• Everything You Need to Know about Medical Robotics in One Infographic

    A new infographic highlighting noteworthy applications for robotics in medicine was produced by Worrell Design (Minneapolis) and physician-scientist Daniel Kraft. Included below are several items routinely covered on Qmed, such as microbots, drones, exoskeletons, and mind-controlled prosthetics. A high-res version of the infographic is also available from the Worrell Design website.Refresh your medical device industry knowledge at BIOMEDevice Boston, May 6–7, 2015.Like what you’re reading?...
  • Q&A: The Story Behind Poultry-Derived Antibacterial Bioplastics

     It turns out that nontraditional bioplastic materials could possibly provide a more efficient solution to the petroleum-based plastics currently in use in hospitals around the country, according to researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA). Kristopher SturgisAlex Jones, a doctoral student from UGA, is studying the antibacterial properties of bioplastics.To learn more about the potential medical applications of bioplastics, we reached out to Alexander Jones, a UGA doctoral student and...
  • As Injectors Evolve, So Does Testing Technology

    Injector pens and autoinjection devices are emerging that meet higher standards of quality, accuracy, and ease of use. Testing equipment is being developed to keep up with this trend.Erik BerndtFor U.S. diabetic patients requiring insulin, the use of the traditional vial and syringe is still predominant, though such syringes are beginning to lose favor. Physicians are concerned that these syringes make it difficult to obtain a high dosing accuracy while patients also find them cumbersome to use...
  • Battery or Supercapacitor: How About a Hybrid Supercapacitor?

    UCLA researchers’ hybrid supercapacitor is meant to combine the best qualities of the two technologies.Qmed StaffUCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute may have hit on a solution to a dilemma involving storing power of electrical devices, according to a report in Qmed’s fellow UBM Canon publication EE|Times.The hybrid supercapacitor the UCLA team developed has the benefits of a supercapacitor in that it is able to withstand more than 10,000 recharge cycles and charges quickly. But it also has...
  • How a Custom Shoe Maker Is Taking on the Orthopedics Industry

    AposTherapy is debuting a foot-worn medical device in the United States after initially launching it in Israel, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Brian Buntz While in medical school in Israel in the early 1990s, Amit Mor and Avi Elbaz wondered why the role of muscles wasn’t emphasized more in orthopedic classes or in residency. “We learned about the bones, how to fix fractures, and implants. We studied the ligaments and cartilage. Nobody really ever talked much about the function of muscles,...
  • Why MEMS Have a Square Peg, Round Hole Problem

    One of the biggest challenge of integrating MEMS into medical devices lies in their form factor.Brian BuntzMEMS technology is featured in St. Jude's CardioMEMS HF System, which is the first FDA-approved heart failure monitor shown to significantly cut hospital admissions related to heart failure. Used in everything from implantable heart-failure monitors to cutting-edge diagnostics, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) can give medical devices sophisticated sensing capabilities. Medical device...
  • The Art of Making Antibacterial Bioplastics from Egg Whites and Other Foods

    Alternative bioplastic materials derived from foodstuffs could curb hospital infections. Kristopher SturgisAlex Jones, a doctoral student from UGA, is studying the antibacterial properties of bioplastics.Three nontraditional bioplastic materials—containing albumin (a common protein found in egg whites), whey, and soy protein respectively—have demonstrated promising antibacterial properties, and could potentially serve as an alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastics currently in use...
  • 4 Ways to Ensure Your Temp Workers Preserve Quality

    Managing temporary workers, which has become a fact of life for many medtech companies, has unique challenges.James ReadyMedical device companies and their manufacturing service partners frequently leverage temporary labor in order to keep their operations efficient and cost-effective. It’s also common for projects to ramp-up so quickly that the only way a medical device company can effectively accommodate the needs of their clients is by using temporary labor.If the temporary labor force is...
  • How to Better Prep Medtech Engineers for the Real World

    It turns out that even academic superstars can be bewildered once they start engineering medical devices. Here are some potential answers.Josh Simon, PhDNewly graduated engineers entering the medical device industry should have practical experience, observes Josh Simon, director of business development at Sinclair Research Center. How can a medical device engineer’s education be complete if it only contains academic information?The following story happens to most newly minted engineers sometime...
  • Introducing a New Method to Stimulate the Brain

    Magnets could be used to induce long-lasting brain tissue stimulation. Kristopher SturgisA novel method of stimulating brain tissue using external magnetic fields allows for the direct stimulation of neurons. Made possible by the manipulations of magnetic nanoparticles, the method could serve as an effective treatment for a variety of neurological diseases.The research, overseen by scientists at MIT, is part of a larger effort at the university to explore alternative methods of delivering...
  • Why Printing a Heart May Be Easier Than You Might Think

    One day, we’ll have little need for many medical devices if a University of Louisville professor is right.Brian BuntzThe heart model developed at the University of Louisville is used for surgical planning. “We’ve been using medical devices for decades in order to keep our tissues and organs going until we figure out a way of reconstructing those tissues and organs,” University of Louisville professor Stuart Williams said at the Bay Area Biomedical Device Conference, held March 31 at San Jose...
  • 3-D Printed Prosthetics: This Is How You Get Them to Children

    The international volunteer group E-Nable has become a catalyst when it comes to children receiving 3-D printed “robohands” and other prosthetics.Chris NewmarkerThey aren’t a company. They don’t sell devices. But what the nonprofit volunteer organization E-Nable does provide is a volunteer community with open source information for creating 3-D printed “robohands” and other prosthetics for children.The stories continue to mount. One of the latest involves 7-year-old Faith Lennox, who lives...
  • New Nanoneedles Could Be an Important Tool to Reprogram Cells

    Scientists in England have used “nanoneedles” to successfully deliver nucleic acids into the back muscles of mice.Kristopher SturgisImage of nanoneedles delivering nucleic acids to a human cell (Courtesy of Imperial College London)Researchers from Imperial College London think that a new nanoneedle technique could help deliver nucleic acids to cells. This would then give them the ability to reprogram cells to do many different things, from repairing damaged nerves and organs, to helping...
  • World’s Thinnest Semiconductor Featured in New Nanolaser

    Scientists claim their nanometer-sized laser employs the thinnest semiconductor available today. Kristopher SturgisThe semiconductor is 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.A nanometer-sized laser uses a tungsten-based semiconductor only three atoms thick—making it reportedly more energy efficient, easier to build, and more compatible with modern electronics, according to the researchers at the University of Washington and Stanford University.The researchers boast the semiconductor is the...
  • Jacketing Fine Wires: Critical but Challenging

    Because the wires used in neurostimulation and other implantable devices are minuscule and fragile, extruding an insulation layer around them is no easy featSteve MaxsonA polymer jacket is extruded around the fine wires used in such implantable medical devices as neurostimulators, cochlear implants, and guidewires.Among the most difficult and exacting medical device tubing applications is the extrusion of fine-wire jacketing. Although a highly specialized niche process, jacketing fine wires...
  • How Google Is Bolstering Its Medical IP Portfolio

    The search engine giant continues to build its collection of medical-related intellectual property, including a smart contact lens and a nanotech wearable that may treat cancer.Nancy CrottiGoogle recently was granted a patent for its smart contact lens technology. Google won a patent for a novel contact lens in the same month that it filed a patent for a nanotech wearable medical device that could possibly detect cancer.Google wouldn’t explicitly confirm whether the former patent covers the...
  • Metallic Muscles Flex in This Artificial Hand

    Bundles of hair-thin nitinol enable the fingers of a robotic hand to contract and release.  Brian BuntzDoctoral student Filomena Simone helped develop the hand prototype.Researchers at Saarland University (Saarbrücken, Germany) have developed a lightweight artificial hand capable of carrying out precise motions that uses tiny bundles of nitinol for actuation. The hand is light and flexible, and is devoid of motors, pulleys, pneumatics, or other conventional mechanical components that add...
  • Blood Is No Match for Super-Nonstick Coating

    A super-hydrophobic coating could prove useful for an array of medical device applications.Brian BuntzFor years, Heinz has aired commercials trying to put a positive spin on the way its ketchup stubbornly clings to glass bottles. Plastic bottles make ketchup easier to dispense, but even then, it is seemingly impossible to get all of the ketchup out of the bottle by squeezing or gravity alone. Up to 15% of the condiment remains stuck in the bottle, according to Consumer Reports.Enter a...
  • Achieving More Precise Fluid Dispensing: How Automation Can Help

    A new series of automated fluid dispensing systems combines fast and simple programming to produce better precision.Kristopher SturgisAs medtech devices and components continue to shrink to meet demands, the need for precision has never been greater. While almost half of medical device makers still use manual dispensing technology, the idea of precise liquid dispensing through automation is becoming more  available through Nordson EFD’s new series of automated fluid dispensing systems.The...
  • Find Out About the Latest Graphene Advance

    Graphene may not have replaced silicon in electronics yet, but researchers at three universities may have brought it a step closer.Nancy CrottiCheck out the stripes in the above image, which show differences in electron density in graphene. (Photo courtesy of Lane Martin, through UC Berkeley)Graphene’s one-atom thick lattice of carbon atoms allows for rapid movement of electrodesthrough its two-dimensional form. Now a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania; University of...