• Researchers Develop Stent Coating to Treat Brain Aneurysms

    Together with the U.S. Army and neurosurgeons at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Bethesda, MD), researchers at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) are trying to develop a new type of bioactive coating for stents used to treat brain aneurysms, including those caused by head trauma from bomb blasts. Portions of stents are being designed using bioactive coatings to attract magnetized cells to repair blood vessels damaged as a result of trauma.Currently, aneurysms are treated...
  • Sensor Initiative Supports Medtronic Diabetes in the Quest for the Artificial Pancreas

    Medtronic isn't trying to sugarcoat the situation: Development of an effective and optimal artificial pancreas system to treat patients with type 1 diabetes requires a lengthy, iterative process and improvement of multiple technologies. But the medical device industry leader is making progress on the path toward commercialization of this much-anticipated product, thanks to technology advancements and a recently announced partnership with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in...
  • Rockefeller Scientists Use Nanoparticles to Trigger Insulin

    The journal nature reports that scientists from Rockefeller University have used nanoparticles and radio waves to remotely activate genes in animals. Molecular geneticist Jeffrey Friedman remarks that while the technology could result in better tools for manipulating cells noninvasively, it could eventually be used in clinical applications.Friedman and his colleagues coated iron oxide nanoparticles with antibodies that bind to a modified version of the temperature-sensitive ion channel TRPV1....
  • Alternatives to Animal Testing: Change Could Be on the Horizon for ISO 10993

    By Thor Rollins, Nelson LaboratoriesConvening recently to review medical device biocompatibility standards, the ISO 10993 working group assessed the standards related to chemical characterization and the evaluation of leachables, and how they can affect the body. Both of these areas currently require animal testing; however, alternatives to current test procedures are being considered as standard changes among the ISO body.In Vitro Irritation and Sensitization Testing. Today in the United...
  • Swedish Research Develops First Chemical Circuit

    A chemical chip can control the delivery of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, enabling chemical control of muscles.Klas Tybrandt, a doctoral student in organic electronics at Linköping University (Sweden), has developed an integrated chemical chip that combines both ion transistors for transport of positive and negative ions and biomolecules into complementary circuits. An advantage of chemical circuits is that the charge carrier consists of chemical substances with various functions,...
  • Weekly Vitals: Medtech Gets Political, Doctors May Soon Be Obsolete, and More

    It was a politically charged week for the medical device industry. The Republican-dominated House Ways & Means Committee voted in favor of repealing the 2.3% medical device excise tax on the grounds that it would harm medtech jobs and businesses. However, the repeal bill will likely face wider opposition down the road when it reaches the Democrat-controlled Senate. And on the heels of the Senate's smooth passage of MDUFA last week, the House also gave the user fee bill the thumbs up. Read...
  • Prescription for Change: Medical Devices Increasingly Replace Drugs

    Drug use could soon be tapering off in the healthcare industry as medical devices increasingly replace pharmaceutical therapies to treat a variety of conditions. But what kinds of opportunities lie ahead for medical device makers, and what does this emerging trend mean for Big Pharma?A blog post over at the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, written by Gregory J. Millman of Dow Jones Banking Intelligence, took an interesting look at a rising trend in which medical devices are replacing the...
  • Emerging Trends in Medical Device Outsourcing and Their Impact on Your Business

    Join Qmed, MD+DI, MPMN, and a host of industry experts on June 14, 2012, for "Trends in Medical Device Contract Manufacturing," a free virtual event that addresses some of the key benefits, challenges, and trends in outsourcing medical device design and development and how they can impact your business. A keynote presentation on "The New Medical Device Landscape: Adapt or Fade Away," by Venkat Rajan, Industry Manager, Medical Devices, at Frost & Sullivan, will be followed by conference...
  • New Medical Technology Research Organization Formed

    A new contract research organization has taken root. Agility Clinical Inc. (Carlsbad, CA) will focus on providing customized clinical research and consulting services to small and virtual biotechnology, specialty pharma, medical device, and diagnostic companies."Agility's mission is to provide services to small and virtual biopharma companies, with a focus on treatments or diagnoses for children and orphan diseases," remarks David F. Hale, chairman and CEO of Hale BioPharma Ventures LLC. "While...
  • Minuscule Nanoparticles Could Improve Cancer Therapy

    A Nanowerk article by Carl Walkey from the integrated nanotechnology and biomedical sciences laboratory at the University of Toronto reports that Chinese researchers have shown that nanoparticles smaller than 10 nm in diameter accumulate more efficiently and penetrate more deeply in tumors than larger nanoparticles.Most nanomaterials approved for clinical use are approximately 100 nm in diameter, according to Walkey. However, this large size prevents them from diffusing effectively within the...
  • Weekly Vitals: Senate OKs MDUFA, Medtech Jobs in Jeopardy, and More

    It was an action-packed week for the medical device industry. As expected, the Senate passed the MDUFA reauthorization bill. Plus, Medtronic announced layoffs, prompting us to take a look back at some of the most hard-hitting layoffs experienced by the medical device industry in the past 18 months. And last but certainly not least, winners of the 2012 Medical Design Excellence Awards were announced this week in conjunction with the MD&M East trade show. Read about these and more stories in...
  • Medical Device Industry Lacking in Sustainability Goals, Report Says

    Medical equipment manufacturers are making strides in terms of sustainability initiatives, but continue to miss significant opportunities, according to a report released last month by Green Research, a corporate sustainability research and advisory firm. The report, which analyzes corporate environmental sustainability goals within the medical equipment and supplies industry, focused on the sector's top companies, including Baxter International, BD, Boston Scientific, Covidien, Medtronic, Smith...
  • The Layoff List: Medtech Job Cuts Run Deep

    Medtronic's announcement this week regarding 1000 anticipated worldwide job cuts is the latest in a long list of layoffs that have left medtech professionals feeling bruised and battered. Whether the down economy, potential dreaded device tax, shift of jobs overseas, restructuring, or other factors are to blame for these staff reductions, the trend is sadly showing no signs of slowing down just yet. And as jobs continue to be jeopardized, MPMN takes a look back at several of the most high-...
  • Novel Metal Casting Process Could Benefit Medical Device Manufacturing

    Molds made using maskless photopolymerization technology and airfoil components produced using this technique could be applied to manufacturing medical device parts. (Georgia Tech photo by Gary Meek)Developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech; Atlanta), an all-digital method for casting metal components that allows manufacturers to make parts directly from computer-aided design (CAD) could change manufacturing practices, including in the medical device industry...
  • Weekly Vitals: Recalls Soar in Q1, Breast Implant Scandal Plot Thickens, and More

    Medical device recalls are on the rise, the Stericycle ExpertRECALL announced this week. The recall tracking group stated that recalls increased more than 160% in Q1 of 2012, which affected more than five times as many units as in the previous quarter. And speaking of recalls, the plot thickens in the case of the PIP breast implants as it was revealed this week that surgeons had notified the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency as far back as 2006 with concerns regarding the...
  • Innovative Medical Device for Developing Countries Hangs on by a Thread

    Acting as a microfluidic channel, a simple piece of cotton thread is at the core of a novel diagnostic device developed by a team of students at Johns Hopkins University. Dubbed FeverPoint, the easy-to-use, lightweight, mobile self-test is designed to diagnose the underlying cause of a fever—such as malaria, bacterial pneumonia, or another infection—in developing countries."The future of medical device innovation is taking ordinary things and creating something lifesaving," says Omid Akhavan, a...
  • Gamma Center Launches in Quebec

    Sterilization services provider Nordion Inc. (Ottawa, Canada) has launched the Gamma Centre of Excellence (GCE), the goal of which is to advance gamma sterilization science. Formerly known as the Canadian Irradiation Centre, the GCE focuses on applied research and development, training, and specialty gamma processing for medical device, academic, and other customers in Canada and around the world.The GCE offers R&D, specialty contract irradiation services, and training to Nordion’s...
  • Despite Challenges Ahead, Global Medical Device Market to Reach $415 Billion in 2016

    Despite such potential upcoming challenges as cost-cutting trends, the impending U.S. medical device tax, and austerity programs in several major healthcare markets, the global medical device market is predicted to grow from $322 billion in 2011 to $415 billion in 2016, according to a new report by healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information. "The Global Market for Medical Devices, 3rd Edition," examines the current medical device market in addition to evaluating the potential...
  • You're Hit with a Medical Device Recall—Now What?

    Peaking with the spectacular recall of metal-on-metal orthopedic implants in 2010, the flood of news about medical device recalls has become a staple of the business and mainstream media alike. And the news just keeps coming. Now we learn that medical device recalls increased more than 160% in the first quarter of 2012, affecting more than five times more units than in the previous quarter. According to the ExpertRECALL Index, a report that aggregates and tracks cumulative recall data from the...
  • New Biosensor Could Aid in Early Detection of Cancer

    A new biosensor could be several hundred times more sensitive than other biosensors. (Image courtesy of Purdue University)Researchers at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) have developed an ultrasensitive biosensor that could eventually be used for early detection of cancer. The technology could also find its way into personalized medicine, in which it could be used to record an inventory of proteins and DNA for individual patients, improving diagnostics and treatment decisions.The new...