• 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...
  • NEMS Approach to Wiring Nanoscale Devices Could Lead to Advanced Biosensors

    The success of achieving nanoscale sensor arrays or circuits can quickly be negated if nanoelectronic devices' wiring ultimately results in a bulky or large package, according to Akram S. Sadek, a graduate student in the Computational and Neural Systems program at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena). In a recent paper for Nanowerk, Sadek details his group's attempts to address the challenges associated with wiring of nanoscale devices through a new approach that could enable the...
  • Medical Device Engineers Get New Numerical Algorithms

    This figure shows the speed increases associated with using the NAG Library for SMP and multicore computer systems.Medical device engineers seeking to improve their use of the processing power of multicore computer systems and migrate existing applications to multiprocessor architectures can download the new NAG library for symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and multicore processors from Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG; Oxford, UK). Mathematical and statistical algorithms optimized for...
  • Faster Electronics Make Noise with Miniature Devices

    When integrating electronics into end-use devices, OEMs typically desire low noise and a high signal-to-noise ratio for optimal performance. However, a new breed of electronics developed by European researchers actually employs noise as part of the signal, which they believe could someday contribute to faster electronics.As devices shrink, so do electronics. And noise, which accompanies all signals to some degree, becomes an increasing problem. “Electronics is based on switches, which can turn...
  • University of Michigan Scientists Invent Microfluidic ICs

    Still image from a video shows how one circuit serves as the clocking signal of another circuit so that the branching fluids switch in unison. (Image courtesy of University of Michigan)In order to simplify lab-on-a-chip devices for portable medical tests, University of Michigan researchers have created microfluidic integrated circuits. As reported in Science Daily, these microfluidic circuits regulate fluid flow without assistance from outside systems—just as electronic circuits route the flow...
  • Disposable Diagnostic Devices May Rely on 'Smart Plastics'

    Plastic electronics are enabling the development of novel diagnostic devices, such as a sensor wristband for patient monitoring. Image: Fraunhofer.A host of cost-effective disposable diagnostic devices could soon be made possible by 'smart plastics.'  Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM (Munich) are currently developing multiple lab-on-a-chip devices that rely on plastic chips for some of their advanced functionality.At the root of the...
  • Texas Cashes in Chips for Cardiac Stents

    As the saying goes, everything's bigger in Texas. And if recent activity in Austin is any indication, the medical device industry is no exception.Although not yet on par with Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Southern California, Texas is steadily cultivating the growth of this high-tech sector. Central Texas and Austin, in particular, are emerging as hotbeds of medtech activity, according to a recent article in the Austin American-Statesman. The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce told the...
  • Secant Expands Biomedical Textile Manufacturing Capabilities

    Secant Medical (Perkasie, PA), a designer, developer, and custom manufacturer of biomedical textiles, has announced that it is expanding its manufacturing capacity. The company is adding a 40,000-sq ft facility in Quakertown, PA, to support current and future business growth resulting from market development trends in tissue engineering and transcatheter technologies. In addition, it has also redesigned its entire methodology for custom developing and manufacturing products for medical device...
  • Pioneering Patterning Technique Takes Nanofabrication to the Next Level

    A small, sharp, silicon tip measuring 500 nm in length and with an apex estimated to be 100,000 times smaller than that of a sharpened pencil is at the core of a new nanopatterning technique. Developed by researchers at IBM (San Jose, CA), the silicon tip enables 2- and 3-D nanopatterning on a variety of materials—a capability that could enable progress in the cost-effective, easy fabrication of nanoscale parts for an array of applications, including some in the medical device industry....