• Wireless Implants Knock Out Infection Before Dissolving

    Silk – it’s not just for stitches anymore, and remote controls aren’t just for TVs, either.A team of researchers from Tufts University and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana put them together to develop a resorbable electronic implant that eliminated a staphylococcus aureus infection in mice by delivering heat to infected tissue when triggered by a remote wireless signal.The technique had previously been demonstrated only in vitro, but the silk and magnesium devices harmlessly...
  • Building a Cell on Silicon

    Cells are complex structures, making them difficult to replicate in the lab. But a team of Israeli scientists have taken a step in that direction by engineering a silicon chip that can produce proteins from DNA, the most basic function of life.The system, which was designed to be relatively simple, suggests a path to mimicking life with partly manufactured components, according to an article from MIT Technology Review. Roy Bar-Ziv, a materials scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in...
  • How to Get the Most Out of Microextrusion

     Minute processing adjustments for medical tubing can be extremely challenging. Image: American KuhneAlthough the fundamental extrusion process remains unchanged, microextrusion requires increased precision and accuracy compared with the "traditional" extrusion process, according to Bill Kramer, president of Ashaway, RI–based American Kuhne, which provides extruders and extrusion systems. "Medical processors should beware of equipment that is only scaled down from a larger machine versus...
  • A Tiny Spectrometer that Costs 10 Bucks

    Oakland, CA–based startup NanoLambda has devised a $10 spectrometer-on-a-chip that it says can be used for an array of medical applications. Described in sister publication EE Times, the device could be used to analyze the tongue and internal organs."Fusion or multi-mode sensing abilities will definitely bring the solution to next-generation healthcare," said NanoLambda CEO Bill Choi to EE Times.It could also be used for a range of consumer-facing applications. For instance, it could be used to...
  • In the Future, Pulse Oximeters Could Be Wearable and Disposable

    The pulse oximeter sensor prototype makes use of organic electrodes.Fitness-tracking wearables are all the rage now. While most of the devices primarily monitor basic activity levels, a growing number of devices, such as Apple’s forthcoming iWatch are adding pulse and number of calories burned to those list of metrics.Researchers at University of California, Berkeley are laying the groundwork to enable future wearables to track blood-oxygen levels as well.While a number of pulse oximeters are...
  • How 3-D Printing Is Solving a Stent Problem

    Stents that keep patients’ airways open haven’t changed much in the past 20 years, according to George Cheng, MD, a pulmonary and critical care fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.Traditional tracheal stents are made of metal, silicone, or a combination of the two. They can move around within the trachea or lodge in the mucous membranes, creating a benign tumor, according to Cheng’s mentor and research advisor, Adnan Majid, MD, director of the fellowship in interventional...
  • Why Women Are Embracing Biomedical Engineering

    Is it possible that women could end up dominating biomedical engineering—or at least gain some workforce parity with men in coming years?Shreya Chandrasekhar, a graduate student in SJSU's biomedical engineering program, says many women are drawn to the field out of altruism. It is still a pretty open question. But one had to at least hope for more gender diversity after a recent informal talk with about a dozen San Jose State University biomedical engineering students at BIOMEDevice San Jose....
  • Forget IoT: The Internet of Moving Things Is Where It Is At

    An mCube business card shows the evolution of the firm's motion sensors from a package measuring 3 x 3 mm to a future generation measuring 1.1 x 1.1 mm. Not content with the run-of-the-mill Internet of Things (IoT), a startup named mCube says it is helping to drive something better: the Internet of Moving Things.It’s been a good year for the San Jose, CA–based company, which makes tiny motion sensors. Its next-generation product will measure 1.1 mm by 1.1 mm. In November, the firm was named “...
  • 7 Employers You Might Want to Work At

    Workplace review site Glassdoor recently announced its 2015 Employees’ Choice Awards, which selected 50 companies based on average reviews from workers.Frankly, there was a dearth of medical device companies included in the Best Places to Work list. But there were a decent number of employers with ties to the medtech industry.Here are seven employers among the honorees that medical device experts should take note of:1. GoogleNo. 1 among Best Places to WorkWhile not usually considered a...
  • Wireless Brain Sensor Could Change Neuroscience Paradigm

    The wireless sensor would free patients from having to be tethered to a nearby computer via a cable. A wireless brain sensor developed at Brown University could open new doors for neuroscience, enabling subjects to be monitored in natural environments rather than to be tethered to a nearby computer via a bulky cable plugged into the patient’s head.“We hope that the wireless neurosensor will change the canonical paradigm of neuroscience research, enabling scientists to explore the nervous system...
  • A Wearable for the GI Tract

    Before coming to medtech, Steve Axelrod, PhD, started out as an elementary particle physicist. Now, his interest is in developing technology to help people with gastrointestinal disorders, a problem affecting as many as 1 in 4 people. “I have a strong personal connection here,” Axelrod explained at last week’s BIOMEDevice San Jose. “In the summer of 2007, I spent five weeks sleeping on an air mattress in the hospital next to my 13-year-old daughter who had just been diagnosed with Crohn’s...
  • The Artificial Knee Meets the Internet of Things

    In 2012, I wrote an article about dream medical devices that could go far to advance healthcare. Included on the list was chip-based orthopedic implants that could communicate information on wear levels, potentially prompting users that an artificial joint needs replacing.The need for technology is high, considering that the patients receiving artificial hips and knees are trending younger, often wanting to lead active lifestyles. Meanwhile, traditional implants are designed for elderly...
  • Now that Medical Devices Have Gone Wireless, Which Protocol to Use?

    Despite the wearables boom and frequent mentions of mobile health technology in the press, the majority of patients still go to their doctor’s offices or a local hospital to have their health evaluated. “I don’t think we are there yet for the true Quantified Self,” said Martin Kohn, MD, in a panel discussion at BIOMEDevice San Jose.The Latitude NXT remote patient management system and communicator from Boston Scientific uses cell signals to send patient data to doctors. So where are we? As a...
  • How 3-D Printing Can Guide Human Face Transplants

    3-D printers continue to evolve and shape the landscape of the medtech industry, as researchers look for new ways to apply the transformative technology to create medical devices and materials. Recently, researchers began using computed tomography (CT) in tandem with 3-D printing technology to recreate life-size models of human skulls to assist in face transplantation surgery.Researchers and physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have been conducting a study that can assess the...
  • 3 Ways Big Data Can Help Medtech Slash Healthcare Waste

    How can that advance of “Big Data” help healthcare? Perhaps one of the biggest ways is that it can cut out waste in the system, said Martin Kohn, MD, at BIOMEDevice San Jose. Kohn is the chief medical scientist at Sentrian (Aliso Viejo, CA), which bills itself as the first remote patient intelligence company.Formerly working on IBM's Watson project, Kohn is now the chief medical scientist at Sentrian.An average 34% of U.S. healthcare spending is wasteful, according to a recent study from Don...
  • What Medtech Can Learn from Google Maps

    Developers of medical technology should study how GPS continues to disrupt how people navigate from point A to point B, said Alan Greene, MD, chief medical officer of Scanadu (Moffett Field, CA) at BIOMEDevice San Jose. Google Maps is already in its ninth iteration, giving users turn-by-turn navigation instructions with a bevy of contextualized information. For instance, it can show live traffic information, calculate how much an Uber ride will cost, or inform users of transit schedule changes....
  • How Nanotubes Can Help Healing Hearts Beat On

    Researchers at a children’s hospital in Texas have developed carbon nanotubes that can serve as bridges that allow electrical signals to pass unhindered through new pediatric heart-defect patches, according to a recent news release from Rice University.The project, led by bioengineer Jeffrey Jacot and chemical engineer Matteo Pasquali, set out to create patches infused with conductive single-walled carbon nanotubes. The patches themselves are made of a sponge-like bioscaffold that contains...
  • 3-D Printed Circuitry Could Be Just Around the Corner

    As the days go by we continue to hear more stories about the vast capabilities of 3-D printing technology—from printing working medical devices such as vein finders, to producing actual viable blood vessels from 3-D printing technology. Now, Princeton University researchers are looking to expand the technology a step further by exploring the potential to print functioning electronic circuitry out of semiconductors and other materials.The idea is to eventually use ...
  • Tackling Sports Concussions with a Digital Camera

    A small Pittsburgh company called Neuro Kinetics thinks it has a digital camera-based solution for better and faster diagnosis of the concussions that have been plaguing high-impact sports including American football and hockey.The digital imaging and data challenges that Neuro Kinetics has had to overcome as it seeks FDA approval provide a hint at just how difficult speedy diagnosis of concussions can be.The stakes could not be higher for sports such as American football: The National Football...
  • 4 Consumerization Strategies Medtech Need to Learn Fast

    Andrew AtwellIt’s official: the consumerization of healthcare is now a huge trend, and evidence of it is everywhere. But what should medical device companies do about it? There are four key things they should keep in mind, Andrew Atwell, principal at Samsung Open Innovation Center, said Wednesday at BIOMEDevice San Jose.1. Free the data.There are tons of devices in the world right now that can gather health information. But to really drive healthcare forward—improving outcomes while...