• This Is How You Turn Your Smartphone Into a Microscope

    Researchers create an optical lens that can be attached to virtually any smartphone to amplify images by a magnitude of 120, for just 3 cents a lens. Kristopher SturgisThe microscope lens, shown here attached to a smartphone, would only cost 3 cents to produce in bulk. (Image courtesy of the University of Houston)These days, turning smartphones into useful alternative devices is far from a novel idea,. From collecting and measuring DNA samples, to measuring cell counts and possibly detecting...
  • Inside the Design of a Vein-Imaging System

    Get an inside scoop on the design process from a Enercon Technologies vice president.Brian Buntz and Chris NewmarkerEnercon Technologies (Gray, ME) helped design a vein-imaging system that enables clinicians to clearly see peripheral veins.The system from VueTek Scientific (Gray, ME) is designed to reduce IV needles stick attempts, referrals to central lines, complications, and costs.Qmed/MPMN editor-in-chief Brian Buntz caught up this week with Larry Bell, Enercon Technologies’ ‎vice president...
  • Key Things to Learn About the State of the Medtech States

    Minnesota now has more medtech jobs than Massachusetts, but the Bay State still remains a strong hub.Chris NewmarkerMassachusetts is slipping when it comes to number of medtech jobs. That was one of a number of enlightening statistics in a new report that KPMG has produced for MASSMedic.The report was released as part of the new Massachusetts Medtech Week that involves the holding of both the MassMEDIC Conference and BIOMEDeviceBoston on May 6 to 7 at the Boston Convention Center. (A similar...
  • 5 Lessons from Dean Kamen

    Speaking from the Center Stage of BIOMEDevice Boston, Dean Kamen asked engineers to help inspire the younger generation to study science and technology.The famed inventor had plenty to say in a keynote address at BIOMEDevice Boston.Brian BuntzAt BIOMEDevice Boston on May 6, Segway inventor and veteran medical device inventor Dean Kamen had some words of wisdom for engineers—gained from his experience developing an array of products (ranging from the first insulin pump to a mind-controlled...
  • How 3-D Printing Can Help Accelerate Fluidic Manifold Delivery

    3-D printing could very well be the solution for in vitro diagnostic instruments companies in need of once-costly fluidic manifold prototypes.Heidi Lechner, IDEX Corp.While fluidic manifolds can help designers of in vitro diagnostic instruments improve the performance of their products, they have traditionally only been practical for large, established instrument makers. That is changing, however, and today, even startups on tight timelines and with restricted development budgets can benefit...
  • What's Up with Direct Metal Printing?

    Standardization of 3-D printing technology is still an ongoing process, but the development of technology-specific standards will facilitate its adoption in the medical device industryBob MichaelsAn orthopedic implant created using direct metal 3-D printing.Much ink has been spilled about the virtues of 3-D printing. At the same time, all experts (and fans) acknowledge that the technology still has a long row to hoe before the medical device industry can adopt it fully. At MD&M East on June...
  • Why Metal Finishing Matters in the Medtech Industry

    Metal finishing removes burrs, improves corrosion resistance, increases part longevity, and creates an ultraclean, sanitary finish.Bob MichaelsMetal finishing processes are crucial for manufacturing titanium screws.The medical device industry faces multiple challenges when it comes to manufacturing reliable, hygienic, and compliant parts and devices, remarks Tom Glass, president of Able Electropolishing (Chicago). Thus, medical device manufacturers should perform a range of finishing operations...
  • Is Healthcare Going to See an Uber? These 3 Things Should Give You Pause

    Deepak PrakashSome experts think healthcare is ripe for an Uber- or Airbnb-type disruption. But Deepak Prakash at Vancive Medical Technologies is more of a realist.Chris NewmarkerTalk to someone in fields such as medical sensors and wearables, and odds are you’ll hear a lot of words such as “revolutionary,” “disruptive,” and “game changing.” (Qmed/MPMN has repeated plenty of those words itself.)In reality, people may have to wait 20 to 30 years for healthcare to truly change, says Deepak...
  • Could Pacemakers Use Energy Harvesters? This Professor Thinks So

    Amin KaramiAmin Karami at the University of Buffalo found a materials solution to overcome a design challenge related to energy harvesting from the heart.Chris NewmarkerThe dream of pacemakers that make their own power still seems years if not more than a decade away, but a University of Buffalo professor’s work may be bringing it closer to reality.As a postdoc research fellow at the University of Michigan and now as a professor at Buffalo since 2013, Amin Karami has found more effective...
  • Could This New Heat Shrink Simplify Catheter Manufacturing?

    Zeus claims its new FluoroPEELZ removes some major headaches when it comes to producing catheters.Nancy CrottiFluoroPEELZ (Image courtesy of Zeus)A South Carolina company is touting a new heat-shrinkable assembly aid that decreases damage to catheters during manufacturing, reducing waste and the necessity of specialized operator training.FluoroPEELZ is a fluoropolymer heat shrink from Zeus (Orangeburg, SC) that operators can easily peel rather than cut off from the catheter shaft after the...
  • Seeing Nanoscale Objects in 3-D: Is It Possible?

    A new imaging technique could serve as the foundation for the next generation of optical devices. Kristopher SturgisThe ability to image objects in three dimension at the nanoscale level could help researchers understand how light interacts on the microscale. This has been unattainable through traditional imaging techniques because, the smaller an object gets, the lower the resolution becomes in 3-D.Engineers from Stanford University, however, have developed a technique that they believe will...
  • Watch a Miniature 3-D Printed Heart Beat

    Scientists at Wake Forest have created individual cardiac cells from stem cells that can be seen beating in a video. Qmed StaffApparently not content with merely printing skin, ears, bone, and muscles for use in lab animals, researchers at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine are working on creating networks of miniature 3-D printed organs to create what they term a “Body on a Chip.” The group released the recent video to commemorate the progress they had made since receiving $...
  • The Decisions That Can Make or Break a Medical Device in the Marketplace

    Craig Scherer, founder of Insight Product Development considers why medical technology fails to be adopted—and provides advice on how to avoid that outcome.Qmed StaffCraig Scherer is a senior partner and cofounder of Insight Product Development.  You could have a good idea for a medical device that meets a real clinical need, and shepherd that device to the market, only to see it fail to get adopted.In this Q&A, Craig Scherer, founder of Insight Product Development (Chicago, IL),...
  • TI's FPGA Killer Could Drive Medical Imaging Advances

    Texas Instruments (TI; Dallas) has introduced a new system on a chip (SOC) that could make FPGAs obsolete for many applications.Brian BuntzThe 66AK2L06 can do away with the need for an FPGA. Image courtesy of Texas Instruments.[Updated on April 22]The TI KeyStone II (66AK2L06) SOC is said to offer 50% cost and 60% power savings over similar technologies while offering a 66% reduction in board real estate.Part of those figures are a result of the SOC’s ability to do away with FPGAs....
  • Decades-Old Coating Helps Usher in New Diagnostics Era

    Microfluidics and smartphone-based applications mean SurModics’ decades-old StabilCoat is stretching its legs in new ways.Chris NewmarkerAn inexpensive smartphone compatible device out of Columbia University could detect HIV and syphillis. SurModics' StabilCoat helped enable make Columbia's assays more durable and capable of withstanding high heat and humidity. Columbia University researchers did not have a run-of-the mill IVD device in mind when they approached SurModics early...
  • How Insects Inspired New Hearing Aid Microphones

    Researchers are in the midst of developing a new hearing aid with a directional microphone designed to eliminate unwanted background noise — similar to the ear of an insect.Kristopher SturgisMussel- and gecko-inspired adhesives, artificial blood vessels made of spider silk, cuttlefish-inspired ingestible sensors… There have been plenty of research breakthroughs over the years that have been inspired by nature. Researchers from Glasgow decided to run with the same approach when developing...
  • Think You Have the Coolest Technology at MD&M East? Prove It.

    UBM Canon is looking to identify the most innovative exhibitors at MD&M East and give them the attention they deserve. The Supplier Innovation Challenge is a contest that will acknowledge the most innovative products, services, and technologies developed in recent years by exhibitors at MD&M East, held June 9–11 in New York City.Finalists in the contest will be honored at the show as well as on UBM Canon’s industry-leading Qmed and MD+DI websites and newsletters. Finalists will also get...
  • A Wearable That Monitors Your Blood Noninvasively

    A startup has invented a wrist-worn technology that uses light to analyze everything from hydration levels to blood pressure. Brian BuntzEchoLabs technology uses spectroscopy to measure health metrics. Shown here is a rendering of its future technology. The startup EchoLabs hopes to pioneer what it terms third-generation wearable technology, providing more meaningful data than step counters (representing the first wave of wearables) or activity monitors like the Basis Watch and the...
  • 5 Things You Need To Know About Ultrasonic Welding for Medical Devices

    There are plenty of benefits to be had from ultrasonic welding for medical devices. But there are important things to consider.Ken Fine, Proven Process Medical DevicesUltrasonic welding is well suited for bonding medical devices because it uses the device material itself to form a bond, without introducing glues or adhesives.It is ideal for joining plastic parts in a fast, clean, efficient, and repeatable process. All kinds of specific guidelines for material selection come into play: joint and...
  • Almost Painless Blood Test Could Hit Market in 2016

    The simple device can extract small samples of blood within two minutes. Kristopher SturgisThe device, roughly the size of a pingpong ball, can extract a small sample while held against the skin for two minutes. Photo by David Tenenbaum.A small startup known as Tasso Inc.(Madison, WI) has taken on the project of developing a blood sampling device that is less painful, quicker, and more convenient than today’s current processes through the development of a device the size of a pingpong ball.The...