• NIST/NIH Researchers Hope to Engineer Tissue Scaffolds Using Hydrogels

    Measuring approximately 1 × 6 cm, hydrogel scaffolds used to culture bone cells show that bone mineralization depends on the stiffness of the gel. Deposited minerals are denser at the bottoms of the gradient gels, which are progressively stiffer from top to bottom. Color has been added for emphasis.A research team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Gaithersburg, MD) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH; Bethesda, MD) is using hydrogels to develop 3-D tissue...
  • Survey Says: Medical Device Manufacturers View 2011 with 'Cautious Optimism'

    Things may be looking up. Emergo Group (Austin, TX), a global regulatory consulting firm for the medical device industry, released its 2011 Medical Device Industry Outlook today. Based on a survey of medical device professionals, the report describes the tone of the industry as cautiously optimistic. Results indicated that close to 75% of respondents expect overall sales to increase in the coming year and almost 70% have a somewhat to very positive outlook for the industry in 2011. Other...
  • Fabricating Bacteria-Resistant Polymers Using Carbon Dioxide

    Researchers are now impregnating plastics with compressed carbon dioxide (CO2) in a process that could lead to new applications, including bacteria-resistant polycarbonate. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT are testing how carbon dioxide can be used to impregnate plastics. At a temperature of 30.1°C and a pressure of 73.8 bar, CO2 goes into a supercritical state that gives the gas solvent-like properties. In this state, it can be...
  • Supplier of Micromachined Products to Move into New Facility

    Resonetics LLC has announced that it will relocate in spring 2011 from its current Nashua, NH, facility to a significantly larger facility a short distance away. The new facility has a 50% larger footprint than the current space, much of which will be allocated to the manufacture of medical device components and to related services. The company also plans to double again by 2012 and has reserved surrounding space to ensure expansion.“It is especially rewarding to our employees that Resonetics...
  • Medical Device Industry Outlook for 2011: Better Than Last Year

    We ushered in a new year and bid a fond farewell to 2010. So, now what? Now is the time for surveys to abound and for experts to come out of the woodwork and weigh in on the medical device industry's prospects in 2011. For your reference, MPMN has consolidated some of these prognostications into a brief industry outlook cheat sheet. Let the speculation begin!Growth on the Horizon. Analysts at Kalorama Information forecast that the global medical device market will exceed $300 billion in 2011,...
  • Copolymers Mimic Extracellular Matrix of Bone for Enhanced Tissue Scaffolds

    Optimized for use in tissue scaffolds, copolymers developed by researchers at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering mimic the mechanical properties, surface chemistry, and porosity of the extracellular matrix of human bone. As a result, these characteristics of the material could potentially encourage more successful tissue formation on the scaffolds.To achieve these desirable characteristics, the researchers modified the biocompatible, biodegradable material...
  • New Standard Targets Potentially Fatal Tube Misconnections

    MPMN does not generally cover medical device standards, but a newly adopted standard from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI; Arlington, VA) is bound to have a direct and vital impact on manufacturers of connectors—not to mention patients and hospitals.Designated as ANSI/AAMI/ISO 80369-1, the new international standard—the first in a series of seven to deal with connectors—seeks to reduce tubing misconnections among different types of medical devices. Directed...
  • New Sensing Technology Could Lead to Breathalyzer Breakthrough

    A sensor technology based on micron-size polymer particles coated with metal oxide nanoparticles can detect biomarkers in a person's breath in real time.Researchers at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Gaithersburg, MD) have developed a technology that could eventually be used to detect biomarkers in a person's respiration in real time. Detecting biomarkers offers insights into a patient's health, indicating the possible...
  • Semiconductor Companies Could Bring Fab Ideas to Medical Device Industry

    Semiconductor company TI offers analog front ends suitable for portable ECG and EEG systems, among other products.In recent weeks, I found myself speaking with several semiconductor companies for various upcoming projects. And there was an unmistakable common theme: Diversification is key and the medical device industry is one of the markets in which semiconductor companies want to be.The story of when and why many semiconductor companies set their sights on the medical device industry tends to...
  • 'Electronic Glue' Allows for Low-Cost Optical Sensing for Lab-on-a-Chip Applications

    Shrink Nanotechnologies Inc. (Carlsbad, CA) has licensed an 'electronic glue' from the University of Chicago to facilitate the cost-effective fabrication of printed optical sensors from semiconductor nanocrystals. The ability to develop low-cost printed sensing technologies could, in turn, enable the development of new low-cost diagnostic tools.Semiconductor nanocrystals show potential for demonstrating better optical sensitivity with lower production costs than conventional optical sensing...
  • Acetal-Compatible Antimicrobial Solution Fights Infection

    With the intent of reducing the chances for risky and costly hospital-acquired infections, Microban International (Huntersville, NC) has developed an antimicrobial technology that is compatible with acetal. The company reports a better than 4-log reduction of a range of organisms using its standard, enhanced, and human-serum-based testing protocols.Identified by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) as devices of concern, catheters are especially prone to biofilm...
  • Cogmedix Opens Class 4–Compliant Laser Facility

    Cogmedix (Worcester, MA) has registered a Class 4 laser facility compliant with the requirements of American National Standards Institute Z136 Guidelines and 105 CMR 121.000. The contract manufacturer is opening the dedicated facility for integrating lasers into a variety of medical products, including diagnostic and imaging systems, skin-treatment processes, ophthalmic assessment and surgical procedures, and surgical equipment such as that used to remove kidney stones.The company has met the...
  • Imec Develops Process Flow for Biocompatible Packaging of Medical Implants

    (a) Chip encasulation, and (b and c) possible basic concept of an implantable system.Imec (Leuven, Belgium) has derived a process flow concept for the packaging of medical implants that meets miniaturization, biocompatibility, and safety requirements. The proposed solution is an alternative to the rigid packages currently in use that tend to enhance foreign-body reactions. Biocompatibility considerations include the package's chemical, shape, and mechanical properties, while safety requirements...
  • Laser Tech Supplier JPSA Expands

    JPSA expanded job shop.JP Sercel Associates Inc. (JPSA; Manchester, NH) has completed the expansion of its laser manufacturing facility. By adding 24,000 sq ft of space, the expansion provides the company with the ability to meet customers’ increasing demands for excimer laser micromachining systems and other technologies. In addition to ultrafast laser micromachining systems, the company offers UV excimer and DPSS systems, UV and VUV laser-beam delivery systems, laser materials processing...
  • Novel Nanomatrix Coating Promotes Implant Acceptance

    By mimicking endothelium, the bionanomatrix coating helps prevent postoperative tissue scarring.Scientists at the University of Alabama (UAB; Birmingham) have developed a new coating technology that could enhance the long-term performance of medical implant devices such as heart valves and cardiac stents. Capable of mimicking natural endothelium, the substance that lines blood vessels, the patent-pending bionanomatrix coating can help prevent the postoperative tissue scarring that can cause...
  • Top 25 Breakthroughs of the Past 25 Years

    A lot has happened in medical device design and development during the past 25 years. And we at Medical Product Manufacturing News have done our best to cover all of the cutting-edge components, materials, equipment, and services that appeared on the scene during that time.In honor of of our 25th anniversary, MPMN editors spoke with suppliers to the medical device industry, reviewed our archives, and drew from our own knowledge to determine what we thought were the Top 25 Breakthroughs of the...
  • PMMA-Encased Nanowires Promise Longer Life, Faster Charges for Batteries

    Building on their previous work with coaxial nanowire cables, researchers at Rice University (Houston) have developed 3-D microbatteries that feature a conformal coating of PMMA polymer on nanowires. Suitable for use in medical device applications, these batteries could allow for faster charging and longer life spans than conventional batteries.Seeking to produce a 3-D battery design from the nanoscale up, the researchers employed electrodeposition to grow 10-µm-long nickel-tin nanowires in the...
  • Who Ever Heard of Liquid Bone?

    A liquid that solidifies into a bone-like material is injected into a model bone defect. (Photo by Thomas Webster)Competing for the "Who'd've thunk it" prize of 2010, Thomas Webster, an associate professor of engineering at Brown University (Providence, RI), has developed a nanomaterial that quickly solidifies at body temperature into a bone-like substance. If the material proves successful, it could eventually find its way into knees and hips everywhere.Containing the same nucleic acids as DNA...
  • Austin, Texas: Where Music Meets Medtech

    Austin, Texas, is renowned for its vibrant culture, music scene, and eclectic mix of people proudly touting the motto, "Keep Austin Weird." But just as important to the city as music, though perhaps not as noticeable to visitors, is the high-tech haven that has flourished over the years.A Regional Focus on Texas for the January/February issue of MPMN brought me to the state this past week, and among my key destinations was Austin. Upon visiting the city for the first time, I found it intriguing...
  • Two-Photon Laser Photolithography Produces Precise Microstructured Tissue Scaffolds

    A fluorescence microscopy image shows hepatocytes growing on a microstructured 3-D scaffold fabricated using two-photon laser scanning photolithography. (Photo courtesy of Elsevier)Andrew Wan, Jackie Y. Ying, and co-workers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at A*STAR Research (Singapore) have developed a photolithography method that can be used to fabricate precise microstructured 3-D tissue materials. This method of creating 3-D tissue scaffolds with well-defined...