• Google Glass as a Neural Interface

    Google Glass may be just the interface that paralyzed people need to neuro-control medical devices—if research out of Kennesaw State University’s BrainLab is any indication.A researcher at Kennesaw State University's BrainLab tries out the Google Glass neuro-control interface. Photo courtesy of BrainLab.Glass users normally use touch, wink or voice commands to control the view screen projected on the glasses-like wearable device. But the researchers at the Georgia university, led by...
  • How a Packaging Design Firm Is Reinventing Catheter and Guidewire Dispensing

    The word innovation is often associated with complex new devices that will disrupt current practice. But strategic tweaks or additions to existing products can sometimes have just as significant an impact.The DISK system—which stands for dispenser integrated system kit—is one such example. The bronze winner in the Medical Product Packaging, Graphic Instructions, and Labeling Systems category of the 2014 Medical Design Excellence Awards combines two products—a clipless dispenser for catheters...
  • Creating Fly-Inspired Hearing Aid Technology

    Muhammad Ali famously described his boxing style as, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” The fly Ormia ochracea. Photo courtesy of Jpaur. Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution.Well, how about, “Hear like a fly?”Researchers Michael A. Kuntzman and Neal A. Hall of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin write in Applied Physics Letters that they have built a hearing mechanism prototype that mimics the...
  • How Heat-Seeking Missile Technology Can Detect Malaria

    It turns out that technology used in heat-seeking missiles can be leveraged to quickly detect blood borne pathogens such as malaria parasites. Australian researchers took a focal plane array (FPA), used in missiles to detect tanks, and connected it to an infrared imaging microscope and a synchrotron light source. Within a matter of minutes, the FPA can detect the presence of malaria in a single red blood cell.The FPA detectors used in the research were initially developed in the 1990s for use...
  • How Nanotubes Could Improve Cancer Diagnostics

    University of Houston researchers are using nanoscience to extract molecules from live cells without killing or damaging the cells. Their method could lead to new possibilities for diagnosing cancer and other diseases.The scientists used magnetized carbon nanotubes to retrieve molecular information safely from the cells. Nanoengineering allowed them to keep the cells alive and to assess changes in the cells over time, Zhifeng Ren, a physics professor and principal investigator at the university...
  • How to Turn Surgical Robots into Shapeshifters

    A group of U.S. and German researchers think they’ve come upon a materials innovation that could enable deformable surgical robots—and perhaps other types of exotic medical devices.Anette Hosoi, a professor of mechanical engineering and applied mathematics at MIT, and her former graduate student Nadia Cheng, worked alongside researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and Stony Brook University to experiment with phase-changing material built from wax and foam,...
  • How Google and Novartis Might Revolutionize Contact Lenses

    Google’s founders may have recently downplayed the high tech giant’s healthcare plans. But a new partnership with Novartis, announced Tuesday, shows that Google is pretty serious when it comes to one medical device technology: contact lenses.When the news came out in January that Google planned to develop a contact lens that could help diabetics keep track of their blood glucose levels, company officials said they were looking for partners with expertise in bringing such products to market.That...
  • Developing Polyisoprene Materials that Meet USP <381> Guidelines

    By Saman Nanayakkara, Shu Peng, and Gino G. BancoA new grade of polyisoprene compounds complies with USP <381> guidelines for both Type I and Type II elastomeric closures.Natural rubber has been utilized in a variety of general industrial and commercial applications since the mid-1800s. In select applications, it has also found favor in the medical industry. Derived from the latex of the Pará tree, it is composed of long chains of isoprene monomers. However, the recognition that certain...
  • What Medtech Can Learn from Web Software and Neuroscience

    Online software applications like Facebook and LinkedIn have had a profound influence on everything from market research to journalism. Social media tools sites are also helping shape healthcare, enabling new forms of patient-to-patient interactions, for instance.Jonathan Hirsch, the founder and president of a SyapseBut we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible with software in healthcare, says Jonathan Hirsch, the founder and president of a Syapse, which is creating a cloud-...
  • Magnesium Alloys Perform Disappearing Act in the Knee

    Materials research and development is part of the bread and butter of medical device innovation. Whether you’re making a stent, a wound-care bandage, or an injection septum, the device is only as good as the material it’s made from.For example, researchers at North Caroline A&T are hard at work developing metal alloys for orthopedic implant applications. One target material is magnesium, a metal element that is also an essential body nutrient. However, the researchers face a range of...
  • Why Mexico Is Still Challenging for Medtech Designers

    By Miguel Angel Torres Tello and Carlos Alfonso Rodríguez SierraMexico is recognized as one of the top Latin American markets for medical devices. But globally, there are still plenty of challenges when it comes to meaningful research and development—and medical device design. To start, Mexico is still far behind countries like United States or China. But Mexico also has its advantages.The Unites States’ southern neighbor contains a dynamic medical device industry based on maquila, the...
  • How Wearable Ring Tech Could Help the Blind Read

    Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a prototype ring with a camera that allows a visually impaired person to “read” by scrolling a finger along a line of text—with software allowing a mobile phone or laptop to speak the words to the blind person in real time. The FingerReader, as shown in an MIT-provided image.Worn on the index finger, the FingerReader is a ring-shaped device that includes a small camera along with haptic actuators that provide the...
  • How Gold Helps a Nanomaterial Kill Bacteria

    Depositing gold nanoparticles in titanium dioxide nanotube arrays may be just what is needed to boost bacteria-killing properties in some implants, according to research out of the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (SICCAS).The Chinese researchers explained that although titanium dioxide is able to kill bacteria itself, its antimicrobial properties are dependent on a light source. When the metal is exposed to light, it becomes energetically excited by...
  • Goose Bump Detector Can Gauge Emotion

    A team of scientists at KAIST in Daejeon, South Korea, has developed a flexible, wearable polymer sensor that can directly measure the degree and occurrence of piloerection, commonly known as goose bumps, on the skin.They have published their work, “A Flexible Skin Piloerection Monitoring Sensor” (Kim, et al,) in the journal Applied Physics Letters. The Goose Bump Detector: a skin piloerection monitoring sensor (Courtesy Young-Ho Cho/KAIST)The researchers'  20 × 20 mm sensor...
  • Goose Bump Detector Can Gauge Emotion

  • 10 Really Cool Videos Related to Medtech

    From 3-D printed organs to a potential nanotech cancer cure developed by a teenager, MPMN has scoured the Internet to find 10 interesting medtech-related videos.1. All Your Devices Can Be Hacked—Including Your ICD and CarAvi Rubin, PhD, computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University explained how medical devices including pacemakers could be hacked during TEDxMidAtlantic last year.Read related Qmed article.2. 3-D Printing an EarLawrence Bonassar, PhD, associate professor of...
  • 3-D Bioprinted Networks Grow to Form Capillaries in Lab

    Researchers from the from the University of Sydney, Harvard, Stanford, and MIT have successfully bio-printed artificial vascular networks that mimic the body's circulatory system. These networks are necessary for growing large complex tissues and, eventually, organs.The breakthrough has been published in “Hydrogel Bioprinted Microchannel Networks for Vascularization of Tissue Engineering Constructs” in the journal Lab on a Chip.In an interview, lead author of the paper and University of Sydney...
  • Red Blood Cells Engineered to Deliver More Than Oxygen

    In research that may one day lead to a whole range of diagnostics and therapies, scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have genetically and enzymatically modified red blood cells (RBCs) to carry a range of valuable payloads -- from drugs, to vaccines, to imaging agents – that can be transported throughout the circulatory system to a specific site in the body.In addition to being the most numerous cells in the body, mature RBCs have the distinction of lacking a nucleus...
  • Using Picosecond Lasers to Produce Disposable Ophthalmic Blades

    By Dirk MüllerMain Story:Miniaturized Cutting and Drilling Using Picosecond LasersVarious ophthalmic procedures, such as LASIK, require the use of an extremely precise cutting blade or scalpel. However, the cost of these applications is negatively impacted by an undesirable trade-off between blade sharpness and cost. While diamond blades can deliver the requisite sharpness, they cost up to $3000 per blade, precluding their use as disposables and thus requiring sterilization. Conversely, while...
  • GE Developing Smaller, Denser Next-Gen Neural Implants

    Jeff Ashe is a principal scientist at the biomedical electronics lab at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY, who is working on smaller, more biocompatible neural implants in the hope of advancing the state of the art.A scientist works in the cleanroom at GE Global Research in upstate NY. GE innovations in implants could benefit patients suffering from neurodegenerative disease as well as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and even depression. (Courtesy General Electric)Ashe, an electrical engineer, has...