• Novel Medical Device Designed by 'The Dead'

      Demonstrating that a good idea can come from unlikely sources, a keyboardist, a roadie, and a real estate developer have developed a medical device that alleviates discomfort often associated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatments for sleep apnea. The interesting story of how Jeff Chimenti, a keyboard player for various bands alongside the remaining members of the Grateful Dead, along with roadie friend A.J. Santella and real estate developer Billy Procida,...
  • NIST Microreactor Could Lead to New Biodegradable Polymers

    A typical NIST microreactor plate measures approximately 40 x 90 mm cm. The channel, filled with plastic beads carrying the enzyme catalyst, is 2 mm wide and 1 mm deep. (Photo by Kundu, NIST)Using a microfluidic device consisting of a small block of aluminum with a tiny groove carved in it filled with tiny beads, a team of researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Gaithersburg, MD) and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (Brooklyn, NY) is developing...
  • Fraunhofer Sees Future for Laser-Sintered Surgical Instruments

    The Fraunhofer Institute thinks that surgical instruments with complex geometries and hollow channels can now be laser sintered.Designers and developers of medical devices have questioned the suitability of laser sintering for certain applications, according to Philipp Imgrund, manager of the biomaterials technology department at Fraunhofer Institute IFAM (Bremen, Germany). For example, process repeatability and material selection have been problematic. But now, Imgrund says, the technology is...
  • Human Blood May Serve as Base of Next-Gen Electronic Components

    In the case of future biologic-electronic interfaces, the claim that an innovative electronic component is a byproduct of someone's blood, sweat, and tears may not be a complete exaggeration. A team of researchers in India has detailed the development of a liquid memristor made from human blood that could serve as the interface between human tissues or nerve cells and an electronic medical device such as robotic limbs or artificial eyes.Proposed in 1971 and realized just in 2008 using titanium...
  • Carbon Nanotube–Based Microfluidic Device Traps Cancer Cells

    A new microfluidic device developed by scientists from Harvard and MIT consists of posts made from carbon nanotubes that can capture cancer cells.As the previous Medtech Pulse post comments, the field of microfluidic devices is one of the hottest research disciplines in the the area of medical device design and development. Adding to the heat, scientists at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) and MIT (Cambridge, MA) have developed a microfluidic device that can single out individual cancer cells...
  • Conductive Polymer Improves Electroosmotic Pump Design for Lab-on-a-Chip Devices

    Among the most active and exciting research areas in the medical device and diagnostics industry is that of microfluidics and related lab-on-a-chip devices. However, the challenge of how to move fluids through the the channels of the lab-on-a-chip devices has proven to be a formidable obstacle to scientists. Presenting a potential solution to this problem, researchers at Linköping University (Sweden) have developed an integrated electroosmotic pump (EOP) that employs conductive polymer...
  • Roughened Nanosurface Enables Skin Cells to Colonize Titanium Leg Implants

    A roughened nanotubular surface formed on the surface of titanium promotes the colonization of skin cells. (Image by Webster Lab/Brown University)Surface-roughening methods developed by scientists at Brown University (Providence, RI) promote the in-growth of skin cells on titanium implants. Mimicking natural skin, the new implantable material could change the way that orthopedic implants are designed.Led by Thomas Webster, associate professor of engineering and orthopedics at Brown University,...
  • Inexpensive Imaging Technology Provides Higher Clarity than Ultrasound, MRI

    (i) Section through a sheep’s kidney, into which a calcium carbonate nodule has been inserted as a proxy for a kidney stone or vascularized tumor–location shown by red ring. (ii) The same section, with a registered ultrasound image superposed–the nodule can be seen, but is not differentiated from other features in the kidney. (iii) The same section, with the ultrasound and OxEMA scan superposed. The different electrical properties of the anomaly stand out extremely clearly in the OxEMA scan as...
  • Could Light-Based Alzheimer's Devices Be 'The Next Big Thing'?

    Clarimedix's noninvasive, nondrug, light-based patch could treat Alzheimer's symptoms.Not only is Alzheimer's disease (AD) the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, it is also the only one in the top 10 that can't be prevented, cured, or slowed, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Although treatments for the brain disease traditionally have been drug-based in the form of cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine, recent research indicates that AD symptoms may be alleviated...
  • Stent-Coating Process Prevents Restenosis

    Laser-treating stent surfaces may prevent thrombosis. (Image: INM)A stent-coating process developed by researchers at the INM—Leibniz Institute for New Materials (Saarbrücken, Germany) could reduce the chance of thrombosis. The international Nano4stent project, funded by the European Union and the framework of the international cooperation network KORANET, is focused on yielding smooth stent surfaces that may prevent restenosis and improve patient care."It is our aim to cover the surface of the...
  • Researchers Learn How to Control the Size of Carbon Nanofibers

    Images show carbon nanofibers grown from nickel nanoparticle catalysts before (left) and after (right) the ligands have been removed from the nanoparticles prior to nanofiber growth. The nanofibers grown from nanoparticles with ligands are more uniform in diameter and distribution.While carbon nanofibers could benefit a range of technologies, including medical imaging devices, the time and expense associated with uniformly creating nanofibers of the correct size has been an obstacle. Now,...
  • UHMWPE Fiber Enables GI Wall Repair

    DSM Biomedical (Stanley, NC) has announced a step forward in its partnership with Ovesco Endoscopy AG (Tübingen, Germany). Ovesco has chosen to use Dyneema Purity fiber for its Over-the-Scope-Clipping (OTSC) system, a nitinol device used for compression and approximation of tissues in the human digestive tract. The company chose DSM Biomedical's Dyneema Purity fiber because of the material's mechanical performance and biocompatibility, specifically the combination of high strength, low...
  • Concerns Mount in Japan for Patients with Electronic Medical Devices

    Medical devices, equipment, and supplies are obviously playing a critical role in the widespread relief and recovery efforts in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami last week. But as many areas remain without power and others experience rolling blackouts, could electronic medical devices be rendered useless?Miki Anzai, a Japan-based Associate Editor for our sister publication, Japan Medical Design & Manufacturing Technology, reports: "The Tokyo Electric Power Co. has...
  • Graphics Application Enhances Medical Emaging

    Nvidia's new graphics card enhances diagnostic imaging applications.Nvidia (Santa Clara, CA) has just released the Quadro 2000D, a diagnostic imaging graphics solution that allows doctors to review high-resolution, detailed patient images. Enabling medical analysis, the graphics card features two dual-link DVI connectors for display flexibility, supports 10- and 12-bit grayscale monitors up to 10 megapixels, and has DICOM monitor calibration capabilities.The system's DVI connectivity allows...
  • More from Mother Nature: Turning Sea Squirt Whiskers into Human Muscle

    Minute whiskers from tunicates—otherwise known as sea squirts—could be used to form skeletal muscle, ligaments, and nerves.Researchers from the University of Manchester (UK) have discovered that nanoscale whiskers taken from sea creatures called tunicates—commonly known as sea squirts—could perhaps be used to form working human muscle tissue. Several thousand times smaller than muscle cells, these nanostructures are the smallest physical feature found to cause cell alignment. Alignment is...
  • Nanostructured Metal Alloys May Be 100x More Responsive than Current Materials

    The crystal structure of nanoparticles embedded in an alloy can be realigned under an electric or magnetic field, which in-turn deforms the material. (Image: Rutgers)Computer modeling performed by researchers at Rutgers (New Brunswick, NJ) indicates that decomposed two-phase nanostructured alloys could be 100x more responsive in certain applications than current metals. This class of functional materials shows potential for improving stents and imaging equipment components. The two-phase...
  • Prosthetics Could Benefit from New Rough-Environment Surface Sensor

    Strain sensors, like this one used for tooling applications, could be used in such medical applications as prosthetic devices.Seeking to produce high-quality thin-film strain gauges (TFSG) economically for small and middle-sized batches, the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH; Hannover, Germany) is developing sensor structures using ultrashort laser pulses. The new surface sensors could eventually find their way into such medical applications as prosthetic devices, which demand robust sensors that can...
  • NASA LED Technology Could Ease Side Effects of Cancer Treatments, Heal Wounds

    The Warp 75 device featuring NASA's HEALS technology. (Image: NASA/Higginbotham)An LED chip technology developed by NASA to help grow plants on the International Space Station for space experiments could promote healing of wounds, burns, diabetic skin ulcers, and oral mucositis—a painful side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Although only the size of a grain of salt, the high-emissivity aluminiferous luminescent substrate, or HEALS, technology provides the equivalent light energy...
  • Understanding Polymer Deformation from Electric Voltages May Lead to More Durable Materials

    Researchers at Duke University (Durham, NC) have discovered a method by which they can observe the real-time degradation of soft polymers caused by repeated exposure to electrical currents. This capability, according to the researchers, could aid in the development of more-durable polymers for applications in which they come into contact with electrical currents.Common in polymers used for insulation in wires, cables, and capacitors, for example, this polymer breakdown was observed thanks to a...
  • Palm-Size Superconducting Magnet Could Help Shrink MRI Machines

    Small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, a new superconducting magnet could be used to develop mobile MRI equipment.Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is crucial for performing a range of medical diagnostic applications, but the size and cost of the superconducting magnets and cooling systems used in MRI equipment make the machines stationary and expensive. Now, researchers at Japan’s Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI; Tokyo) have developed a superconducting magnet system that can...