News : Medical
Recording Speedy Electrons in Silicon

An international team of physicists and chemists based at the University of California at Berkeley has, for the first time, recorded the action of silicon electrons becoming freed from their atomic shells using attosecond pulses of soft X-ray light lasting only a few billionths of a billionth of a...

News : Materials
Rewriting the Rules on Materials

A team of chemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), La Jolla, CA, say that they have invented a new method to join complex organic molecules that is extraordinarily robust and can be used to make plastics, pharmaceuticals, fabrics, dyes, and other materials previously inaccessible to chemists.

News : Medical
Using Robot Control to Improve Prosthetic Legs

An engineering professor at the University of Texas at Dallas applied robot control theory to enable powered prosthetics to dynamically respond to the wearer’s environment and help amputees walk. The robotic leg wearers were able to walk on a moving treadmill almost as quickly as an able-bodied...

News : Medical
3D-Printed Contact Lens Combines Plastics and Electronics

An interdisciplinary team of engineers at Princeton University has embedded tiny light-emitting diodes (LEDs) into a standard contact lens, allowing the device to project beams of colored light. While the lens is not designed for actual use, especially since it requires an external power...

News : Lighting
Wearable Medical Sensors Using Organic Electronics

According to researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, future fitness trackers could soon add blood-oxygen levels to the list of vital signs they measure. By switching from silicon to an organic, or carbon-based, design, the researchers say that they were able to create a device...

News : Medical
Haptic Feedback Technology Could Aid Diagnostics

Touch feedback, or haptics technology, has been changing rapidly over the last few years with new uses in entertainment, rehabilitation, and even surgical training. Now, using ultrasound, scientists have developed virtual 3D shapes that can be seen and felt in mid-air. The researchers from the UK...

News : Medical
‘Electronic Skin’ for Prosthetics Communicates Pressure

While touch may be subtle, the information it communicates can be understood and acted upon quickly. For the first time, scientists are reporting that they have developed a stretchable “electronic skin” that can detect not just pressure, but also which direction it’s coming from....

News : Medical
Inexpensive Hydrolyzable Polymer Developed

A team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say that they know how to reverse the characteristics of a key bonding material—polyurea—to provide an inexpensive alternative for a broad number of applications, such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, and packaging.

News : Medical
December 2014 Mid-Month Industry News

Here is the latest batch of news from the medical products community. Please click the link for more.

News : Electronics & Computers
Wireless Brain Sensing Untethers Subjects

Scientists at Brown University, Providence, RI, say that a new wireless brain-sensing system will allow them to acquire high-fidelity neural data to advance neuroscience that cannot be accomplished with current sensors that tie subjects to cabled computer connections for analysis. Their results show that...

News : Electronics & Computers
Developing a Sonar-Assisted Device for the Blind

At Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, a biology professor researching echolocation in bats teamed up with an associate professor of computer science and an interdisciplinary team of students to develop a device that can help the visually impaired navigate better. Their research focused on...

News : Medical
Heat-Conducting Plastic Dissipates Ten Times Better

Engineers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, have developed a plastic blend that, they say, can dissipate heat up to 10 times better than its conventional counterparts. While plastics are inexpensive, lightweight, and flexible, they tend to restrict the flow of heat, so their use has...

News : Medical
Stroke Therapy Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

A team of researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, are trying to help stroke patients improve arm movement by using a device called a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS) to reduce activity on the healthy side of the brain, so that the stroke-injured side...

News : Medical
Acoustic Sensor May Detect Cancer

Testing for ovarian cancer or a chemical presence may become much simpler thanks to a new microscopic acoustic device that has been dramatically improved by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. The device, known as a surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor, detects...

News : Medical
Printing Electrical Components on Paper

Seeking a way to print technology, improve device portability, and lower the cost of electronics, a team of engineers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, led by Assistant Professor Anming Hu, has discovered a way to print circuits on paper.

News : Medical
Studying How Power Prosthetics Fail

While powered lower limb prosthetics can greatly improve the mobility of amputees, errors in the technology can also cause users to stumble or fall, say researchers at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They are examining what happens when these...

News : Medical
FDA Signs Agreement with Dassault for Living Heart Project

The FDA has signed a five-year collaborative research agreement with Dassault Systèmes Vélizy-Villacoublay, France, a world leader in 3D design software, for the development of testing paradigms for insertion, placement, and performance of pacemaker leads and other cardiovascular...

News : Medical
Harvesting Energy for Medical Implants

Scientists at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have demonstrated a new technique for harvesting energy from mechanical vibrations of the environment and converting it into electricity. They explain that energy harvesters are needed, for example, in wireless self-powered sensors and medical...

Features : Medical
Plastics Molding: The Path of Least Resistance

According to Henry David Thoreau, “the path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.” But in plastic injection molding, it leads to balanced filling patterns, more uniform shrinkage, less warp, smaller press sizes, and reduced cost when molding enclosures for medical...

Briefs : Wearables
SMART Bandage Measures Tissue Oxygenation

Inspired by a desire to help wounded soldiers, an international, multidisciplinary team of researchers at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine of Senors and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, has created a paint-on, transparent “SMART” bandage that can protect severe wounds and burns while also...

Briefs : Medical
Developing Novel Customized Therapies

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Arlington, VA, is developing a new Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program exploring neuromodulation of organ functions to help the human body heal itself.

From the Editor : Medical
From the Editor: December 2014

As of this writing, the midterm election was just held and, as you know, Republicans took control of the Senate while keeping control of the House of Representatives. The United States Supreme Court announced on November 7 that it will hear yet another challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—King v. Burwell,...

Features : Test & Measurement
Non-Contact, Light-Based Measurements for Medical Balloons and Catheters

One of the most prevalent measurement devices in a medical balloon or catheter manufacturing facility is the micrometer gauge. It is simple and inexpensive. But, this measurement technique is subject to a high degree of operator variability. Another limitation is that it...

Features : Medical
The ‘Hidden’ Tax on Medical Device Start-Up Funding

Starting on Dec. 31, 2012, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) Medical Device Excise Tax began to be applied to the sales of all taxable medical devices in the US. Now, almost two years later, the 2.3 percent tax has ruffled investors and stunted new inventions....

Applications : Robotics, Automation & Control
Simulating the Release Mechanism in Drug-Eluting Stents

Treating arteries in the heart that have been blocked by plaque is a common challenge for medical professionals. Known as stenosis, this condition restricts blood flow to the heart, resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain. It is sometimes resolved using...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Biofeedback System for Optimal Athletic Performance

ZONE (Zeroing Out Negative Effects) is a method of biofeedback training for optimal athletic performance. ZONE is designed to improve athletes’ responses to stress, anxiety, and loss of concentration during competition. In the training environment, when the user successfully attains an...

Briefs : Imaging
Imaging Method Might Mean Earlier Cancer Detection

Engineers at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, say that a new medical imaging method they are developing may help physicians detect cancer and other diseases earlier than before, speeding treatment, and reducing the need for invasive, time-consuming biopsies. Their technique uses...

Briefs : Imaging
Gigapixel Camera Images Entire Body

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, causing more than 75 percent of skin-cancer deaths. If caught early enough, it is usually curable. Researchers at Duke University, Durham, NC, say that they have created a camera that can take high-resolution images of the entire human body, to help doctors spot...

Features : Medical
Wireless Pressure Sensor Relays Tumor Pressure

Interstitial pressure inside a tumor is often quite high compared to normal body tissue and may impede the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents as well as decrease the effectiveness of radiation therapy. Medications can temporarily decrease tumor pressure, but identifying the optimal time to initiate...

Features : Materials
Waterproof Wound-Care Adhesives Inspired by Mussels

Inspired by the natural adhesives secreted by shellfish, a team of engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, has designed new waterproof materials that could be used to help heal wounds and surgical incisions.

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