• Hydrogel Scaffolds Allow Complete Skin Regeneration in Burn Wound Healing

    A new component in a wound treatment method could greatly help heal third-degree burn victims, promoting new blood vessel and skin formation. A specially-designed hydrogel developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD) can be used in an inexpensive burn dressing to regenerate skin without use of drugs. Though the hydrogel hasn’t been tested on humans yet, on studies with mouse tissue have shown that it can promote the development of new blood vessels and regenerate complex...
  • FDA, ABIA to Collaborate on Medical Device Polymer Development

    In what is being billed as FDA's first polymer collaboration, the federal agency and the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA; Akron, OH) have begun working together to support and develop regulatory science for the safe and effective use of biomaterials in medical devices. According to a memorandum of understanding, FDA will draw upon ABIA's resources—including a library of test methods for crystalline polymers and advanced methods of nanoparticle-based surface defect detection—to...
  • Weekly Vitals: Reflecting on 2011, Looking Ahead to 2012, and More

    As we inch toward the holidays and into a new year, UBM Canon's medical device editorial teams have been deeply entrenched in end-of-year list mania. Check out our various reflections on the past 12 months and what's to come for 2012.Blue Skies or Clouds Ahead for Medtech Industry? Experts Make Their 2012 Predictions (MD+DI)Biggest Medtech Controversies of 2011 (MPMN)Top Medical Device Stories of 2011 (MPMN)Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained in 2011 (OrthoTec)The Most Important Stories You Missed in 2011 (...
  • Combination Products: Engineering and Biologics Make Good Bedfellows

    No topic can be more current or more misunderstood than the expanding world of combination products, notes the Medical Development Group (MDG; Waltham, MA). To stay current and promote understanding, MDG is sponsoring a forum early next year under the catchy title, “Combination Products—It Takes Two to Tango.” The event will take place on January 4, 2012 at the Foley Hoag Emerging Enterprise Center in Waltham, MA.Designed to address the science, materials, market opportunities, and product...
  • Microneedle Development Could Advance Real-Time Chemical Monitoring

    A scanning electron micrograph shows the hollow channel inside a microneedle developed by scientists at NC State, Sandia National Laboratories, and UC San Diego.A team of scientists at North Carolina State University (NC State; Raleigh), Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM), and the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) have created a technology based on microneedle sensors that can detect real-time chemical changes in the body. Capable of monitoring such changes over an...
  • Weekly Vitals: Medtech in 2011, Making a Medtech Mt. Rushmore, and More

    As the end of 2011 draws nigh, medical device editors everywhere are busy compiling year-end lists for a bit of reflection on the medical device industry and the events of the past 12 months. And we're no exception. Covering topics ranging from metal-on-metal hip implants to the artificial pancreas to implant hacking, MPMN's gallery of the 10 most-popular stories of the year represent the medical device design and development issues that captivated you most during the past 12 months. Our...
  • Chemists Create Nanomaterial-Purifying Molecular Traps

    Tiny nanotubes created by chemists are able to trap molecules of different sizes, filtering and separating different particles and molecules. Traps resembling tube-shaped hairbrushes have been created by a team of chemists at the University of Buffalo (Buffalo, NY) to capture and purify nanomaterials.Uniformity of particle size is an important factor when creating advanced materials, so the ability to separate proteins by size and charge, or separating large and small quantum dots, could aid in...
  • Nanotube-Imaging Technology May Advance Drug-Delivery and Diagnostic Applications

    Researchers have developed a new imaging tool for tracking carbon nanotubes in living cells and the bloodstream, work that could aid efforts to perfect nanotubes' use in medical device applications.While two types of nanotubes are created in the manufacturing process, metallic and semiconducting, a technique has not been available for imaging both types in living cells and the bloodstream. Conventional imaging using luminescence is limited because it detects the semiconducting nanotubes but not...
  • Software Tools Help Medical Device Makers Navigate Changing Global Regulatory Landscape

    The medical device industry has benefited greatly from the growing availability of financial and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software over the years. But is has suffered from a noticeable lack of software resources aimed at providing business intelligence and decision support, according to Peter von Dyck, CEO of e-Zassi  (Fernandina Beach, FL). Responding to this unmet need in the marketplace, e-Zassi has developed proprietary software tools that help outline a clear...
  • FDA's Artificial Pancreas Draft Guidance Elicits 'Guarded Optimism'

    Last week, I reported on the presumed benefits of an artificial pancreas that could revolutionize diabetes treatment, noting that substantial disaffection from many quarters has been expressed toward FDA's apparent resistance to approving the development of the technology. A few days after my blog hit the streets, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (New York; JDRF) issued a statement on FDA’s draft guidance on the artificial pancreas and held a press conference to present its statement....
  • Weekly Vitals: Medtech Salary Survey Published, FDA Sets Path for Artificial Pancreas, and More

    It's that time of year again: Our sister publication, MD+DI, has released its annual salary survey. Respondents were noticeably more pessimistic about their jobs and salaries than they have been in prior years, which is not too surprising in the current economy, according to MD+DI. “I’m not surprised that people’s satisfaction with their jobs has gone down," Joe Mullings, president and CEO of the Mullings Group, a recruiting company in the medical device industry, told the magazine. "In general...
  • Graphene Transistor Reads Electrical Signals of Biological Cells

    A team of scientists from Technical University Munich (Munich, Germany) and the Juelich Research Center have demonstrated a graphene-based transistor array that can record electrical signals generated by living biological cells. Because of a unique combination of characteristics, graphene has been identified as a material that will be used in the future in biomedical applications which require a direct interface between nerve cells and microelectronic devices. Such sensors could be placed...
  • New Report Highlights Biomed Clusters at Home and Abroad

    Wanna know where the hottest established and emerging biomed hubs are located? You're in luck, because "Global Life Sciences Cluster Report—2011," a new report by Jones Lang LaSalle, is chock full of information about the world's leading industry clusters in the United States and beyond.Here are some highlights. The United States was the leading destination for direct investment in the Americas and globally, receiving more than $38 billion in inward investment between 2003 and 2006 (13 times...
  • 3-D Printer Builds Bone-Like Material in Custom Shapes

    Bone-like materials for orthopedic or dental applications have been made with a variety of manufacturing techniques, and the latest uses a 3-D inkjet printer to create a scaffold for new bone growth that is able to later dissolve. Researchers at Washington State University (Pullman, WA) have been performing in vitro test on rats and rabbits successfully, and believe that in the next few years, the technology has the ability to produce custom replacement bone tissue.To create the scaffold, a...
  • 'Home Health Hub' Reference Platform Facilitates Development of Remote-Access Devices

    Promoting improved patient outcomes and reduced healthcare costs, telehealth and remote patient monitoring applications are on the rise. Responding to increased interest in these fields, Freescale Semiconductor (Austin, TX) has introduced a home health hub (HHH) reference platform designed to accelerate development of remote-access devices and provide seamless connectivity and data aggregation.Freescale has introduced the home health hub to help expedite network-enabled devices' time to market...
  • U.S. Healthcare Reforms Could Impact Domestic Pacemaker Sales

    Increasing incidences of arrhythmia and heart failure will contribute to a predicted growth of the global pacemaker and cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemakers (CRT-P) market from $4.5 billion in 2010 to $5.3 billion by 2017, according to a recent report by industry analysis firm GlobalData. The report, "Pacemakers and Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Pacemakers (CRT-P): Global Pipeline Analysis, Competitive Landscape, and Market Forecast to 2017," cites advancements in pacemaker...
  • Fighting Blood Diseases Using Magnetic Attraction

    Working to exploit the powers of nanotechnology, scientists at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) are developing nanomagnets with the goal of using them someday to cleanse the blood of diseases. For example, the technology could eventually find its way into treatments for patients suffering from drug intoxication, bloodstream infections, and cancers.The nanomagnets consist of magnetized nanoparticles that are coated with carbon and laced with antibodies specific to molecules of interest,...
  • Artificial Pancreas Could Revolutionize Diabetes Care, If FDA Will Allow It

    A November 26 CNN article on the development of an artificial pancreas is noteworthy because it highlights the nexus between medical device enabling technologies, end-use medical products, clinical trials, and the much-criticized FDA approval process.Based on a sensor placed under the skin for measuring blood sugar, an artificial pancreas mimics the glucose-regulating function of a healthy organ, the article explains. After the sensor measures the blood sugar level, information is sent to a...
  • Weekly Vitals: Sen. Franken Introduces Medical Device Bill, Top Products and Services of 2011 Announced, and More

    Senator Al Franken (D-MN), along with cosponsors Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and John Kerry (D-MA), introduced the Patient Access to Medical Innovation act this week in an effort to expedite time to market for innovative medical devices. “After speaking with countless patients, doctors, and members of the medical device industry in Minnesota, I’ve learned that certain barriers in the regulatory process are making it harder to get patients the medical devices they need,” Franken says. “My...
  • First Practical Smart Material Could Propel Use of Tissue-Penetrating Light in Medical Diagnostics

    A smart polymer developed by UC San Diego scientists can disassemble when hit by low-power near-infrared light, opening the door to new imaging techniques. (Image courtesy of American Chemical Society)Scientists at the University of California, San Diego (La Jolla) are reporting that they have developed and completed successful initial tests of the first practical smart material suitable for medical imaging applications. The new material, they say, may supply the missing link in efforts to use...