• Report Highlights Tomorrow's Drug-Delivery Coating Platforms

    A new report spotlighting advances in coating technologies will help developers and users alike to analyze a range of different platforms, therapeutic targets, and market drivers. Offered by Greystone Research Associates (Amherst, NH), "Drug Coatings and Coated Device Drug Delivery: Evolving Technology, Emerging Opportunities" provides readers with a detailed understanding of enabling technologies, candidate devices, market participants, and commercial prospects.Strides in drug-delivery coating...
  • Could Ceramic Drug-Eluting Stents Be on the Horizon?

    When speaking about the future of stents, bioabsorbable polymers and sometimes bioabsorbable magnesium tend to come up—rarely does the conversation turn to ceramics, however. But don’t count them out in stent development just yet. Bioceramics could, in fact, serve several prominent functions in next-generation drug-eluting stents, according to UK-based materials testing, analysis, and consultancy specialist Ceram.In its recent white paper “Stents—New Materials and Technologies for the Future,”...
  • Zirconia Ceramic Component Restores Voice to Cancer Patients

    Zirconia ceramic from Morgan Technical Ceramics is used as a valve material for a voice-restoration implant.Up to 15% of patients diagnosed with throat cancer every year require a laryngectomy, which results in speech loss. Some speech and vocal function can be restored by means of valves that reconnect the trachea and esophagus. Current valve designs consist of a tube and incorporate a flap that opens as air is forced through. However, this valve, which is traditionally made from silicone...
  • 4000 Years of Medical Device Materials…and Counting

    Biomimetics—a big-sounding word used to describe science’s quest for new materials and processes derived from models in the natural world. But in an 18-minute presentation available on YouTube, Abhay Pandit, a professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at the National University of Ireland Galway, argues compellingly that the search for materials that mimic Mother Nature goes back at least to the ancient Egyptians.If you want to learn how Teflon found its way into the medical device...
  • Could California's Status Be Slipping as a Medtech Hub?

    California, along with Massachusetts and Minnesota, has long been regarded as a leading hub for the domestic (and global) medical device industry. But could its medtech stronghold soon be in jeopardy? A new report issued by the California Healthcare Institute, BayBio, and PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that may just be the case.The 2011 California Biomedical Industry Report found that 80% of responding biomedical company CEOs in the state have been approached by other countries, states, or...
  • Seven Design Maxims to Consider When Developing a New Product

    Venkat Rajan, industry manager, medical devices, at Frost & Sullivan.During "Innovations in Medical Implant Technologies for the Next Decade," the keynote address of MPMN's recent virtual event, speaker Venkat Rajan of Frost & Sullivan presented predictions for the implant market in the next decade, spoke about new buzz words that will come into play, and identified some 'mega trends' that will impact implant design in coming years. In addition to this compelling information,...
  • Georgia Tech Researchers Develop a Transistor Suitable for Plastic Electronics

    A top-gate organic field-effect transistor with a bilayer gate insulator can be fabricated on a plastic substrate, making it suitable for such applications as smart bandages.In the quest to develop flexible plastic electronics, one of the stumbling blocks has been creating transistors with enough stability for them to function in a variety of environments while still maintaining the current needed to power devices. Now, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech; Atlanta)...
  • Medical Device Tax Could Fuel Outsourcing Activity

    Slated to go into effect in 2013, the impending 2.3% excise tax on 'taxable medical devices' could prompt an uptick in outsourcing activity, according to a new report by Kalorama Information. “The tax itself won’t force a firm to outsource," according to Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. “But since the law taxes revenues notwithstanding the cost of manufacture, it could add further pressure to bring costs down in order to restore profits.” Whether this prediction of increased...
  • Novel Microfluidic Technology Is Worth the Paper It's Written On

    To demonstrate the new microfluidic concept, paper strips containing arrays of dots dipped in luminol were created. Blood was then sprayed on the strips, showing the presence of hemoglobin. (Photo courtesy of Purdue University)Researchers at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) have invented a technique for making microfluidic devices out of paper. The patented technique could enhance commercially available diagnostic devices that use paper-strip assays such as those used to test for diabetes...
  • Don't Forget: Free Virtual Event on Implantable Device Design Today

    Join the content teams of MPMN, MD+DI, and OrthoTec for a free Virtual Conference and Trade Show dedicated to cutting-edge trends in the design of implantable medical devices. The combined virtual conference and trade show offers the opportunity to learn from and interact directly with industry experts, thought-leaders, and technology providers direct from your desktop–virtually from anywhere you have online access. "Design Trends: Technological Advances in Implantable Devices" features a...
  • Coiled Silicon Nanowires Spring to Action in Flexible Electronics

    Silicon nanowire coils can be stretched 104% beyond their original length. Image: NC State.Flexible electronics are no longer a stretch of the imagination. In fact, researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State) believe that they have made significant progress in the field by fabricating silicon nanowire coils on an elastomeric substrate. Intended to promote stretchability without compromising electric performance, this design could help to realize flexible electronics–based health-...
  • PolyOne Opens Product Development Innovation Center in Germany

    PolyOne Corp. (Avon Lake, OH), a provider of specialized polymer materials and services, has announced the opening of an innovation center in Gaggenau, Germany. The new facility will support application development for the company's global specialty platform by enabling customers to develop, test, process optimize, and color match materials. “The ability to replicate manufacturing conditions will facilitate faster and more-efficient product launches for our customers, thereby reducing their...
  • Design Trends: Technological Advances in Implantable Devices

    What does the market look like for medical implants in the next decade? What novel biomaterials are available for next-generation cardiac implants? What are the latest surface technologies to facilitate bone in-growth on orthopedic implants? Is there really innovation taking place in implantable device design? These topics will be answered in an upcoming free virtual event, "Design Trends: Technological Advances in Implantable Devices."Cohosted by MPMN, along with its sister publications, MD+DI...
  • Keeping an Eye on Microelectronics-Based Contacts

    There seems to be a significant population of people that get quite squeamish when they see someone put in contacts or involved in any eye-touching scenario. Those people better brace themselves for the future: Innovative eye technology that combines biocompatible materials with microelectronics is within sight.A recent article in New Scientist highlights several different emerging technologies that incorporate microelectronics into contact lenses. But these devices aren't designed for vision...
  • Self-Mending Polymer Could Enable Medical Implants to Fix Themselves

    Broken polymer chains reform to repair a crack in a polymer material when it is pressed together and exposed to UV light.(Photo by Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University)A new polymer material that can repeatedly heal itself at room temperature when exposed to ultraviolet light could eventually lead to the development of self-mending medical implants. Created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU; Pittsburgh) and Kyushu University (Fukuoka, Japan), the polymer heals...
  • Self-Assembling Nanorope Mimics Natural Biomaterials

    A nanoscale rope with the capacity to braid itself, as shown in this atomic force microscopy image, could eventually be used in such applications as drug-delivery vehicles.Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab; Berkeley, CA) have coaxed polymers to braid themselves into nanoscale ropes that approach the structural complexity of biological materials. Their work is part of the push to develop self-assembling nanoscale materials that...
  • Nanostructured Synthetic Polymers Promote Cell Growth

    A laser-based technology developed by an international, multidisciplinary team of scientists has facilitated the creation of novel nanostructured synthetic polymers. Optimized for promoting cell growth, the materials could help to advance reconstructive surgery and improve treatment of burn victims.When treating severe burn victims through surgical intervention, a lack of sufficient skin to graft on especially damaged areas may necessitate growth of new skin from the patient's own cells. This...
  • Using Hydrogels to Grow Blood Vessels in the Lab

    Time-lapse image shows how two types of cells tagged with fluorescent dyes organize themselves into a functioning capillary network within 72 hours.Recently, Medtech Pulse reported on research conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Institutes of Health on the use of hydrogels for developing 3-D tissue scaffolds. Hot on the heels of this news, researchers from Rice University (Houston) and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM; Houston) claim to have found a...
  • Liquid Pistons May Pave the Way for Next-Gen Drug Delivery, Imaging, and Lab-on-a-Chip Applications

    Liquid pistons can act as a liquid resonator, a pump, or as a camera. Image: Rensselaer Polytechnic.Liquid pistons could be exploited to develop a range of next-generation medical applications that include microdisplacement pumps, liquid switches, implantable eye lenses, imaging systems, and advanced drug-delivery platforms. The pistons are tunable, scalable, and suffer no wear and tear. “It is possible to make mechanical pumps that are small enough for use in lab-on-a-chip...
  • Metallic Glass Pushes the Envelope of Damage Tolerance

    Metallic glass rods demonstrate strength and toughness. Image: CaltechAn alloy composed of palladium, silver, and several other metalloids has demonstrated a combination of strength and toughness that has not previously been achieved, according to its developers. The damage-tolerant metallic glass could someday be employed in dental and other biomedical implants."Strength and toughness are actually very different, almost mutually exclusive," says Marios Demetriou, a senior research fellow...