• Minisensor Can Detect the Signature of a Human Heartbeat

    About the size of a sugar cube, NIST's miniature magnetic sensor features an inner square cell containing rubidium gas. The diagonal bar is an electrical connection to the cell's heaters, which are powered by the red, black, and white electrical wires. The clear optical fiber extending from the middle bottom of the sensor connects to a control box. (Photo by S. Knappe/NIST)Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; Gaithersburg, MD) and the National Metrology...
  • Live from MD&M Minneapolis: Evaluating New Stent Materials

    Will today's stent materials be in tomorrow's designs? What new materials should be explored for use in stents? These questions were raised today by Jochen Ulmer, director of sales for Euroflex GmbH, at MD&M Minneapolis in his presentation, “Requirements on Materials for Cardio Stents: Today and Tomorrow.” And while he answered these questions, he also posed a slew of new ones that give stent designers something to think about.As for today’s stent market, Ulmer notes that...
  • New RF Welding Technique Allows the Use of TPEs in Medical Fluid-Delivery Applications

    Genesis Plastics Welding (Indianapolis) has announced what it calls a radio-frequency (RF) breakthrough in conjunction with PolyOne GLS Thermoplastic Elastomers (Cleveland), enabling thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) to replace traditional materials in medical fluid-delivery applications, including bags, tubing, and other products. The new technology from Genesis enables nonhalogenated and nonplasticized GLS Versaflex TPEs to be RF welded into any 2-D shape or configuration, including mandrels....
  • Using Laser Sintering to Improve Microimplant Integration

    Diagram of a one-step laser sintering process conducted on the surface of a stent.The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH; Hannover, Germany) plans on using laser sintering to improve the surface of microimplants. Its goal is to produce a porous structure on the surfaces of various types of implants, including stents used in the circulatory system and devices used in in the eyes, throat, nose, or ears. A surface containing porous structures can improve the implant's attachment to the surrounding...
  • Wasted Energy May Someday Power Pacemakers and Other Implants

    An energy cell can harvest its own operational energy to power microsensors.Research and development of an innovative technology by scientists at Louisiana Tech (Ruston) doesn't appear to have been a waste of energy. The research team has designed and fabricated an energy cell that enables microscale electronic devices to harvest their own wasted energy for efficient powering of such medical products as electronic implants.Power generation by way of harvesting  natural physical vibrations...
  • New Deposition Method Could Revolutionize Paper Electronics

    Discussions about research into the use of paper substrates for such electronic applications as batteries have graced the blogosphere, including the pages of Medical Product Manufacturing News (see “A Ream of Carbon-Nanotube Ink Batteries, Please”). But developing the use of paper for hybrid electronic applications has been limited by the physical properties of paper. As reported in Nanowerk, while chemical, thermal, spin-coating, spray pyrolysis, and pulsed-laser deposition methods for forming...
  • Lead-Free Piezoelectric Material Could Serve as Replacement for PZT

    Since the EU enacted the Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive (RoHS) several years ago, which bans several substances in electronics that are deemed hazardous, lead has become a material non grata. And though lead-based piezoelectric materials are currently exempt from the ban, some experts speculate that the materials may soon suffer a similar fate. To address this issue, materials engineers at the University of Leeds (UK) have developed a lead-free ceramic that could replace lead...
  • Carbon: The Building Block of Success

    Carbon isn't just the building block of life; it's also apparently the foundation for success. This year's Nobel Prize recipients for both physics and chemistry were honored for their respective work with carbon in some form. And it's about time.News of note this week, of course, is the bestowal of the Nobel Peace Prize in Physics for 2010 to Andre Gein and Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester (UK) for their "groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material...
  • Scientists Claim Genetically Engineered Spider Silk Breakthrough

    Silkworms have been genetically modified to produce silk resembling that of spider silk. (Photo courtesy of ND Newswire)Scientists have been hard at work attempting to marshal the power of spider silk for a range of medical applications—including wound-care applications; suture materials; and muscle, bone, cartilage, tendon, and ligament repair scaffolds. It makes sense: Spider silk possesses mechanical attributes such as very high tensile strength and elasticity, making it one of the toughest...
  • New AFEs for Ultrasound Applications Improve Noise and Power Performance

    TI's AFE5807/8 devices can be used in ultrasound applications.Two new fully integrated analog front-end (AFE) devices from Texas Instruments (TI; Dallas) extend the company's ultrasound AFE family, promising to enhance noise and power performance in a small package. Featuring a continuous wave (CW) Doppler mixer for mid- to high-end spectral doppler ultrasound equipment, the AFE5807 and AFE5808 address ultrasound designers’ need for high performance and image quality with noise performance of 0...
  • Artificial Cilia Could Revolutionize Sensor Technology

    Newly engineered artificial cilia that respond to changes in heat, electromagnetic radiation, and acidity could eventually form the basis of medical device sensors used in such applications as glucose monitors. (Image by Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation.)Scientists at the University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss; Hattiesburg) have developed a thin molecule-based material that resembles cilia, the tiny, wavy, hairlike structures that protrude from organs and through which...
  • Fiber-Optic Link Could Be Key to Realistic Prosthetics

    Two-way fiber-optic communication between prosthetic limbs and peripheral nerves could enable amputees to 'feel' such sensations as pressure and heat, according to researchers at Southern Methodist University (SMU; Dallas). This technology could allow for more-natural movement of prosthetics as well.Funded by DARPA, engineers at the SMU Neurophotonics Research Center are developing a two-way fiber-optic interface that would facilitate the seamless delivery of signals from the brain to a robotic...
  • Lesson Learned from the DePuy Recall: It's All Material

    Metal-on-metal implants are getting quite the bad reputation. Could a platform of easily cross-linkable diene-copolymers by DSM Biomedical offer an alternative?Let the litigation begin: This week, plaintiff litigation law firm Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine filed a class-action lawsuit in Ohio against DePuy Orthopaedics (Warsaw, IN) on behalf of all U.S. citizens implanted with the ASR XL acetabular head system. The lawsuit follows last month's voluntary recall of DePuy's metal-on-...
  • The Future of Stent Design

    Biodegradable polymers represent the future of stent design, according to Yaling Han, director of the department of cardiology at Shenyang Northern Hospital (China). Han's hypothesis follows her presentation of three-year data that demonstrated satisfactory clinical and safety results for a sirolimus-eluting stent featuring biodegradable polymers.Data from the three-year CREATE study were recently presented at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium. The Chinese...
  • Newly Discovered Six-Pointed Nanoparticle Could Enhance Glucose Monitoring

    The six-pointed nanoparticle is surrounded by a metal nanocage.A new type of nanoparticle resembling a six-pointed star has been discovered by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The discovery, the researchers say, may lead to new ways for sensing glucose in diagnosing diabetes, in addition to other applications.Known as a hybrid nanoparticle, the six-pointed object belongs to a class of systems that combine two or more different materials on the same particle so that the...
  • Partnership Seeks to Eradicate Neonatal IV/Enteral Misconnections

    B. Braun's Perfusor Space syringe pump combines with NeoMed's Enteral Safety System, which relies on a color-coded extension set and feeding tube to ensure that colostrum cannot be confused with IV medications.An all-too-common occurrence in hospital settings, IV and other misconnections can seriously jeopardize patient safety and even result in death. Drawing on an article in the New York Times, Medtech Pulse reported in "Tubing Connection Mishaps Draw Fire from Mainstream Media" that such...
  • Bone Up on the Latest Methods for Improving Implant Acceptance

    How can OEMs optimize implants for osseointegration?Among the most-significant challenges faced by orthopedic device manufacturers is how to optimize the surface of an implant to promote bone in-growth, or osseointegration. Critical to the success of implants, the growth of new bone in and on the surface of implants helps to anchor them and form a stronger connection. Stronger connections can translate into improved functionality, longer implant life spans, and better quality of life for...
  • Oyster Glue Could Inspire New Medical Adhesives

    A team of researchers from Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) has deciphered the chemical components of the adhesive produced by oysters. Their findings could aid scientists in creating wet-setting adhesives for a variety of products, including medical applications.Jonathan Wilker, a Purdue professor of chemistry and materials engineering, led the team that analyzed the most common oyster in the United States, Crassostrea virginica, known as the common Eastern oyster. By comparing oyster...
  • Nanostructures Spring into Action for Biological Sensors, Lab-on-a-Chip Applications

    Nanosprings act as carriers for biological molecules such as immobilized enzymes in microreactors.Featuring a coiled shape likened to that of an old-fashioned telephone cord, nanosprings can act as efficient carriers for biological molecules, according to an Oregon State University (Corvalis) research team. This discovery, the scientists state, could enable improved performance of biosensors and lab-on-a-chip devices, among other applications.“An increasingly important aspect of microreactor...
  • Interested in IVD Technology? Attend a Virtual Trade Show!

    As corporate management continues to tighten the purse strings at many companies, sending representatives to industry conferences and trade shows often tends to be sacrificed or pushed down the fiscal priority list. Catering to cash- and time-strapped professionals, MPMN's sister publication, IVD Technology, will host a virtual conference and trade show next week that will enable in vitro diagnostic OEMs to interact with leading suppliers and speakers from the comfort of their own desk....