• Seven Design Maxims to Consider When Developing a New Product

    Venkat Rajan, industry manager, medical devices, at Frost & Sullivan.During "Innovations in Medical Implant Technologies for the Next Decade," the keynote address of MPMN's recent virtual event, speaker Venkat Rajan of Frost & Sullivan presented predictions for the implant market in the next decade, spoke about new buzz words that will come into play, and identified some 'mega trends' that will impact implant design in coming years. In addition to this compelling information,...
  • Georgia Tech Researchers Develop a Transistor Suitable for Plastic Electronics

    A top-gate organic field-effect transistor with a bilayer gate insulator can be fabricated on a plastic substrate, making it suitable for such applications as smart bandages.In the quest to develop flexible plastic electronics, one of the stumbling blocks has been creating transistors with enough stability for them to function in a variety of environments while still maintaining the current needed to power devices. Now, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech; Atlanta)...
  • Medical Device Tax Could Fuel Outsourcing Activity

    Slated to go into effect in 2013, the impending 2.3% excise tax on 'taxable medical devices' could prompt an uptick in outsourcing activity, according to a new report by Kalorama Information. “The tax itself won’t force a firm to outsource," according to Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. “But since the law taxes revenues notwithstanding the cost of manufacture, it could add further pressure to bring costs down in order to restore profits.” Whether this prediction of increased...
  • Novel Microfluidic Technology Is Worth the Paper It's Written On

    To demonstrate the new microfluidic concept, paper strips containing arrays of dots dipped in luminol were created. Blood was then sprayed on the strips, showing the presence of hemoglobin. (Photo courtesy of Purdue University)Researchers at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) have invented a technique for making microfluidic devices out of paper. The patented technique could enhance commercially available diagnostic devices that use paper-strip assays such as those used to test for diabetes...
  • Don't Forget: Free Virtual Event on Implantable Device Design Today

    Join the content teams of MPMN, MD+DI, and OrthoTec for a free Virtual Conference and Trade Show dedicated to cutting-edge trends in the design of implantable medical devices. The combined virtual conference and trade show offers the opportunity to learn from and interact directly with industry experts, thought-leaders, and technology providers direct from your desktop–virtually from anywhere you have online access. "Design Trends: Technological Advances in Implantable Devices" features a...
  • Coiled Silicon Nanowires Spring to Action in Flexible Electronics

    Silicon nanowire coils can be stretched 104% beyond their original length. Image: NC State.Flexible electronics are no longer a stretch of the imagination. In fact, researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State) believe that they have made significant progress in the field by fabricating silicon nanowire coils on an elastomeric substrate. Intended to promote stretchability without compromising electric performance, this design could help to realize flexible electronics–based health-...
  • PolyOne Opens Product Development Innovation Center in Germany

    PolyOne Corp. (Avon Lake, OH), a provider of specialized polymer materials and services, has announced the opening of an innovation center in Gaggenau, Germany. The new facility will support application development for the company's global specialty platform by enabling customers to develop, test, process optimize, and color match materials. “The ability to replicate manufacturing conditions will facilitate faster and more-efficient product launches for our customers, thereby reducing their...
  • Design Trends: Technological Advances in Implantable Devices

    What does the market look like for medical implants in the next decade? What novel biomaterials are available for next-generation cardiac implants? What are the latest surface technologies to facilitate bone in-growth on orthopedic implants? Is there really innovation taking place in implantable device design? These topics will be answered in an upcoming free virtual event, "Design Trends: Technological Advances in Implantable Devices."Cohosted by MPMN, along with its sister publications, MD+DI...
  • Keeping an Eye on Microelectronics-Based Contacts

    There seems to be a significant population of people that get quite squeamish when they see someone put in contacts or involved in any eye-touching scenario. Those people better brace themselves for the future: Innovative eye technology that combines biocompatible materials with microelectronics is within sight.A recent article in New Scientist highlights several different emerging technologies that incorporate microelectronics into contact lenses. But these devices aren't designed for vision...
  • Self-Mending Polymer Could Enable Medical Implants to Fix Themselves

    Broken polymer chains reform to repair a crack in a polymer material when it is pressed together and exposed to UV light.(Photo by Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University)A new polymer material that can repeatedly heal itself at room temperature when exposed to ultraviolet light could eventually lead to the development of self-mending medical implants. Created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU; Pittsburgh) and Kyushu University (Fukuoka, Japan), the polymer heals...
  • Self-Assembling Nanorope Mimics Natural Biomaterials

    A nanoscale rope with the capacity to braid itself, as shown in this atomic force microscopy image, could eventually be used in such applications as drug-delivery vehicles.Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab; Berkeley, CA) have coaxed polymers to braid themselves into nanoscale ropes that approach the structural complexity of biological materials. Their work is part of the push to develop self-assembling nanoscale materials that...
  • Nanostructured Synthetic Polymers Promote Cell Growth

    A laser-based technology developed by an international, multidisciplinary team of scientists has facilitated the creation of novel nanostructured synthetic polymers. Optimized for promoting cell growth, the materials could help to advance reconstructive surgery and improve treatment of burn victims.When treating severe burn victims through surgical intervention, a lack of sufficient skin to graft on especially damaged areas may necessitate growth of new skin from the patient's own cells. This...
  • Using Hydrogels to Grow Blood Vessels in the Lab

    Time-lapse image shows how two types of cells tagged with fluorescent dyes organize themselves into a functioning capillary network within 72 hours.Recently, Medtech Pulse reported on research conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Institutes of Health on the use of hydrogels for developing 3-D tissue scaffolds. Hot on the heels of this news, researchers from Rice University (Houston) and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM; Houston) claim to have found a...
  • Liquid Pistons May Pave the Way for Next-Gen Drug Delivery, Imaging, and Lab-on-a-Chip Applications

    Liquid pistons can act as a liquid resonator, a pump, or as a camera. Image: Rensselaer Polytechnic.Liquid pistons could be exploited to develop a range of next-generation medical applications that include microdisplacement pumps, liquid switches, implantable eye lenses, imaging systems, and advanced drug-delivery platforms. The pistons are tunable, scalable, and suffer no wear and tear. “It is possible to make mechanical pumps that are small enough for use in lab-on-a-chip...
  • Metallic Glass Pushes the Envelope of Damage Tolerance

    Metallic glass rods demonstrate strength and toughness. Image: CaltechAn alloy composed of palladium, silver, and several other metalloids has demonstrated a combination of strength and toughness that has not previously been achieved, according to its developers. The damage-tolerant metallic glass could someday be employed in dental and other biomedical implants."Strength and toughness are actually very different, almost mutually exclusive," says Marios Demetriou, a senior research fellow...
  • Partnership Targets Orthopedic Meshes and Scaffolds

    DSM Dyneema (Urmond, Netherlands) has announced that it is forming a partnership with Proxy Biomedical (Cleveland). The alliance encourages further research and production of ExtreMESH, a durable surgical mesh made from DSM’s Dyneema Purity polyethylene fiber technology.   “With new access to Proxy Biomedical’s proven expertise in high-performance materials research, development, and manufacturing, our ability to help those needing tissue repair or regeneration is expanding,” remarks...
  • High-Temperature Spin-Field-Effect Transistor Could Help Measure Blood-Sugar Levels

    An international team of researchers has combined the spin-helix state and anomalous Hall effect to produce a realistic spin-field-effect transistor (FET) that is operable at high temperatures and features an AND-gate logic device. Because the transistor can directly convert polarization of light into electric voltage signals, it could potentially be employed down the line in such applications as blood-sugar-level measurement in patients and various sensors.Miniaturization has demanded the...
  • 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...