• Researchers Quest After an Amazingly Fast Semiconductor

    Is it possible that an 81-year-old dream of a Nobel laureate may finally become a reality?Qmed StaffAn international research team thinks it may have hit on a way to place crystalline lattices of pure electrons in the bottom of a silicon-encased quantum well, according to a report in Qmed’s sister UBM publication EE Times.The resulting crystal electron “gas” would have electron mobility more than 200 times greater than graphene and more than 1700 times greater than crystalline silicon,...
  • Turns Out That Medtronic Is Really Interested in Bears

    Medtronic officials think unlocking the secrets of hibernation could provide insights to better treat heart disease.Nancy CrottiThe black bear, or Ursus americanus (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)Suspended animation might still be the stuff of sci-fi for humans, but for bears, it happens every year.In northwestern Minnesota, the University of Minnesota and Medtronic have spent the past seven years studying how black bears survive hibernation, in hopes of...
  • How to Win Friends and Influence Medical Device Burden

    Designing a device to meet the needs of all of the key stakeholders involved in the healthcare ecosystem always results in some trade-offs.Brian BuntzEvery activity in healthcare, from performing a surgery to self-administering an injection, requires a series of actions to be performed, says Craig Scherer, co-founder and senior partner of Insight Product Development (Chicago). “We refer to this sequence as a workflow. Devices that are used to enable treatment require some level of activity to...
  • FDA Hopes to Calm Superbug Fears with New Guidance

    Olympus' TJF-Q180V duodenoscope, as shown on the company's websiteFDA rolls out its guidance on reprocessing reusable medical devices, amid worries over superbugs.Chris NewmarkerIn the aftermath of the deadly superbug cases at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center, FDA has issued a new guidance document for reprocessing reusable medical devices.The FDA’s move comes amid revelations that Olympus, whose duodenoscopes have been implicated in the spread of the drug-resistant bacterial...
  • How Medtech Startups Can Navigate Design Controls

    Medical device companies have long struggled with understanding design controls and making sure they are implemented correctly to ensure regulatory compliance.Jon Speer Jon Speer, the founder of greenlight.guru, will give a talk on May 7 at BIOMEDevice Boston titled "Avoiding a Document and Record Scavenger Hunt." Design controls have been a challenge to deal with for a long time, despite the fact that FDA design control regulations have been in place since 1996 and the current version of ISO...
  • Apple Aims to Transform Medical Research: Can It Really Do That?

    Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted that ResearchKit will “transform medical research in a way that’s truly profound.” But the jury is still out on this mobile device-based tool.Chris NewmarkerThe MyHeart Counts app, developed through ResearchKit, in action. (Art courtesy of Apple)Just days after Apple unveiled ResearchKit, an open source software framework designed for medical and health research, thousands of people have signed up through its initial apps to be research study subjects, according to...
  • Stent- and Catheter-Delivery Tubing: What Is Your Tolerance Level?

    To produce tubing for stent- and catheter balloon–delivery systems, manufacturers employ a range of dimensional, tolerance, and quality strategiesSteve MaxsonTubing dimensional variations can negatively impact such secondary operations as overmolding.Medical extrusion providers are increasingly expected to produce complex, close-tolerance tubing that meets the functional design requirements of minimally invasive stent- and catheter balloon–delivery systems. This task is rendered all the more...
  • How 3-D Printing Helped a Woman with a Brain Tumor

    Find out about a California couple who used a 3-D printed model to convince surgeons to perform an alternative to a risky brain surgery. Nancy CrottiAnterior skull section with skull based tumor (Courtesy of slo 3D creators—Michael Balzer)—on Sketchfab)Pamela Scott needed surgery to remove a benign tumor from her brain. Instead of relying on local surgeons to perform a traditional, hugely invasive, and risky procedure, Scott and her husband took matters into their own...
  • Why Paper-Based Quality Control Systems Are So Last Century

    Roughly half of medical device companies still use paper-based quality systems, despite the fact that they are about as efficient as a paper-based library card catalog.Brian BuntzIf you stepped into a public library today and saw that they still used a paper-based card catalog, you might think they are seriously behind the times. Now, electronic search has vastly improved the ease with which we find books—whether in a physical library or on the Internet.MasterControl (Salt Lake City, UT) is...
  • A Google Docs-Like Approach to Keeping Your Suppliers in Line

    MasterControl offers a software system to help OEMs virtually collaborate with their contract partners.Brian BuntzWhen Google Docs hit the scene back in 2007, my first reaction was to wonder about the purpose of a simple browser-based clone of Microsoft Word. Now, I use the platform almost daily— and even wrote this text using the platform. It makes sharing and editing documents remotely a snap, making it easy to have others edit or proofread your documents—all without sending a string of Word...
  • A Surprisingly Simple Solution for Glucose Monitoring

    Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego think diabetics might be able to draw the sensors on their skin using special high-tech bio-inks.Chris NewmarkerUC San Diego researchers have demonstrated that they can draw sensors directly on the skin. (Photo courtesy of UC San Diego)Will diabetics someday need to watch old Bob Ross clips so that they can draw their own glucose sensors?The notion sounds pretty silly, but it might not be as far-fetched as it seems, if research out...
  • What a 30-Year Industry Veteran Has Learned about Medtech

    Robert Roche over the past 30 years has witnessed firsthand the consolidation of the medtech industry and a host of advances ranging from new materials to component miniaturization.Qmed StaffBob Roche is the chief operating officer and director at Wytech.Recently hired as chief operating officer at fine wire and tubing maker Wytech Industries (Rahway, NJ), Robert Roche has held a range of medtech industry management positions since 1984—just a year before MPMN was started.The former chief...
  • How Hula Hoop-Sized Seals Make Imaging Systems More Reliable

    A custom engineering company expands its line of spring-energized seals to include large diameter options for medical imaging systems.Kristopher SturgisBal-Seal offers seals for slow-speed rotary and reciprocating medical applications including MRI/CT scanners and for the doors/enclosures to autoclaves and sterilization equipment. Bal Seal Engineering Inc. has decided to expand its line of spring-energized seals to include large diameter (make that huge diameter, judging by the above image),...
  • How to Fly a Plane with Only Your Thoughts

    University of Pittsburgh researchers combined a computer-brain interface with a flight simulator, with pretty amazing results.Nancy CrottiJan Scheuermann, who has quadriplegia, brings a chocolate bar to her mouth using a robot arm she is guiding with her thoughts. (Photo courtesy of University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine)For Jan Sheuermann, the sky’s the limit, according to a story on Wired.First approached by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the University of...
  • Edwards Leading in Medtech Innovation Poll

    Is Edwards Lifesciences (Irvine, CA) the most innovative medical device company out there? Many of our readers seem to think so, based on a recent poll. Medtronic, however, is on Edwards' heels. Rounding out the top five are St. Jude, Masimo, and Intuitive Surgical.In retrospect, the way that the poll was designed seems to favor big medtech companies over startups, which play a vital role in the device industry's healthcare ecosystem. But it is interesting nonetheless to get a sense of which...
  • Apple Execs Think They Can Improve Your Medical Research

    Meet ResearchKit—a framework to design apps to find medical study participants and collect information from them.Chris NewmarkerApple’s senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams on Monday showed off partners already lined up for ResearchKit apps. Apple Watch may have scaled back health tracking features from what was previously expected. But there is one area related to medtech where Apple expects to make a difference faster: medical research.Apple’s live product...
  • How to Make the Electronics That Make Wearables Fit

    Researchers explore using a new pliable multiferroic film that maintains its electric and magnetic properties, paving the way for innovative wearable technologies. Kristopher SturgisWearable technology continues to capture center stage at technology expos and conferences across the world, with the medtech industry catching the craze as well. Electronic devices are shrinking in size to increase portability, but many struggle to make them adaptable as a wearable beyond some sort of fancy clip, or...
  • How to Exploit 3-D Printing for Improved Cancer Treatment

    3-D printing could be used to fine-tune the delivery of medicine according to the needs of patients undergoing interventional radiology procedures.Kristopher Sturgis3-D printing could play an active role in crafting devices such as catheters, stents, and filaments to the exact size and shape of the patient in need. In a study from the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), researchers printed bioactive devices that can deliver antibiotics and chemotherapeutic medications to targeted areas...
  • The Latest Contract Manufacturer on the Block

    Making its debut at MD&M West, EG GILERO’s medtech roots stretch back decades.Brian BuntzEG GILERO assisted in the development of this drug-delivery device, which cut the steps needed to deploy a lipolyzed drug from five to three. Newcomer EG GILERO is no stranger to the medical business. The company was blended from the merging of GILERO Biomedical, Medacys, InField Medical, as well as the medical businesses of eNNOVEA and ValTech Holdings.Headquartered in Durham, NC, the company has U.S....
  • A Practical Tubing Materials Alternative to PVC

    Styrolution touts its diverse styrenics product portfolio as alternates to products commonly used in the medical device market, such as PVC. Chris NewmarkerMicrospec has partnered with Styrolution to use styrenics to replace PVC for its highly flexible multi-lumen tubing. (Image courtesy of Styrolution)Add styrenics to the list of medical device tubing materials being touted as alternatives to PVC and other commonly used products in the space.Styrolution’s Styroflex is...