• 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....
  • Ink-Based Origami Structures Could Be Next Biocompatible Devices

    Origami structures were folded from flat sheets of direct-printed titanium hydride ink, a technique pioneered by University of Illinois researchers. (Image Courtesy of Bok Yoep Ahn)Origami structures made from printed sheets of titanium hydride ink could form the basis of future 3-D structures. Developed by materials science and engineering professor Jennifer Lewis and a team of researchers at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), the complex structures could eventually play a role in...
  • Exploding Fullerenes Could Benefit Future Medical Therapeutics

    Visible light is emitted from functionalized fullerenes after being ignited using a near-infrared (785-nm) laser. (Image by the Particle Engineering Research Center at the University of Florida)For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that functionalized fullerenes heat, ignite, glow, and transform into other carbon nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes, when they are exposed to low-intensity laser light. As reported in Nanowerk, this discovery could have implications for future...
  • Researchers Have Silk-Based Electronics on the Brain

    The Rogers Research Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign appears to be at the forefront of innovation. Last year, the group's invention of novel stretchy, curvilinear electronics captured the attention of the medical device industry. And as recently as last month, the group, as part of a collaborative effort, applied its innovative electronics offerings to a proof-of-concept of a flexible silicon–based heart implant. Now, the team once again has contributed to a...
  • Prent Wins Award for Novel Medical Device Package

    Prent’s one-piece universal package design helps customers reduce tooling, per-package, and assembly costs.Prent Corp. (Janesville, WI) has won an AmeriStar Award for medical device package design from the Institute of Packaging Professionals (Naperville, IL). The sole winner in the medical device category, Prent’s new package design was developed to help a customer reduce tooling, per-package, and assembly costs.The company’s universal package can accommodate 35 stock-keeping units into a...
  • Self-Assembling Polymer Sheets Bridge Materials Science Gap

    Scientists at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry have developed what they believe is the largest 2-D polymer crystal self-assembled in water. As detailed in a recent issue of the journal Nature Materials, this new polymer couples the flexibility of natural proteins with the strength of synthetic materials.“Our findings bridge the gap between natural biopolymers and their synthetic counterparts, which is a fundamental problem in nanoscience,” says Ronald Zuckermann, director of the Biological...
  • Surface-Modified Silver Nanoparticles Could Enhance Therapeutic Applications

    Image of lactose-modified silver nanoparticles in an A549 cancer cell. (Image by Mustafa Culha, Yeditepe University)A ubiquitous component of antimicrobial coatings and wound-care dressings, silver has well-known antibacterial properties. But scientists are also beginning to study the noble metal for its potential therapeutic value. Mustafa Culha, an associate professor and team leader of the Nanobiotechnology Group at Yeditepe University (Istanbul), is studying the surface chemistry of...
  • How Are You Celebrating National Robotics Week?

    Science fiction movies and television shows often depict a frightening future in which robots overtake humans. For now, however, robots are enabling companies to operate more efficiently and with repeatability in such instances as medical device manufacturing, and providing an innovative platform for new kinds of surgery. To celebrate these technological marvels, a collaborative council consisting of members from industry and academia alike has launched National Robotics Week, which it hopes...
  • Winners of the 2010 Medical Design Excellence Awards Announced

    Thirty-nine medical products spanning 10 categories have earned recognition as winners of the 2010 Medical Design Excellence Awards. Gold and silver distinctions will be handed out at a ceremony slated to take place on June 9, 2010, at the MD&M East trade show in New York City. Announced in the April issue of MPMN's sister publication, MD+DI, winning products were determined by an impartial panel of third-party jurors. The awards acknowledge innovation and design and engineering achievement...
  • Using Noise to Resolve Obscured Images, Scientists Hope to Optimize Future Medical Imaging Equipment

    By adjusting an electrical voltage across a crystal of nonlinear material, the researchers recovered an image of lines and numbers that originally was hidden in noise (upper left). As they tuned the system (from left to right across each row from top to bottom), the image "stole" energy from the noise, first appearing and then degrading as they adjusted past the optimal voltage. (Images: Jason Fleischer/Dmitry Dylov) Engineers at Princeton University (Princeton NJ) have developed a...
  • Breakdown of Carbon Nanotubes Builds Up Medical Potential

    At the core of a multitude of futuristic technologies, carbon nanotubes have drawn just as much fire as praise in regards to their potential future role in cutting-edge medical technologies. A recent study conducted by a team of Swedish and American scientists may help quiet critics, however, by showing that carbon nanotubes may be able to break down naturally in the body. Despite their potential, carbon nanotubes have been the subject of a barrage of unanswered questions regarding their...
  • Freudenberg and Helix Get Half of VistaMed

  • New AAMI Report Offers Guidance on EtO Sterilization

    The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI; Arlington, VA) has released an updated technical information report (TIR) offering guidance on developing sterilization cycles for ethylene oxide (EtO or EO) sterilization. Intended primarily for sterilization personnel involved in EtO sterilization cycles, TIR15 contains information on how to create a safe and effective cycle, including details on conditioning and flammability curves to ensure safety. Titled "...
  • Miniature Mechanical Muscles for MIS Boast High Torque, Light Weight

    Miniature mechanical actuators measuring a fraction of a millimeter thick can deliver three to six times more torque than comparable electric motors at 1/20th the weight, according to scientists at MIT (Cambridge, MA). The actuators could someday be used in applications that are too small to accommodate current motor designs, including components of minimally invasive surgical devices. While other experimental actuators have incorporated springs made from shape-memory alloys, the MIT mechanical...
  • The Ability to Control a Newly Discovered Phase in Ferroelectric Nanowires Could Result in Optimized Electronic Devices

    Researchers at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville), together with scientists from the École Centrale Paris, the University of South Florida, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, have discovered a new phase in ferroelectric nanowires that could be controlled to optimize important properties of future electronic devices, including medical equipment. Used in ultrasound equipment to examine fetuses and internal organs, ferroelectric materials exhibit a spontaneous charge-...
  • Nanotechnology-Focused Institution Tackles “High-Risk, High-Payoff” Projects

    New codirectors at the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science (KIC; Ithaca, NY) have set lofty goals for the institution, announcing that it will undertake "high-risk, high-payoff" endeavors in an effort to advance nanotechnology applications. If successful, however, their group's work could promote progress in measurement, testing, and manufacturing on the nanoscale for an array of sectors, including the medical device industry. Based on their challenging nanoscale experiences,...
  • Using Atomic Layer Deposition to Achieve Biologically Functional Coatings

    Scientists at North Carolina State University (NC State; Raleigh) have published a paper describing the use of atomic layer deposition (ALD) for incorporating “biological functionality” into complex nanomaterials. Authored by Roger J. Narayan, Nancy A. Monteiro-Riviere, Chunming Jin, and Junping Zhang, the paper discusses ALD as a candidate for creating a new generation of medical applications. “Atomic layer deposition is a technique that can be used to create thin films for coating metals...