• 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...
  • Using a T-Shirt Printer to Make Medical Circuits

    Researchers in Singapore have managed to print sophisticated electronic circuits with a T-shirt printer. The circuits’ resistors, transistors, and capacitors are made using nontoxic materials such as silver nanoparticles, carbon, and plastics. The circuits can be deposited on a range of materials, including common ones including paper, plastic, and aluminum foil.Led by printed electronics expert Joseph Chang, a Nanyang Technological University professor, the research could be used for a broad...
  • Microneedle Technology Could Treat Major Eye Diseases

    A new treatment option involving microneedle technology is being explored for patients suffering from two major eye diseases: glaucoma and corneal neovascularization. The technology could provide a new avenue to deliver drugs to specific areas within the eye to target different diseases.The details were released in the November 13th issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, a journal supported by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The research was...
  • 4 Questions Mobile Health Designers Should Ask

    Officials at pioneering flexible electronics company MC10 are researching how to adapt their technology to track the progression of Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, ALS, and similar movement disorders. The questions they are asking involve design challenges that most device designers in the mobile health space need to consider. MC10 has technology for flexible, stretchable electronics. (Photo courtesy of MC10)The research stems from a development partnership Cambridge, MA–...
  • This Degradable Material Is Tough Over the Long Haul

    One limitation of many resorbable biomaterials is their strength profile. While offering considerable strength upfront, their durability degrades quickly over time. One company, Novus Scientific (Uppsala, Sweden), sought to solve this problem through a material innovation that involved knitting two degradable polymers together to create a surgical mesh that provides tissue support for six to nine months.The first of the two polymers, a copolymer of glycolide, lactide and trimethylene...
  • How an NBA Player Created a Medical Device

    Former New York Knicks player Jonathan Bender came up with the idea for a Class I medical device after suffering from a knee injury that proved to be a problem on the basketball court. A creative person by nature, Bender had the idea for what would come to be called the JB Intensive Trainer—a device that can relieve stress on joints while strengthening the muscles supporting them. Bender made the first prototype of the device, fashioning it out of parts from the local hardware store.After...
  • 6 Things to Remember When Working with an EMS Provider

    There can be plenty to juggle when partnering with an electronic manufacturing services (EMS) provider. Here’s how to avoid dropping one of the balls.By Chris Alessio, VP Sales and Programs, Hunter Technology Corp.Medtech OEMs should consider working with an EMS listed as an IPC Trusted Manufacturing Source. Shown here is Hunter's facility in Milpitas, CA.The path to a finished medical device is studded with stringent requirements, substantial investments, and federal and state limitations....
  • New Implantable Diabetes Device Receives Major Backing

    A tiny drug-loaded implantable pump that can be used to help treat patients with Type 2 diabetes has received significant financial backing from French pharmaceutical company Servier. The French company believes that the device developed by Boston-based startup Intarcia Therapeutics can transform the global market for patients with diabetes. Intarcia’s lead product candidate, ITCA 650 (continuous subcutaneous delivery of exenatide), as shown on the company's website.Servier recently...
  • Drone Ambulance Network Could Save Lives in Europe

    When someone suffers cardiac arrest, every second counts. This photo from Delft University of Technology demonstrates how the ambulance drone might work.With that in mind, a Dutch researcher has developed an “ambulance drone” that weighs about 9 lbs., is capable of carrying another 9 lbs., and can fly at a speed of 62 mph, reducing ambulance response time from 10 minutes to 1 minute.Graduate student Alex Momont of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands said in a YouTube...
  • A Remarkably Simple Gadget That Could Spur Medtech Advances

    HSI Sensing used the recent MD&M Minneapolis show to debut a reed switch with a mechanism that is the opposite of most other reed switches—with plenty of resulting advantages. The reed switch HSI Sensing was showing off at MD&M Minneapolis was about a centimeter long. (Photo by Chris Newmarker)Reed switches usually have switches that close in the presence of a magnet or magnetic force, with the switches used to control whether a device is on or off.  Chickasha, OK–based HSI...
  • How The Ebola Crisis Has Sparked Innovation

    The simmering fears of a possible global Ebola epidemic, however unlikely one may be, has certainly sent shockwaves through the healthcare industry. From helping to catalyze groundbreaking discoveries in diagnostics and treatments to completely revamping the process of isolating and reducing the risk of spreading the virus, the heightened sense of awareness is improving our understanding of how to contain infectious diseases. Slideshow: 10 Ebola-Fighting TechnologiesWhich technologies have...
  • 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...