• Novel Piezoelectric Logic Devices Use Zinc Oxide Nanowires

    Researchers measure the performance of a piezo-phototronic device in which a laser changes the conductance of a metal contact attached to a zinc oxide structure. (Photo by Gary Meek)Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new class of electronic logic devices in which current is switched by an electric field generated by the application of mechanical strain to zinc oxide nanowires. The devices, which include transistors and diodes, could be used in nanometer-...
  • Zimmer Looks to Silver-Based Antimicrobial Technology to Thwart Biofilm Formation on Implants

    With pressure from hospitals mounting, manufacturers of implantable devices are exploring their options for incorporating infection-prevention elements into their products. Responding to this demand, Zimmer (Warsaw, IN) has enlisted the aid of coating specialist Accentus Medical (Didcot, UK) to provide its Agluna antiinfective surface-modification technology for treating the company's joint-reconstruction and trauma products.Through a global licensing agreement, Accentus and Zimmer will...
  • Math + Computer Models = Better Stent Design

    Computer models show the varying flexibility of different stent designs. Credit: Suncica Canic, Mate Kosor and Josip Tambaca; University of Houston and University of ZagrebA chance social meeting between a University of Houston (TX) mathematician and several cardiologists has resulted in a simplified computer modeling approach to optimizing stent design."I realized we could provide [cardiologists] with a fluid dynamics and mechanics point of view to help them make decisions—for example, about...
  • For Shape-Memory Materials, Multiple Memories are Better than One

    A new "smart materials" process developed by researchers in the Centre for Advanced Materials Joining based in the department of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) promises to remember a range of shapes, not just one. Known as multiple memory material technology, the process promises to revolutionize the manufacture of diverse products, including a range of medical devices such as stents and hearing aids, according to the scientists....
  • Free Webcast Highlights Emerging Trends in Cardiovascular Implant Technologies

    On Thursday, September 9, 11:00 am PST/2:00 pm EST, Medical Product Manufacturing News will host a free Webcast, “Emerging Trends in Cardiovascular Implantable Technologies.” Cardiovascular implantable devices have come a long way since the first pacemaker was implanted in a patient in 1958. Today, with an estimated 81,100,000 American adults suffering from a variety of cardiovascular diseases, cardiac catheterization, pacemakers, and ICDs have become a way of life for many.What are the key...
  • Heat-Activated Pump Aids in Microneedle-Based Drug Delivery

    A heat-activated pump helps microneedle-based systems deliver drugs through the skin.Providing a pain-free alternative to the traditional hypodermic needle, transdermal drug delivery has a fairly successful track record in effectively delivering pharmaceutical agents—perhaps best represented by the nicotine patch that helps smokers kick their addiction. But expansion of the pain-free patch method is hindered by its inability to deliver large-molecule drugs through the skin. A novel pump created...
  • Tubing Connection Mishaps Draw Fire from Mainstream Media

    Missed connections happen all the time—just consult Craigslist. When it comes to making the wrong tubing connections, however, the results are dire.Although not a new concern for hospital personnel, mixing up tubing connections is a problem that has persisted in healthcare environments and unnecessarily endangered many patients. Addressing this seemingly fixable problem, a recent article from the New York Times, "U.S. Inaction Lets Look-Alike Tubes Kill Patients," examines the issue of tubing...
  • Modified Polymer Components Doubles Capacity

    Modified Polymer Components Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA), a developer and manufacturer of custom plastic components for medical device OEMs, has announced the completion of its development and manufacturing facilities expansion from 23,000 to 49,600 sq ft. The expansion more than doubles the company's previous operational capacity. The ISO 9001:2008– and ISO 13485:2003–certified company supports inventors, startups, and OEMs by manufacturing custom components and assemblies. Providing in-house design...
  • Foldable Display Technology Is No Longer Just for Jazzy Jackets

    What does this light-up apparel—worn by Kanye West at the 2008 Grammy Awards—have to do with medical devices? A lot, actually. The company behind those flashy lighted jackets could contribute to next-generation medical products through the advancement of flexible displays.Over the years, flexible displays have captured the interest and imagination of a number of researchers and organizations. Chief among them is The FlexTech Alliance (San Jose, CA), which claims to being the sole...
  • YouTube's Got the Motion

    YouTube's got just about everything, from old TV shows and concert footage to funny cat videos and political messages. But now it's offering something more—the YouTube Channel Video Library featuring clips about motors and motion control technologies.That's right: Electromate (Woodbridge, ON, Canada) has just launched the new channel, which is populated with more than 80 product videos, training webinars, and other offerings from a plethora of motion control manufacturers,...
  • Microneedles Capable of Connecting the (Quantum) Dots Could Aid Skin Cancer Treatment

    Hollow microneedles, used to deliver quantum dots, could foster new techniques for diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions, including skin cancer. (Image courtesy of the Royal Society of Chemistry)Researchers from North Carolina State University (Raleigh) have developed extremely small microneedles that can be used to deliver medically relevant nanoscale dyes to the skin. Known as quantum dots, these dyes are composed of nanoscale crystals featuring unique light-emission...
  • Collagen Could be Key to Longer-Lasting Implants

     New blood vessels (in black) are shown on top of an implanted medical device. Where the blood vessels actually penetrate into the surface of the device, they appear "fuzzy." Collagen, by way of injections, can get rid of your frown lines, crow's feet, and wrinkles to prolong a youthful appearance. Now, researchers at the University of Louisville/Jewish Hospital's Cardiovascular Innovation Institute  (CII; KY) have discovered that the protein may also prolong the life of implantable...
  • New Electrolytic Machining Process to Be Unveiled in North America

    PEM Technologies (Natrona Heights, PA) will be launching its new precision electrolytic machining (PEM) process in North America. The process represents an advance over electrochemical machining technology because it is more precise and accurate, according to the company. With ECM, metal is machined using electricity and chemistry to erode material and produce the desired end product. PEM technology, in contrast, extends and improves the application possibilities associated with conventional...
  • Kenson Opens Molding Technical Center

    Kenson Plastics (Warrendale, PA) has launched a technical center at its manufacturing facility. A designer and manufacturer of pressure-formed plastics used in the medical sector, the company will operate the technical center with a dedicated engineering staff and full-time engineering manager. The purpose of the center is to work closely with customers to originate or assist with product design and part development.Utilizing CAD/CAM software (three seats of Mastercam X4), the engineering staff...
  • Wireless Sensor Nodes Shrink

    A new wireless sensor node technology could enable the miniaturization of many medical device applications.Potomac Photonics (Lanham, MD) has demonstrated the feasibility of wireless sensor node miniaturization. To fulfill a National Science Foundation Phase I SBIR contract related to energy storage, electrical distribution, and packaging for wireless sensor networks, the company was tasked with reducing the volume of the current state-of-art wireless sensor package by a factor of ten. It met...
  • Controlling Heartbeats Using Pulsed Light Could Impact Pacemaker Design

    A team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH) are taking a breakthrough in optical pacing to heart. Using infrared light, the scientists were able to control the beat of a living embryonic quail heart—a development that could pave the way for a new breed of pacemakers.Pacing of the heart is typically accomplished using electrodes that deliver electrical stimulation to the organ. However, optical stimulation of the heart has captured researchers' interest in recent...
  • Free Webcast Highlights Innovations in Global Healthcare

    Medical Product Manufacturing News (MPMN), along with its sister publications MD+DI, EMDT, and IVDT, present a free on-demand Webcast titled, "Innovations in Global Healthcare." Taped at this year's MD&M East trade show event in New York, the lively discussion features Canon Communication editors posing questions to several industry experts regarding various hot topics in the medical device and diagnostics industry.Panelists include David Nexon, senior executive vice president of AdvaMed;...
  • Will Robots Run Your Warehouse Floor?

    Upon first glance, the image of swarms of robots humming around a warehouse performing various duties could be a bit intimidating. But the fleets of mobile robots represent a helpful, not hostile, takeover aimed at improving productivity and cutting costs for manufacturers, according to their inventor, Kiva Systems (Woburn, MA).Optimized for material handling, the autonomous mobile robots perform such tasks as sorting, storing, and distribution of inventory. "The approach is a fundamental shift...
  • Nanoscale Antimicrobial Coating for Surgical Instruments Kills MRSA on Contact

    An SEM image shows the MRSA-killing nanocomposite film. Image Credit: Rensselaer/Ravindra C.Pangule and Shyam Sundhar BaleA nanoscale coating effectively killed 100% of MRSA bacteria in a solution within 20 minutes of contact in tests conducted by its inventors at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY). Coupling carbon nanotubes with the naturally occurring enzyme lysostaphin, the technology represents a new approach to antimicrobial coatings for such applications as surgical instruments...
  • Developers of 'Fuzzy Fiber' Eye Glaucoma Applications

    The notion of applying novel aircraft materials to the medical device industry appears to be taking off. Just yesterday, Medtech Pulse reported on Wichita-based researchers that had successfully employed an aviation composite to regrow bone. In that same vein, scientists at the University of Dayton Research Institute (OH) have announced that their smart nanomaterial, originally developed for use in aircraft coatings and wind turbines, could enhance treatment of the damaging eye condition...