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Features : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Splitting Hairs Measuring Thin Medical Wire

Ultra-fine shaped wire, frequently one-tenth the thickness of a typical human hair, is the basis of critical components in many medical instruments. Minute defects in such wire can lead to life-threatening complications in microsurgery. With life literally hanging by a thread, this micro-thin wire must...

Features : Medical
Photorefraction System Screens for Vision Disorders

Space optics technology in the 1980s has been adapted to help children see more clearly. Collaborating with research ophthalmologists and optometrists, scientists Joe Kerr and the late John Richardson of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, adapted optics technology for eye...

Features : Electronics & Computers
Handheld Instrument Fights Acne

For companies that do not need NASA-developed technology or advanced test facilities but still want to leverage some of the brain power of NASA’s engineering teams to solve a design problem in their product, NASA funds the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP). Administered by Bay Area Houston...

Features : Robotics, Automation & Control
Surgical Robots Provide Helping “Hands” in the OR

As human beings become more comfortable sharing their space with robots, we can expect that robotic technologies will infiltrate even more aspects of our lives. For the past decade or so, robotic systems for surgery have been tested, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),...

Features : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rebuilt Body Parts: Technology Puts a New Face On Disease and Disability

Soldiers returning from the conflict in Iraq, accident victims, cancer patients, or those with muscle-wasting diseases often end up with grossly misshapen bodies for which there is no off-the-shelf prosthetic. For these individuals, obtaining reconstructed, rebuilt body...

Features : Medical
Retina Implant Treats Disease-Related Blindness

Millions of people with diseases that starve eye tissue and nerves of oxygen may avoid blindness with a procedure developed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the University of Southern California, and the University of Tennessee.

Features : Photonics/Optics
LED Device Illuminates New Path to Healing

Among NASA’s research goals is increased understanding of factors affecting plant growth, including the effects of microgravity. Impeding such studies, traditional light sources used to grow plants on Earth are difficult to adapt to spaceflight, as they require considerable amounts of power and...

Features : Medical
Periodontal Probe Improves Exams and Alleviates Pain

Conventional periodontal probing is indeed invasive, uncomfortable for the patient, and the results can vary greatly between dentists and even for repeated measurements by the same dentist. It is a necessary procedure, though, as periodontal disease is the most common dental disease, and...

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