• Injectable Microgel Particles Could Enhance Tissue Repair

    Building on recent research into doubly crosslinked microgels (DX microgels), scientists at the University of Manchester (UK) have developed a new class of DX microgels that are pH responsive. By linking these microgel particles together, the researchers believe that the resulting biomaterial could have application in minimally invasive soft- and load-bearing tissue repair. Injectable doubly crosslinked microgels from the University of Manchester may help to treat degenerative...
  • The iPad Touches Medical Device Design

    andersDX offers the FlushTouch custom design service for touch screen applications in the medical device industry.Thanks to its sleek, compact design and touch-based user interface, the iPad has inspired a tablet computer craze while revolutionizing consumer electronics design. Taking advantage of the iPad's widespread popularity and user-friendly interface, a growing number of design and technology companies are now helping medical device manufacturers to incorporate a similar look and feel...
  • Could Point-of-Care Devices Be the Next Killer Apps?

    Point-of-care (POC) devices based on microfluidic and system-on-a-chip technologies are highly regarded for their potential to remove many diagnostic procedures from the laboratory and place them directly into the hands of patients. In particular, by making some diagnostic devices as ubiquitous as consumer goods, such technologies could benefit patients in Third World countries, which lack the necessary infrastructure and professional staffs to monitor and improve patient health.As we point out...
  • Novel Carbon Supercapacitor Material Has Batterylike Energy Density

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, NY) have helped to uncover the nanoscale structure of a novel form of carbon, contributing to an explanation of why this new material acts like a superabsorbent sponge that can soak up electric charge.Created by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), the material can be incorporated into supercapacitor energy-storage devices with very high storage capacity while retaining other attractive...
  • Stimulating New Device Ideas to Treat Alzheimer's Disease

    Back in March, I blogged about a variety of light-based treatments for Alzheimer's disease that have shown promise for alleviating symptoms of the enigmatic brain disease. But this emerging R&D trend of exploring the potential of medical devices to treat Alzheimer's disease in light of dissatisfaction with current drugs is not confined to light-based treatments. Brain-stimulation devices, for example, are also being considered by researchers as a potential means of improving cognitive...
  • Grasping Molecular Nature of Glass Could Improve Biomaterials

    Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Gaithersburg, MD) and Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT) have used computer simulations to gain insights into a fundamental problem associated with glass-forming materials. These insights could aid manufacturers in the design and development of materials—including biomaterials.Designers of materials have long struggled to explain why many substances change from a watery state at elevated temperatures to a tarlike...
  • Genesis Plastics Welding Expands Medical Cleanroom

    Genesis Plastics Welding (Indianapolis), a provider of radio frequency (RF) plastics welding and RF heat-sealing services, has completed a $500,000 expansion of its Class 7 cleanroom. By doubling the size of its cleanroom, the company will be able to increase RF plastic welding and heat sealing of medical devices, supplies, and equipment.   The medical cleanroom initiative is one component of the company’s larger expansion strategy. Over the last year, the company has been gearing up for...
  • Energy-Harvesting Pacemaker Could be Eight Times Smaller than Conventional Designs

    CEA-Leti, a French research and technology organization, and several partners have announced that they are designing and developing an ultraminiature energy-harvesting cardiac pacemaker. Powered via harvesting mechanical energy from the movements of the heart, the pacemaker in development by the Heart-Beat Scavenger (HBS) Consortium is the latest device to take advantage of the slew of emerging technologies that power devices by harvesting everything from mechanical energy to thermal energy....
  • Scientists Develop Mega-Microchip for Medical Imaging Applications

    The DynAMITe microchip has been designed to enhance medical imaging of cancer tumors.A large microchip developed by scientists at the University of Lincoln (UK) is designed to enhance medical imaging applications. Measuring a whopping 12.8 cm square, the chip could eventually aid in the diagnosis of cancer, enabling doctors to see the impact of radiotherapy treatment more precisely. Dubbed 'DynAMITe,' the wafer-scale chip is 200 times larger than the chips currently driving PCs and laptops. The...
  • Can the Stethoscope Survive Alongside the Handheld Ultrasound?

    The Acuson P10 is the world's first pocket ultrasound.Back in March, the Wall Street Journal published an article on how mobile devices help improve treatment in which a San Diego-based cardiologist trumpets his decision to forsake his stethoscope in favor of GE's Vscan handheld portable ultrasound unit. "Why would I listen to 'lub dub' when I can see everything?" the cardiologist, Eric Topol, said to the paper. This brief comment has since sparked some fascinating debate as to whether the days...
  • Intel 3-D Transistors Headed for Mass Production

    Combining performance improvement and power reduction, Intel's Tri-Gate 3-D transistors could benefit many electronic products, including medical devices.Pulling out all the stops, Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) is touting the entry of its 22-nm 3-D transistors into mass production as nothing short of revolutionary. Heralding this move as a first, the company says that the new transistors increase performance and reduce power consumption.Representing a fundamental departure from traditional 2-D...
  • Borate Glass Nanofiber Could Be Next-Generation Wound-Care Material

    Mo-Sci Corp. (Rolla, MO) has developed a novel wound-care material based on glass nanofibers that the company says can treat long-term wounds. While glass materials have already been used in such hard-tissue regeneration applications as bone repair, they have been based on silica. In contrast, Mo-Sci’s material, which has the consistency of cotton candy, is based on borate glass nanofibers.To develop a suitable borate-based wound-care material, Mo-Sci scientists Steve Jung and Delbert Day...
  • Responding to FDA's Guidelines on Reusable Medical Devices

    Who needs reprocessing? A camera the size of a grain of salt may enable the development of disposable endoscopes. (Image: Fraunhofer Institute)Last week, FDA announced that it would be taking steps to improve design and cleaning instructions for reprocessing reusable medical devices with the intention of reducing the risk of spreading infection between patients. And while the onus of reprocessing reusable medical devices such as endoscopes is on healthcare facilities, medical device...
  • World's Smallest Video Camera Suited for Endoscopic Devices

    Medigus Ltd., an Israeli medical device company, has developed what it claims is the world's smallest video camera. Measuring 0.99 mm in diameter, the miniature camera is suitable for use in endoscopic devices.In order to enable miniaturization of the second-generation video camera and to keep manufacturing costs down, the company used such advanced technology as the through siicon via method (TSV). High image resolution at 45,000 pixels, on the other hand, is provided by a 0.66 × 0.66-mm CMOS...
  • Chemical Bonding Process Optimizes Stainless Steel for Organ Transplants

    A group of researchers from both the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) and the National Institute for Nanotechnology has developed a new chemical bonding process that alters the surface of stainless steel. The modified material has been optimized to engage and interact with the body's immune system prior to organ transplantation, which could help to eliminate the need for matching blood types between a donor and a recipient.To promote interaction with the body's immune system and add...
  • Microchip Sensor Could Prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

    Domenico Zito from the Tyndall National Institute has developed a microchip sensor for monitoring SIDS.Researchers at Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork (UCC; Ireland) have developed a microchip-based sensor that can detect respiratory rate without having to make contact with the patient. Suitable for constantly monitoring babies to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the new sensor could also be used to monitor hospital patients and others at risk of obstructive...
  • Magnetic Nanobeads Could Polish Off Rust from Microfluidic Sensors

    Diagram illustrates how a sensor technology might work using ferromagnetic iron oxide nanobeads. (Graphic courtesy of Oregon State University)Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU; Corvallis) have discovered how to use magnetic 'nanobeads' to help detect chemical and biological agents. When it is developed into a handheld sensor, this microfluidic sensor technology could benefit a range of applications, including portable diagnostic devices.The key to the technology is minuscule pieces of...
  • There's Always Room for JELL-O in Medical Device Design

    Produced for as little as a dollar, a matchbox-sized biosensor detects pancreatitis. (Image UTA)Inspired by household items, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have created a novel biosensor engineered from such materials as JELL-O, milk, and Reynold's Wrap. Developed to test for acute pancreatitis, the low-cost biosensor represents another great example of how students are pioneering the design of cost-effective medical devices for use in developing nations and remote locations....
  • Electrode Arrays Could Help Control Prosthetic Devices

    Based on the idea that nerve cells on amputated limbs can grow only when they are adjacent to a support structure, Ravi Bellamkonda and his team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta) have designed a tubular support scaffold with tiny channels that fit snugly around bundles of nerve cells. The scientists' goal is to develop prosthetic limbs that feature motor control and a sense of touch.According to a report in MIT's Technology Review, the scaffold begins as a flat...
  • Novel MRI Technology Improves Imaging of the Beating Heart

    Three-chamber view of the heart achieved using new high-magnetic-field MRI technology. (Image courtesy of Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin)Scientists at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (Berlin-Buch) have revolutionized technology for imaging the beating heart. Produced in one of the world's most powerful MRI systems, with power equivalent to 150,000 times Earth's magnetic field, the images provide much higher detail than standard...