• Milk From ‘Spider Goats' Could Produce Tendon Replacement Material

    What’s stronger than Kevlar, stretchier than nylon, and a natural material that has long intrigued scientists and engineers because of its potential medical applications? The strongest of the six types of spider silk, referred to as “dragline” silk, is used for outer circles of a web, or for repelling from ceiling to floor.In the early ‘90s molecular biologist Randolph Lewis and his colleagues at University of Wyoming in Laramie identified the two proteins that make up the strong silk, but the...
  • Low-Power Bluetooth Feature Helps Medical Devices Go Wireless

    Wireless connectivity offers users of many medical devices a plethora of advantages, from logging vital health information to monitoring blood glucose levels. On the cusp of this wireless revolution is Bluetooth 4.0, including its low-power feature dubbed Bluetooth Low Energy. This Q&A from Medical Electronics Design with Tim Whittaker, a system architect in the wireless division of product development firm Cambridge Consultants, discusses the advantages that BLE provides for medical device...
  • U.S. Implantable Device Market to Exceed $50 Billion by 2015

    Highly anticipated devices being developed to treat and manage cardiovascular, neurological, orthopedic, and other disorders will lead the U.S. implantable device market to an 8% annual growth rate through 2015, according to a special report released by UBM Canon’s PharmaLive. Despite continuing product recalls and safety controversies, the implantable device market is on pace to exceed $50 billion in 2015."Growth in this market should continue at a solid pace for years to come despite...
  • Scientists Get to the Bottom of Biofilm Formation

    The benefits derived from the increasing use of implantable medical devices are not without their drawbacks. Witness the high incidence of hospital-acquired infections caused by Gram-positive, Gram-negative, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A primary cause of implant-related bacterial infection is biofilm formation. As Bernd Liesenfeld remarks in "Antimicrobials: Beyond Silver," the best strategy for preventing biofilms is to prevent initial bacterial colonization of a surface through use of...
  • Plasma Processing Yields Antibacterial Implant Coating

    Using plasma processing, an Australian physicist has produced titanium dioxide (TiO2) doped with nitrogen atoms that is sensitive to visible light. The resulting process and doped TiO2 coating can promote osseointegration of implants while providing antibacterial properties to combat nosocomial or hospital-acquired infections.When exposed to ultraviolet light, a TiO2 crystal generates electron-hole pairs that can migrate to the surface and act as a source of free electrons and electron...
  • Knee-Replacement Implant Market on the Rise

    Increasing incidences of osteoarthritis in the baby boomer population and obesity in the general population will fuel growth in the knee-replacement implant market, according to a report released by industry analyst GlobalData. Based on data and information obtained from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis, "Knee Replacement Implants: Global Pipeline Analysis, Competitive Landscape, and Market Forecasts to 2017" presents the key trends affecting the knee...
  • Researchers Create a Paper-based Metamaterial Biosensor

    The potential for lab-on-a-chip technology to bring diagnostics to countries without sophisticated medical care could be a huge breakthrough in global health, identifying patients needing treatment for infectious diseases. But to develop immunoassays on substrates like silicon, expensive and time-consuming processes like photolithography, etching, or deposition keeps the costs too high to make the diagnostics widely available. It might come as a surprise that a material as basic as paper would...
  • 2011 Medical Design Excellence Awards: In Case You Missed It

    The 2011 Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) honored gold and silver winners at the MD&M East trade show recently. In case you missed out, we've consolidated the coverage of these innovative products below for your convenience.Alfred E. Mann, chairman and CEO of MannKind Corp., was the recipient of the first Medical Design Excellence Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. Read about the 42-year medical device industry veteran's contributions to the market in an interview with our sister...
  • Success of Medical Devices Increasingly Hinges on User Experience

    Advanced technology is well and good, but if it's not packaged in a user-friendly design, your medical device may just flop.The MDEA-winning V-Series patient-monitoring system features a vertical screen, which is optimized for nurses.The importance of the user experience is becoming increasingly evident in recent years as ubiquitous consumer electronics that marry advanced functionality with an intuitive user interface raise the bar in terms of user expectations. Feel free to blame Apple and...
  • Microspectrometer Technology Could Find Use in Microfluidic Applications

    A new microspectrometer architecture that uses compact disc–shaped resonators could address the challenges of integrated lab-on-chip sensing systems that now require a large off-chip spectrometer to achieve high resolution, according to scientists at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech; Atlanta). Designed by a team of researchers under Ali Adibi, a professor in the school of electrical and computer engineering, the 81-channel on-chip spectrometer achieves 0.6-nm resolution over a...
  • New Imaging Technique Can Take 3-D Pictures of Arterial Plaque

    Researchers at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) have developed a new type of imaging technology to diagnose cardiovascular disease and other disorders by measuring ultrasound signals from molecules exposed to a fast-pulsing laser. The new method could be used to take precise 3-D images of plaques lining arteries, remarks Ji-Xin Cheng, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and chemistry.The new technique uses nanosecond laser pulses in the near-infrared range. The laser...
  • Imec Ultra-Low-Power Transceiver Suitable for Body-Area Networks

    Imec (Leuven, Belgium) and Holst Centre (Eindhoven, Netherlands) have developed an ultra-low-power radio chip for wireless body-area networks (BANs). Consisting of sensor nodes that operate on the human body, such networks can be used in medical device applications. To demonstrate it's possibilities, the chip has been integrated into a necklace with full ECG functionality. Imec’s new ultralow-power wireless transceiver is suitable for a range of BAN applications, including EEG, ECG, and...
  • Security System for Electronic Implants: Risk or Reward?

    In response to a public fascination with the potential for electronic implant hacking in recent years, researchers at MIT and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass) are developing a jamming transmitter that blocks unauthorized signals in an implant's frequency. While undoubtedly a fascinating concept, is such a system necessary?The jamming transmitter, also dubbed a shield, may be worn as jewelry, for example, and could work with new or even existing implants. It would decode and relay...
  • UBM Medical Group Sets Fall 2011 Virtual Events Schedule

    UBM’s medical group has just finalized its schedule of virtual events for the remainder of 2011. Designed for medical device professionals, these events cover a range of medical device technologies, including cardiology, electronic, and diagnostic devices. In addition, virtual events will highlight prevailing salaries and career building opportunities in the medical device industry.September 22, "Cardio," led by Medical Device + Diagnostic IndustrySeptember 28–29, "MD&M Online," led by the...
  • Conductive Coating for Textiles Could Lead to New Patient Monitoring Devices

    Researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State; Raleigh) are developing conductive nanocoatings for use on such simple textiles as woven cotton. Among the applications that could eventually benefit from electrically conductive fabrics are medical device monitors.Using atomic layer deposition, the scientists grow coatings on the surface of woven cotton and nonwoven polypropylene. Based on inorganic materials, such coatings are typically used in solar cells, sensors, and...
  • Bluetooth Announces Heart Rate and Thermometer Profiles for Next-Generation Medical Devices

    Bluetooth may have become a household name because of its game-changing role in consumer electronics, but its impact on the medical device industry, while less publicized, is perhaps more significant. Contributing to the advancement of such groundbreaking concepts as telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, the technology is now primed to enhance next-generation wireless medical devices for the mobile health market with its Health Thermometer and Heart Rate profiles.Built on Bluetooth v4.0,...
  • Fine-Tuning of Metasurfaces Allow NIST Researchers to Concentrate Energy

    What do opera singer’s glass-shattering high notes have in common with medical device development? A team of researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Boulder, CO) have used the principle of resonant frequency energy concentration to create a fluid-tuned metasurface, which could help develop energy storage in components like biomedical sensors.Creating a two-dimensional equivalent of a metafilm, the metasurface developed by the NIST team is a small composite...
  • Are Nanoparticles Safe? NIST Catch-and-Release Technology Could Provide an Answer

    Although nanoparticles are widely considered to have important therapeutic benefits in such areas as drug delivery and cancer treatment, their safety remains a hotly contested issue. To address nanoparticle safety, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Gaithersburg, MD) have discovered a method for attracting and capturing metal-based nanoparticles on a surface, testing their safety, and releasing them after confirming that they will not harm living cells.Gold...
  • Low-Cost Nanodevices are Stamped Out by Vanderbilt Researchers

    Improving on the lengthy, complicated etching procedures and traditional strategies involved with making devices out of nanoporous materials, engineers at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) have created a simple, cost-effective technique for stamping patterns onto nanomaterials. The tiny voids in porous nanomaterials give unique mechanical, chemical, optical, and electrical properties used to produce novel devices in applications that include drug delivery, chemical and biological sensors,...
  • Medical Device Clusters Continue to Crop Up

    Make room: The medical device industry might be getting a lot more crowded. An article featured in USA Today discussed a growing trend in areas that have been economically hard hit to cultivate industry clusters to rejuvenate manufacturing and create jobs. And it's no surprise that the medical device and biotechnology industries are among the most desirable."Cluster theory holds that manufacturers and suppliers often want to be in proximity to collaborate on product design. Companies want to be...