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News: Medical
Imaging Tool Measures How Much Surgeons Feel the Heat

Simulated surgeries are a great tool for training surgical residents — but does a tool exist to determine precisely when a surgical resident is ready to move on to operate on a human patient? With this question in mind, an interdisciplinary team of University of Houston computer scientists...

News: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Implantable Sensor Enables Non-Invasive Patient Monitoring After Surgery

Following an orthopedic procedure, surgeons usually rely on X-rays or MRIs to monitor the progress of their patients' recovery. A new implantable sensor developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute could provide surgeons with detailed, real-time information from the actual...

News: Photonics/Optics
New Laser Technology Detects Melanoma at Crucial Earlier Stage

Although often curable if detected early, melanoma causes the deaths of nearly 9,000 Americans each year. The incidence of melanoma is increasing at a rate faster than that of any of the seven most common cancers. A new medical diagnostic device invented by John A. Viator, Ph.D, an...

News: Imaging
Taking A Closer Look at Traumatic Brain Injury

Each year, upwards of 1.5 million cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) occur in the United States. Conventional imaging methods don't always provide physicians with as much detail as they would like when it comes to determining how the injury damaged the patient's brain tissue, predicting how the...

News: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Exploring Less Invasive Options for Implants

On an episode of "Shark Tank" (a reality TV show in which people present their business ideas to a panel of potential investors, or "sharks"), a man proposed the idea of a surgically implanted Bluetooth set. The "sharks" laughed him right out of the tank, reasoning that nobody would want to undergo a...

News: Medical
Improving Neural Control of Prosthetics for Amputees

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are using off-the-shelf equipment to improve amputees' control over prosthetics with direct help from their own nervous systems. The goal is improved prosthetics with flexible nerve-to-nerve or nerve-to-muscle interfaces through which transected...

News: Medical
Nano Loudspeakers Could Improve MRIs

A team of physicists from the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), the Neils Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Harvard University has developed a theory describing how to both detect weak electrical signals and cool electrical circuits using light and something similar to a nanosized loudspeaker. The...

News: Medical
Wanted: Small and Self-Powered Devices

No one ever gets anywhere by setting the bar low — so it's exciting to see that researchers are dreaming big when it comes to the next class of medical devices. Actually, they're tackling two challenges at once: devices that are not only tiny, but also self-powered. Just as Hollywood challenges its stars...

News: Medical
Houston, We Have a Diagnosis

When it comes to medical technology, what's good for the astronaut is good for the rest of us, too. Thinking a little out of this world has inspired and driven the development of a host of medical technologies that have advanced the ways in which patients are diagnosed and treated, whether in space or on Earth....

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Miniature Medical Sensor is Powered by Rap Music

Purdue University researchers have developed a miniature medical sensor that could be powered by music with a strong bass rhythm, such as rap. Acoustic waves from rap music were found to effectively recharge the pressure sensor. Such a device could ultimately help treat people with aneurysms or...

News: Medical
Smartphones Answer the Call of Remote Patient Monitoring

Mobile health apps are taking off in a big way. Juniper Research recently estimated that 44 million mobile health apps were downloaded in 2011. Smartphones already offer two top-notch qualities that designers often seek to achieve in any medical device: affordability and portability. One...

News: Medical
3D-Printed Jaw Transplant Surgery a Success

The world's first 3D-printed, patient-specific jaw transplant surgery was successfully performed on a patient in the Netherlands, according to a BBC News story released today. The patient had a chronic bone infection and was not a suitable candidate for reconstructive surgery. This development points...

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Scientists Demonstrate New 'Biopsy in a Blood Test'

An advanced blood test uses a blood sample, digital microscope, and an image-processing algorithm to distinguish suspect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from healthy cells — a method that could yield information comparable to some types of surgical biopsies, according to findings from five new...

News: Robotics, Automation & Control
Crab-Inspired Surgical Robot

You just never know what will get the creative juices flowing. It could be a slight aberration from your morning routine. Or it could be something as basic as the entree you order at dinner. The latter is actually what inspired the invention of a crab-like miniature robot that could help surgeons remove early-stage...

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FDA and Stanford Tackle Med-Tech Education

Since it was established 11 years ago, the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Program has led to more than 200 patents and 24 start-up companies, including Spiracur, the company behind the SNaP Wound Care System (featured in the January issue of Medical Design Briefs). This intensive one-year program helps...

News: Medical
Portable, Wearable System Improves Prosthesis Fitting, Design

If a prosthesis is not fit or aligned correctly, it can affect a patient's walking patterns, resulting in an asymmetric gait. These abnormal gait patterns can increase the stress on the healthy limb, leading to problems later in life such as arthritis. Researchers at Oak Ridge...

News: Medical
T-Rays Take Medical Scanning Gadgets to the Next Level

Researchers have made T-rays into a much stronger directional beam than was previously thought possible — and have done so at room-temperature conditions. This is a breakthrough that should allow future T-ray systems to be smaller, more portable, easier to operate, and much cheaper than...

News: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Could a Saliva-Based Biochip Lick the Competition?

The process of monitoring blood glucose levels through finger pricking is an inconvenience at best for the estimated 26 million diabetics in the U.S. It's no mystery why researchers have continued to set their sights on developing more convenient and less invasive methods of monitoring glucose...

News: Software
What's the Skinny on Teledermatology?

From delivering care to the developing world, to remote echocardiography, to hearing assessment, telemedicine has opened doors to new and potentially improved forms of diagnosis and treatment. Dermatology is one area in particular that stands to benefit greatly from this technology.

News: Medical
Open-Source Opens Doors for Surgical Robots

Raven II, a robotic surgery system developed at UC Santa Cruz and the University of Washington, is being shared on an open-source basis with five other universities. Researchers hope that this will enable users to share software, replicate experiments, and collaborate in other ways — and ultimately...

News: Photonics/Optics
Natural User Interface Technologies

A Microsoft Research Connections project proposes to develop a contact lens that monitors blood glucose levels for type 1 diabetes patients. Other non-invasive alternatives to the finger-pricking method have also been explored elsewhere — such as this tear-based glucose sensor from Arizona State University,...

News: Medical
Lending a Hand to Hip Implants

The road to better, longer-lasting hip implants may be paved with better lubricants. A team of engineers and physicians recently discovered that graphitic carbon is a key element in a lubricating layer for longer-lasting metal-on-metal hip implants. The ability to extend the life of implants would have enormous...

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New Bandage Spurs, Guides Blood Vessel Growth

Engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a bandage that stimulates and directs blood vessel growth on the surface of a wound. The bandage, called a “microvascular stamp,” contains living cells that deliver growth factors to damaged tissues in a defined pattern. The new approach is...

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Making Reusable Devices Safer

The FDA recently announced an initiative to improve reusable medical device reprocessing, the process of cleaning and disinfecting a device for use with more than one patient. Improper reprocessing of reusable medical devices can lead to Health care-Associated Infections (HAIs). Medical Design Briefs will explore...

News: Medical
Virtual Reality Therapeutics

Time and again, gaming technology has proven its ability to benefit our lives in ways that surpass entertainment. It has been utilized in medical and therapeutic applications ranging from helping stroke victims restore functionality, to training users to control stress and multi-task. Another example recently came to...

News: Manufacturing & Prototyping
A Real Step Forward for the Artificial Pancreas

Promising news for millions of Americans living with type 1 diabetes: The FDA has issued guidelines specific to developing an artificial pancreas — a system that would serve to continuously monitor blood glucose levels and deliver the correct amount of insulin to the body when needed, functioning...

News: Medical
A Window Into the Future of Brain-Computer Interfaces

A team of researchers co-led by the University of Pennsylvania has developed and tested a high-resolution, ultra-thin device capable of recording brain activity from the cortical surface without having to use penetrating electrodes. The device could open the door to a new generation of...

News: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Driving Health Home

Systems for monitoring vital signs while driving could help measure stress levels, among other health parameters — effectively "driving" the concept of multi-tasking to a new level. By integrating sensors into the steering wheel, scientists at TU Muenchen Chair of Micro Technology and Medical Device Technology (MiMed) have...

News: Medical
Bones, Hot Off the Press?

3D printers have the potential to quickly produce complex structures and materials — including bone scaffolds, if Washington State University scientists have their way. An interdisciplinary team of chemistry, materials science, biology, and manufacturing researchers produced a bone-like material using a 3D...

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Ralph Bright on the Power of Power Cords

Understanding power system components and how to connect them correctly is critical to meeting regulatory requirements and designing successful electrical products for worldwide markets. Interpower’s Ralph Bright defines these requirements and explains how to know which cord to select for your application.

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