• Synthetic Muscle Can Lift 80 Times Its Own Weight

    Artificial muscles have evolved substantially since SRI International (Menlo Park, CA) was hired to develop electroactive-polymer–based muscles to replace the inefficient electromagnetic actuators used in robotics. These agencies commissioned the research and development of a new generation of actuation technology based on (EAP).Now, researchers based in Singapore have developed powerful artificial muscles that address one of the main shortcomings of robots: their strength profile relative to...
  • MD&M East Video Highlight: Merit Medical Coatings

    At MD&M East June 18–20, 2013, Medical Product Manufacturing News spoke with Merit Medical Coatings (South Jordan, UT) about the company's new Hypotube Center of Excellence and its range of medical device products, including hypotubes, coated guidewires, coated mandrels, and coated needles. Enjoy the following video of the conversation.Bob Michaels is managing editor of Medical Product Manufacturing News.
  • An Advanced Prosthetic Hand that Costs $1000

    In 2010, the Bebionic artificial hand myoelectric hand debuted, enabling users to perform precise movements such as tying shoelaces. At that time, the device had a price tag of $11,000, which was considerably less expensive than the i-Limb, a competing device costing roughly $17,000. One of the most advanced artificial hands available is the Michelangelo Hand from Otto Bock, which costs approximately $100,000. Complicating matters for patients is that such devices are not typically covered by...
  • Top 5 Questions about Hot-Air Catheter Tip Forming

    The current medical device industry trend towards reduced manufacturing costs has catalyzed new business opportunities for innovative suppliers. Equipment using technologies designed to replace expensive manufacturing processes is generating new interest, as latest statistics reveal.In the catheter manufacturing sector, more targeted, cost cutting solutions are replacing older overly engineered technologies. Hot air tip forming is one such alternative gaining traction in today’s competitive...
  • Google Glass Makes Its Orthopedics Debut

    A surgeon uses Google Glass to send live video of a knee surgery. Image from Ohio State University.Are Google Glass and head-mounted displays in general overhyped? The answer depends on who you ask. Interest in Google Glass from the medical field, however, is certainly high. Surgeons in particular see the technology as a game changer for the operating room. Surgeon advocates see the technology as having the potential to give them the ability to have Terminator-like vision, helping to...
  • Glass Implant Triggers Bone Growth

     This glass implant can trigger bone growth. Scientists at Missouri S&T have developed porous strong glass scaffolds that cause bone generation. The scaffolds are "strong enough to repair large structural bone defects" resulting from severe injuries or cancer], according to lead researcher Len Rahaman. In addition, the material can be customized to make it resist infection by, for instnace, incorporating silver into the scaffolds.Developed using robocasting technology, the material has...
  • How to Deal with a Medical Device Recall: An Expert Weighs In

    Medical device recalls ticked up in the second quarter of 2013. Image from Stericycle ExpertRECALL. Medical device recalls at a five-quarter high and dealing with them has become increasingly complex as a result of globalization. "The number of recalls that had a global component were up, which really speaks to the challenges of a global supply chain," says Mike Rozembajgier, vice president of recalls for Stericycle ExpertRECALL.In the second quarter of 2013, medical device recalls ticked up 30...
  • Medtronic Bills New Orthopedic Tool as a Game Changer for Treating Spinal Deformity

    Spinal health is an often overlooked by healthy patients. Until there is a problem, many people take their spine for granted. However, both disease and aging can lead to spinal deformations. While a deformed spine may not be straight, finding a solution involves much more than simply straightening the spine. A sagittal imbalance is caused when the back loses its characteristic S-shape. This shape allows the human skeleton to resist the downward force of gravity. However, this S-shape can change...
  • Inspired by Spider Silk, Researchers Pioneer New Tissue Engineering Technique

    Few materials have captured researchers' imagination as much as spider silk, which is incredibly strong and has other novel properties such as high heat conductivity. Last year, researchers announced progress in using the material in photonic chips.Researchers at University College London discovered a new way to build body parts using the material. By looking to nature, researchers created a new “spider silk” method of manufacturing artificial blood vessels. Researchers hope that the new...
  • 5 CAD Models of Skeletons, Ranging in Cost from Free to $5000

    Interested in CAD models of the human skeleton for your device development applications? There are a range of models. Here are five, which span a variety of price points.1. In terms of free skeletons, here is an example one that is available on the 3-D CAD model site TF3DM. The image below is an example of an un-rigged skeleton model available on the site. At the time of writing, the model had been downloaded 23335 times. Rigged models suitable for applications requiring animation are also...
  • Drones Could Give Heart Patients Fast Access to Defibrillators in Remote Areas

    In the future, aerial drones could be used to deliver defibrillators and other medical devices to patients in remote areas, according to Definetz, a German non-profit organization. The group is developing a medical drone called Defikopter. After being launched by a specialized smartphone app, the drone can fly a defibrillator to a heart attack victim, allowing for fast treatment.Aerial drones could provide a new means of delivering medical devices like defibrillators. Image credit: Height...
  • The August 2013 Layoff List

    While the summer months may be coming to an end, companies and their workforces are always in a constant flux. In August, a significant number of medtech companies have announced restructuring initiatives. Mela Sciences stated that it would lay off 25% of its staff following a disastrous second quarter. In addition, the company announced that it would restructure its existing operations. Mela Sciences manufactures a skin cancer detection device, dubbed MelaFind. In part, the company...
  • Young Amputee Highlights Advances in Prosthetics on Reddit

    A post on social media website Reddit, which bills itself as “the front page of the Internet,” provides an overview of how fast the field of prosthetics is advancing. In the thread, a girl whose screen-name is Angel, shares a picture where she operates a bow and arrow with a prosthetic arm. A congenital amputee, Angel also features a picture of one of the 20 plus prostheses she’s worn throughout her life. The arm (shown below) has two electrodes located within the socket of the prosthesis...
  • Kaiser's Vision of How Mobile Monitoring Will Transform the Healthcare Industry

    Famed environmentalist David Brower once said that: “all technology should be assumed guilty until proven innocent.” While Brower did not have medical technology in mind when making that statement, some of the most pressing problems in healthcare are not strictly technological in nature.Kaiser's Yan Chow, MD to Discuss Mobile Monitoring Trends at MEDevice San DiegoChow, the director of Kaiser Permanente (KP) Information Technology’s Innovation & Advanced Technology Group will take up the...
  • Tired of Recharging Your Li-Ion Battery? Try Silicon

    Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are used widely in both implantable and nonimplantable medical devices, but the need to frequently recharge them minimizes their effectiveness and the user experience. Now, however, researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State) have created a flexible nanoscaffold for rechargeable Li-ion batteries that enables them to stay charged longer.In an effort to improve Li-ion battery performance, the researchers turned to the use of silicon. Because silicon...
  • New Optical Sensor System Measures Dehydration

    An instrument based on biomedical sensors can monitor capillary refill time in infants, athletes, the elderly, and other patients.Bodkin Design and Engineering LLC (Newton, MA) has developed a beta prototype using biomedical sensors to provide a more-objective method for monitoring capillary refill time. This common method for measuring blood flow is commonly performed by pinching and releasing a patient’s fingertip and observing the time it takes for the blood to refill. The longer the refill...
  • Nanobots Could Remove Arterial Plaque

    The concept of tiny robots swimming through the bloodstream has existed for decades. The idea was made famous by the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage, in which a human team is shrunk to fit into a submarine measuring one micrometer to dissolve a patient’s blood clot. Nanotechnology expert Chris Phoenix even floated the idea of replacing blood with a network of robots known as the vasculoid. They system could hypothetically replicate the function of blood while staving off infections and cancer, and...
  • Here's How to Ditch the Batteries in Wireless Devices

    A prototype device can harvest, transmit and receive data without an onboard power source. The prototype has touch sensors and LEDs that function using harvested energy.A wireless communication system permits wireless device communication without the use of batteries. The brainchild of University of Washington researchers, the technology makes use of ambient backscatter from existing wireless signals instead of generating unique wireless signals.The video below provides an example of how the...
  • Developing a Cutting-Edge Glucose Management System

  • Developing a Cutting-Edge Glucose Management System

    In June, Monarch Medical Technologies announced that its EndoTool glucose management system offered substantial sustained improvements in blood sugar levels in patients. Offering patient-specific glycemic control, the EndoTool system can model, predict, and adapt insulin doses to the individual.Here, MPMN editor Brian Buntz interviews Wilson Constantine, the CEO of Monarch Medical Technologies. Constantine provides advice on creating personalized medical devices and how the company...