• Is It Catching? Researcher Spreads Virus from Implanted Device

    The subject of potential implant hacking has generated a great deal of discussion and exploration in recent years. However, a British researcher has taken investigation of electronic implant vulnerability to the next level by becoming the first man to be 'infected' by a computer virus.Modeling an RFID-based microchip after those used to tag pets, researcher Mark Gasson of the University of Reading's School of Systems Engineering (Reading, UK) programmed the chip to communicate with other...
  • Polymers Coated with Human Extracellular Matrix Improve Device Biocompatibility

    While biomechanically suitable for cardiovascular, urological, and hernia repair applications, many polymers fail because of the body's inflammatory and thrombogenic response. But now, Histogen Inc. (San Diego), a regenerative medicine company developing solutions based on the products of newborn cells grown under embryonic conditions, has demonstrated that polymers coated with bioengineered human extracellular matrix (hECM) show a statistically significant reduction in immune-cell infiltration...
  • Listen Up: 3-D Scanning Technology Could Improve Hearing Aids

    A 3-D imaging technology developed by MIT researchers results in a stretchy, balloon-like membrane that is inserted into the ear canal and inflated to take the shape of the canal.A 3-D imaging technology developed by MIT (Cambridge, MA) researchers could enable hearing-aid manufacturers to provide better-fitting devices. Achieving a tight fit between the hearing aid and ear canal optimizes sound amplification and ensures minimal feedback between the microphone and receiver, which ultimately...
  • Software Platform May Enable MRI Design Breakthroughs

    The National Research Council Canada's Institute for Biodiagnostics (NRC-IBD; Ottawa, ON, Canada) has teamed up with Schmid & Partner Engineering AG (SPEAG; Zurich, Switzerland) to offer a new software platform for MRI scanner design. Integrating new tools for radio-frequency (RF) array design and postprocessing, the platform is the first software of its kind to combine all the tools needed to design RF-phased arrays into a single user-friendly program, according to the partners.With the...
  • Electrospinning Alternative Offers Controlled Fabrication of Nanofibers

    Dissatisfied with the high-voltage electrical fields and low production rate associated with electrospinning processes, researchers at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) have developed a low-voltage rotary jet-spinning technology that allows for the high-output fabrication of tiny, aligned, 3-D nanofibers. Using only a drum and a nozzle, the technique enables the production of biocompatible nanotextiles for a variety of applications, including tissue scaffolds and artificial organs.Describing...
  • Minimizing Toxic Materials in Medical Nanotechnology Applications

    Nanotechnology presents an array of challenges for researchers: materials that behave differently at the nanoscale than at the macroscale, the manufacture of parts and production of features sizes that are invisible to the naked eye, and, of course, the unknown effects of a new technology when used in medical applications. The latter issue, specifically questioning the toxicity of many nanoscale technologies, is among the most talked about and most controversial, however. In an attempt to...
  • French Scientists Create World's First Glucose Biofuel Cell

    Glucose naturally found in the bloodstream could be used as an energy source for implantable medical devices.Researchers in France have announced the development of the first functional glucose biofuel cell. Potential applications of the research include biosensors, drug-delivery devices, insulin pumps, neural and bone-growth stimulators, and synthetic organs.Led by Philippe Cinquin, a team of scientists at Joseph Fourier University (Grenoble, France) confined selected enzymes inside...
  • New Report Examines the Drug-Delivery Market

    A special report titled, "Drug-Delivery Review and Outlook 2010," has been released by PharmaLive.com and the Canon Data Products Group, which are both operated by Canon Communications, the publisher of MPMN. Serving professionals in the medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries, the report provides an analysis of the drug-delivery market, identifies growth opportunities, and highlights technological advancements.Poised for growth, the drug-delivery market is expected to increase...
  • DNA-Based Robot Could Eventually Find Use in Therapeutic Devices

    A molecular nanorobot (dyed green) moves on a DNA origami scaffold toward its goal (dyed red) by cleaving the visited substrates. Such DNA robots could eventually be used in therapeutic devices. (Photo courtesy of Paul Michelotti)A team of scientists has programmed an autonomous molecular "robot" made out of DNA to start, move, turn, and stop while following a DNA track. This technology could eventually lead to molecular systems that might one day be used for medical therapeutic devices and...
  • Microneedles Incorporating Antimicrobial Agents Could Be the Wave of the Future

    A scanning electron micrograph shows an array of biodegradable polyethylene glycol-based microneedles with antimicrobial properties.Microneedles are known to minimize pain, tissue damage, and skin inflammation, making them potentially suitable for future portable medical devices for the treatment of chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s and diabetes. However, the possibility of infection associated with microneedles has prevented their widespread adoption. Addressing this issue, researchers at...
  • Nanomachined Liquid Glass Electrodes Power Miniature Devices

    Using laser nanomachining, a team of researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (U-M) has developed a 3-D nanoscale liquid glass electrode. The scientists have already employed the unlikely electrode to power what they are claiming is the world's smallest pump; however, they believe it can also be integrated into a variety of nanodevices and fluidic systems."Nanofluidic devices make use of molecular-level forces and phenomena to increase their density, speed, and accuracy," the...
  • Sebra Becomes Vante

    As part of a corporate development plan, Sebra has changed its name to Vante (Tucson, AZ). The employee-owned, global technology company designs and produces products for the manipulation of medical plastics. It is focused on catheter development and manufacturing, biopharmaceutical products, and related engineering services."Last year we sold our blood collection and processing division and the brand name Sebra," says Roger Vogel, the company's chairman, president, and CEO....
  • Medical Device Innovation Lags Behind Other Industries, Report Says

    Although they deliver a wealth of products that save lives and improve the quality of life, medical device and pharmaceutical companies are trailing other industries in terms of innovation, according to a new report.The Innovation Index released jointly by consulting firm Strategos and stock research company wRatings states that, despite increasing R&D spending by 2% while most other industries reduced R&D spending by 4%, the medical device and pharmaceutical industries lag...
  • Carbon Composite Material Could Function as Ersatz Nerve Bundles

    An artificially colored scanning electron microscope image shows a channel with a carbon nanotube bundle (yellow-green) protruding from it, above the surface of the glass (blue).Employing a technique for processing carbon nanobubes, researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN) are laying the groundwork for a material that could one day mimick the human nervous system, enabling the development of bionic devices."We make this material in a way similar to what you may have done...
  • Sil-Pro Expands Cleanroom and Molding Capabilities

     Sil-Pro's new 3500-sq-ft Class 10,000 cleanroom will be used to mold components for medical device applications.Sil-Pro (Delano, MN) has added a 3500-sq-ft Class 10,000 cleanroom, which will incorporate new molding operations to serve the growing requirements of the medical device industry.“Sil Pro’s growth since its beginning in 1999 has been very rapid,” remarks Brian Higgins, the company's VP of sales and marketing. “Our growth rate each of the last four years has averaged 27%. Our new...
  • Want to Make Cheap Devices? Get Inspired by Everyday Objects

    A salad spinner served as inspiration for a novel low-cost centrifuge.A pair of undergraduate researchers at Rice University (Houston) are putting a new spin on medical device design. As the basis for a student project, students Lila Kerr and Lauren Theis employed a salad spinner as the core component of a low-cost, rudimentary centrifuge. Such creative thinking helps to pave the way for future cost-effective devices with the potential to improve healthcare in developing countries.As part of an...
  • Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Controversy Escalates

    Metal-on-metal hip implants are at the center of controversy.The debate surrounding metal-on-metal hip implants is quickly becoming as inflamed as the osteolytic tissue critics claim they cause.In addition to their reputation for causing tissue inflammation, thereby leading to implant weakening and discomfort, all-metal implants have been linked in some recent reports to tumor formation as well. Consequently, although metal-on-metal hip implants have drawn fire for many years, protests and...
  • Rubber-Like Biomaterial Mimics Mechanical Properties of Muscle

    Drawing inspiration from the muscle protein titin, a group of researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC; Vancouver, BC, Canada) has developed biomaterials that demonstrate some of the mechanical properties of natural muscle. The rubber-like materials may be suitable for future tissue engineering, materials science, and other applications.Responsible for the passive elasticity of natural muscle, titin contributes to the combination of strength, extensibility, and resilience...
  • Metamaterial Device May Enable Scientists to Marshal the Power of THz Radiation for Use in Future Medical Scanning Applications

    Nanowerk News reports that a group of scientists at Boston University (BU) has developed a new way to detect and control terahertz (THz) radiation using optics and materials science. Composed of electromagnetic waves, this type of radiation can pass through materials safely. Based on this work, it may be possible one day to develop safer medical scanners.Led by Richard Averitt, the researchers have long sought devices that could control THz transmissions, enabling information to be sent via THz...
  • LSA Laser Opens New Cleanroom

    LSA's new cleanroom is equipped to perform medical-device manufacturing operations.Continuing the expansion of its medical device manufacturing facilities, LSA Laser (Plymouth, MN) has announced the installation of a Class 100,000 cleanroom that will include a CO2 laser system. Up to five more systems are planned for precision processing of silicone, TPE, Teflon, and other polymers, in addition to a range of medical-grade metal materials.“Growing demand for precision laser-processed medical...