky and colleagues used an electrode array to record...
  • Brain Chip Breakthrough Enables Paralyzed Man to Move Hand

    Using a brain chip smaller than a pea, a paralyzed man was able to move his arm. Ian Burkhart, a 23-year-old quadriplegic from Dublin, OH, was able to move a paralyzed hand—using only his thoughts thanks to a brain implant known as Neurobridge.The technology, developed by researchers at Ohio State University and the nonprofit research organization Battelle, is said to mark one of the first times that a chip implanted inside the brain of a paralyzed patient has allowed the patient to once again...
  • Nanobots Getting Tangled Up? The Octopus May Have an Answer

    In research that may one day find application in keeping nanobots from sticking to each other or tying themselves in knots, a study published in Current Biology details a Hebrew University of Jerusalem research team’s efforts to understand how octopuses avoid getting tangled up in their own long, flexible, suction cup-lined arms.Such research matters in the medical device space, because nanobots could be a medtech game-changer in coming years. (For example, Topol as chief academic...
  • 3-D Printing Creates Ultralight, Ultrastiff Nanoscale Geometry

    A high-precision 3-D printing process called projection microstereolithography has been employed by engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to construct microlattices with nanoscale features that combine great stiffness and strength with ultralow density.The new design, which may set new records for stiffness for a given weight, is called a stretch-dominated octet truss unit. The development is described in “Ultralight,...
  • Researchers Demonstrate Self-Powered Cardiac Pacemaker

    A research team headed by Keon Jae Lee, PhD, of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and Boyoung Joung, MD, of the Division of Cardiology at Severance Hospital of Yonsei University, has developed a self-powered artificial cardiac pacemaker that is semi-permanently operated by a flexible piezoelectric nanogenerator.A self-powered cardiac pacemaker powered by a flexible piezoelectric energy harvester (Courtesy KAIST...
  • Why Atomo Diagnostics' HIV Test Is an MDEA Champ

    Atomo Diagnostics (Sydney, Australia) is a young company that is already won a slew of awards for developing a rapid HIV test known as the AtomoRapid HIV. Just last week, at the  Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) ceremony held in New York, the device was awarded the prestigious “Best in Show” prize.Unlike the majority of testing kits on the market, which have several disparate components, the AtomoRapid is a single device that integrates lancing, collection, and delivery features in...
  • If Your Medical Device Was Hacked, Just Try to Prove It

    By Shelby Kobes, MPMN Contributor Now that wireless device technology has advanced into the medical field, there could be a whole host of legal and ethical issues around harvesting data off devices to effectively catch and prosecute a hacker in the event of an attack. A picture Shelby Kobes took of a pacemaker's electronic innards.For now, the issues that arise in developing a chain of custody for this type of data could allow for hackers to use legal loopholes to disallow evidence....
  • 5 Things Needed to Make Mass-Produced Organs a Reality

    The potential of lab-created organs to improve healthcare is huge, considering the substantial number of patients around the globe waiting for transplants. But creating lab-grown organs is no easy feat, and no manufacturing platforms now exist devoted to mass-produce custom tissue at the patient’s bedside.To lay the groundwork for the creation of such a platform, researchers from North Carolina State University (NC State; Raleigh, NC) and Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC) are joining...
  • Scientists Invent Flexible, Stretchable Circuits with 3-D Printer

    A liquid-alloy pattern 3-D printed in a rubber-like polymer forms a network of sensors. (Courtesy  Rebecca Kramer/Purdue University)Researchers at the Purdue University School of Mechanical Engineering (West Lafayette, IN) have developed a technique to embed a liquid-alloy pattern inside a rubber-like polymer to form a network of flexible sensors.These flexible circuits might be used to produce 'soft machines' made of elastic materials and liquid metals for potential applications in...
  • A Medtech Materials Catch-22

    The medical device industry is stuck in something of a Catch-22 as far as materials are concerned. Only new materials that are reasonably priced and backed by substantial data are attractive to medical device designers. After all, what good are cutting-edge new materials that are unsafe and contribute to wasteful healthcare spending? But creating new materials is a costly enterprise, as is adapting those new materials for mass-production. Furthermore, gathering substantial clinical data to...
  • Nanotech Breath Test Can Detect Lung Cancer

    A device developed by a team of Israeli, American, and British cancer researchers is capable of accurately detecting lung cancer and identifying its stage of progression.The breathalyzer-type tester, embedded with a nanotech chip dubbed the NaNose, can literally "sniff out" cancer tumors. The cancer sniffer was developed by Nir Peled, MD, PhD, of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine; Hossam Haick, PhD, the inventor of the NaNose technology, of the Technion – Israel Institute of...
  • Scientists Look to Spiders to Create New Adhesive Methods

    University of Akron (UA; OH) polymer scientists have created synthetic duplicates of patterns used by spiders when constructing webs that may lead to stronger and more efficient commercial and biomedical adhesives that could, for example, potentially attach tendons to bones or bind fractures.“This adhesive architecture holds promise for potential applications in the area of adhesion science, particularly in the field of biomedicine where the cost of the materials is a significant constraint,”...
  • Researchers Trigger Tooth Repair with Low-Power Laser

    Yesterday we wrote about a pair of King's College London researcher/dentists who have developed a technique to repair tooth decay using electric currents.Today we report on a group of researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute who are working on another way of repairing teeth, this one involving low-powered lasers. The research, which was led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member David Mooney, PhD, and published in Science Translational Medicine by lead author Praveen Arany, DDS, PhD, lays the...
  • DARPA Seeks to Develop Therapeutic Electric Brain Implants

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says, “The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is ... aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain.”Implantable DARPA micro-electrodes can measure brain activity.As part of the BRAIN Initiative, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded contracts to Massachusetts General Hospital (MassGen) and the University of California, San Francisco, (UCSF) to create electrical brain...
  • Customizable Adhesive Technology Fixates on Mobile Medical Devices

    Joe DavinAs the market for mobile, wearable, and patient monitoring devices continues to expand, companies looking to play in these spaces tend to focus on such important aspects as industrial design, ruggedness, algorithms, and miniaturization. But adhesives—critical components of many of these mobile medical devices—often get overlooked until failure or subpar solutions becomes evident, according to Joseph Davin, group president at Scapa Healthcare (Windsor, CT).“All of a sudden, we're...
  • Father Develops Bionic Pancreas for Diabetic Son; Results in NEJM

    It's a good thing that David Damiano's dad is Edward R. Damiano, PhD, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University.When David, now 15, was 11 months old, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Faced with the necessity of managing his son's condition, Damiano senior shifted the focus of his research and began to work on a better way to regulate blood sugar. Fast forward some 14 years, and Damiano's 'bionic pancreas' has been tested on 52 teenagers and adults and has done...
  • Smartphones Could Help Fuel Personal Genomics Revolution

    Editor's note: More information on this topic is available from our sister publication EETimes.After claiming in January that it brought the cost of sequencing a human genome to $1000, Illumina Inc. has set its sights on a consumer product. The company aims to deliver a chip that plugs into a smartphone, bringing genetic medicine to the individual.The smartphone will become "a molecular stethoscope," said Mostafa Ronaghi, Illumina's chief technology officer, speaking at the Imec Tech Forum in...
  • Samsung Joins Medical Wearables Revolution

    (Editor's note: This is a condensed version of an article originally published in our sister magazine, EE Times. The full-length version is available here.)President and CSO of Samsung Electronics Young Sohn is building a platform for devices and apps that let consumers manage their fitness and ultimately, he hopes, their healthcare.Many others are trying to create this revolution, but few are as high profile as Sohn, the chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics.At a developer conference...