• How Biological Circuits Could Be a Next Big Thing

    Yeast cells (middle) are wired together like electronic components, communicating not with electrical wires, but with chemicals that only plug into cells with the proper receptor. (Image: MIT)Ever heard of biological circuits? Odds are you will, according to a recent report in EE Times.Researchers have been engaged in pioneering work in which they "wire" naturally occurring cells into a circuit that performs a new function, such as filling in for the dopamine-generating cells destroyed by...
  • The Band-Aid of The Future

    A new technology known as VetiGel could transform how medical professionals treat wounds and address situations involving serious bleeding. The product was developed by Joe Landolina, founder and CEO of Suneris, the company now preparing the technology for the open market.The VetiGel technology at work.According to Bloomberg News, the new technology could be a game changer when it comes to wound healing, and is said to be able to stop severe bleeding in as little as 20 seconds. The gel-like...
  • Converting 2-D Textiles into 3-D Medical Devices

    BIOMEDevice San Jose exhibitor J-Pac Medical (Somersworth, NH) has a knack for thinking outside of the box. For instance, the company managed to take blister packaging and convert it into a diagnostic product that is receiving international attention from diagnostic companies.The product is but one example of the evolution the firm has undergone in the past three decades—an evolution many medical device contract manufacturers have been going through. The company’s roots lie in doing...
  • How Nanotech Could Improve Imaging Tech

    Image courtesy of RutgersA new potentially lifesaving imaging technique developed at Rutgers University uses nanotechnology to reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions deep inside the body, according to a report in Qmed's sister media site European Medical Device Technology. The researchers utilized dyes made out of nanocrystals from rare earth elements. The nanocrystals react to shortwave infrared light with fluorescence. Past fluorescent dyes that react to this kind of...
  • 4-D Printing Could Come Sooner Rather Than Later

    The arrival of 4-D printing—what Skylar Tibbits at MIT calls "programmable materials that build themselves"—could be sooner than one might think, medtech industry analysts tell European Medical Device Technology. Related Slideshow: Coolest Technologies of 2014For example, 4-D printed neurovascular coils could soon reach the prototype stage, says Venkat Rajan, an analyst for Frost & Sullivan. “Recently, advances with the coils involve having them covered with bioreactive coatings that...
  • How 3-D Printing Could Help Medtech Right Now

    The potential applications of 3-D printing are vast, and include everything from making synthetic tissue and organs to custom medical devices—but such innovations could be years if not decades away.For now, medtech industry insiders need to identify how 3-D printing can help them meet their most pressing need: developing innovative medical devices in a manner that helps them save time and money, and reduce the risk inherent in new product development.Michael Patton, MD says the greatest current...
  • This Ultrasound Technique Can Penetrate Bone

    Researchers recently developed a technique that enables ultrasound to infiltrate both bone and metal, using custom structures that offset distortion usually caused by the “aberrating layers.”In the future, researchers may be able to eliminate ultrasound image distorting when bone or metal interferes or blocks the waves creating the image, according to a news release from North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC). Tarry Chen Shen, a PhD student at NC State and lead author of the paper...
  • The Long Goodbye to DEHP-plasticized PVC

    While DEHP is still common in a range of medical devices, available alternatives are enabling manufacturers to shift to the use of less-fraught materials By Rudi Gall, Raumedic Inc.To Read Other Guest Blogs, go to:Plastics and Metals Team Up in Medical Device AppsThe idea of scrapping the use of polyvinylchloride (PVC) materials containing di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) plasticizers is not new. However, despite such endeavors, both PVC and DEHP plasticizer still abound in a variety of...
  • Are You Ready for the Metal-to-Plastic Conversion?

    Metals have been used in the healthcare industry for decades to manufacture a range of instruments and implantable medical devices. But because they offer cost-cutting potential and distinct manufacturing advantages, plastics are gradually encroaching on the domain long held by metals. In the following Q&A, Dane Waund, global healthcare market manager at Solvay Specialty Polymers (Alpharetta, GA), probes some of questions and challenges that manufacturers face when they consider embarking...
  • Bionic Limbs: Examining The Promise and Pitfalls of Powered Prosthetics

    From wireless prosthetics that can grip and move, to advanced prosthetic limbs that can mimic the sensation of human touch, the research into high-tech prosthetics has really taken off in the past few years. Lately, much of the focus has been centered around powered prosthetics, and a recent study that examines the technology has revealed not only the promising future of bionic limbs, but the potential dangers as well.Photo of one of the designed malfunctioning powered prosthetics used in the...
  • How This Gecko-Inspired Technology Can Transform Adhesives

    Researchers at Stanford University have created gecko-inspired adhesive grips that can help humans climb more efficiently, and may provide a better grip for robotic arms in factories, and possibly even in space.Researchers at Stanford University have created gecko-inspired adhesive grips that can help humans climb more efficiently, and may provide a better grip for robotic arms in factories, and possibly even in space.The new adhesive technology—discussed in this month’s Journal of the Royal...
  • What Types of Biocompatibility Testing Do You Need to Perform?

    On Thursday, December 4 at BIOMEDevice San Jose, Thor Rollins, in vivo biocompatibility section leader at Nelson Laboratories Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT), will speak on “Materials Selection and Sampling Techniques for Biocompatibility (ISO 10993).” Some of the themes that he will present at the conference are addressed in the following Q&A.MPMN: Please go into ISO 10993-1 and why cytotoxicity testing is used for screening medical device materials.Rollins: Cytotoxicity testing is used for...
  • 3-D Printing Takes on Injection Molding

    Despite the promise of 3-D printing, it has yet to replace injection molding systems, which have historically been substantially less expensive and faster than 3-D printing for most applications.But that could soon change, however.The capabilities of 3-D printing systems are growing at an exponential rate, leading the company 3D Systems to proclaim that Moore’s law could be used to describe its growth trajectory. Originally used to describe the doubling of transistors on integrated circuits...
  • Using a T-Shirt Printer to Make Medical Circuits

    Researchers in Singapore have managed to print sophisticated electronic circuits with a T-shirt printer. The circuits’ resistors, transistors, and capacitors are made using nontoxic materials such as silver nanoparticles, carbon, and plastics. The circuits can be deposited on a range of materials, including common ones including paper, plastic, and aluminum foil.Led by printed electronics expert Joseph Chang, a Nanyang Technological University professor, the research could be used for a broad...
  • Microneedle Technology Could Treat Major Eye Diseases

    A new treatment option involving microneedle technology is being explored for patients suffering from two major eye diseases: glaucoma and corneal neovascularization. The technology could provide a new avenue to deliver drugs to specific areas within the eye to target different diseases.The details were released in the November 13th issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, a journal supported by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The research was...
  • 4 Questions Mobile Health Designers Should Ask

    Officials at pioneering flexible electronics company MC10 are researching how to adapt their technology to track the progression of Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, ALS, and similar movement disorders. The questions they are asking involve design challenges that most device designers in the mobile health space need to consider. MC10 has technology for flexible, stretchable electronics. (Photo courtesy of MC10)The research stems from a development partnership Cambridge, MA–...
  • This Degradable Material Is Tough Over the Long Haul

    One limitation of many resorbable biomaterials is their strength profile. While offering considerable strength upfront, their durability degrades quickly over time. One company, Novus Scientific (Uppsala, Sweden), sought to solve this problem through a material innovation that involved knitting two degradable polymers together to create a surgical mesh that provides tissue support for six to nine months.The first of the two polymers, a copolymer of glycolide, lactide and trimethylene...
  • How an NBA Player Created a Medical Device

    Former New York Knicks player Jonathan Bender came up with the idea for a Class I medical device after suffering from a knee injury that proved to be a problem on the basketball court. A creative person by nature, Bender had the idea for what would come to be called the JB Intensive Trainer—a device that can relieve stress on joints while strengthening the muscles supporting them. Bender made the first prototype of the device, fashioning it out of parts from the local hardware store.After...
  • 6 Things to Remember When Working with an EMS Provider

    There can be plenty to juggle when partnering with an electronic manufacturing services (EMS) provider. Here’s how to avoid dropping one of the balls.By Chris Alessio, VP Sales and Programs, Hunter Technology Corp.Medtech OEMs should consider working with an EMS listed as an IPC Trusted Manufacturing Source. Shown here is Hunter's facility in Milpitas, CA.The path to a finished medical device is studded with stringent requirements, substantial investments, and federal and state limitations....
  • New Implantable Diabetes Device Receives Major Backing

    A tiny drug-loaded implantable pump that can be used to help treat patients with Type 2 diabetes has received significant financial backing from French pharmaceutical company Servier. The French company believes that the device developed by Boston-based startup Intarcia Therapeutics can transform the global market for patients with diabetes. Intarcia’s lead product candidate, ITCA 650 (continuous subcutaneous delivery of exenatide), as shown on the company's website.Servier recently...