Tech Briefs

Latest Tech Briefs

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Briefs: Imaging
Engineers have developed a wearable ultrasound patch that can offer continuous, noninvasive monitoring of blood flow in the brain. The soft and stretchy patch can be comfortably worn on the temple to provide three-dimensional data on cerebral blood flow — a first in wearable technology.
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Briefs: Materials
When specifying a high-performance material for a medical device application, temperature, chemical environment and compatibility, hardness, compression set resistance, and certification considerations quickly build stringent material requirements. Expert suppliers consult with OEMs to think creatively, support product development, and collaborate to find solutions that will deliver necessary results.
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Briefs: Materials
The PCE process efficiently manufactures precise metal parts for thermal management in micro electronic devices, ensuring high accuracy without stress or deformation. It handles diverse metals, creating tailored thermal solutions like heat sinks and TIMs for everything from smartphones to powerful computers.
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Briefs: Medical
In a study published in Advanced Materials, researchers have demonstrated that an innovative nanovector (nanogel), which they developed, is able to deliver anti-inflammatory drugs in a targeted manner into glial cells actively involved in the evolution of spinal cord injury, a condition that leads to paraplegia or quadriplegia.
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Briefs: Electronics & Computers
In the coming years, companies will continue to evolve ultrasonic metal welding technologies to answer the needs of an ever-changing field of medical devices and the batteries that power them. Developing new assembly technologies will maximize the performance and precision of ultrasonic metal welding to satisfy the new design, size, and power requirements of advanced-performance medical devices.
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Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor have developed a template material that carries almost no heat and therefore stops heat transfer between the template material itself and the solidifying eutectic material.
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Briefs: Medical
Engineers from Korea and the United States have developed a wearable, stretchy patch that could help to bridge the divide between people and machines — and with benefits for the health of humans around the world.
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Briefs: Medical
Researchers at the University of Missouri have made a significant breakthrough in their ongoing development of an on-skin wearable bioelectronic device. Zheng Yan’s lab recently added an important component to the team’s existing ultrasoft, breathable and stretchable material. The key feature: wireless charging — without batteries — through a magnetic connection.
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Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
A team of Rice University researchers has developed an analytical model that can predict the curing time of platinum-catalyzed silicone elastomers as a function of temperature. The model could help reduce energy waste and improve throughput for elastomer-based components manufacturing.
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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Taking a cue from the structural complexity of trees and bones, Washington State University engineers have created a way to 3D print two types of steel in the same circular layer using two welding machines. The resulting bimetallic material proved 33–42 percent stronger than either metal alone, thanks in part to pressure caused between the metals as they cool together.
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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
A team of researchers from Tohoku University and Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) has achieved significant advancement in the field of microfluidics, allowing for precise and efficient manipulation of fluids in three-dimensional microscale environments.
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Briefs: Medical
Their device, which is only a few centimeters in size, can be manufactured at scale in batches and then incorporated into a mass spectrometer using efficient, pick-and-place robotic assembly methods.
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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D printed microscopic particles — so small that to the naked eye they look like dust — have applications in drug and vaccine delivery, microelectronics, microfluidics, and abrasives for intricate manufacturing. Researchers at Stanford University have introduced a more efficient processing technique that can print up to 1 million highly detailed and customizable microscale particles a day.
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Briefs: Motion Control
This article highlights the steps designers should take when specifying their motor and motion system for use in surgical robot applications.
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Briefs: Medical
September 2023 marked the 10-year anniversary of the day the FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) requirement first took effect. In that time, UDI went from an idea to a framework to a law; its GUDID database now uniquely identifies and holds data on more than 4 million medical devices and is the foundation for thousands of daily lookups and transactions.
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Briefs: Design
Part 1 of this article , which ran in March 2023, looked at the general structure, design variants, and system design of ultrasonic medical handpieces. Part 2 now reviews driver design, special applications, drive electronics, and failure mechanisms.
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Briefs: Medical
The new contact lenses contain microsensors that monitor changes in IOP over a period of several hours, sending the data collected wirelessly so it can be analyzed by an ophthalmologist and a diagnosis given.
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Briefs: Wearables
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists created a new drug-delivery system, called the Spatiotemporal On-Demand Patch (SOP), which can receive commands wirelessly from a smartphone or computer to schedule and trigger the release of drugs from individual microneedles.
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Briefs: Medical
University of Washington researchers introduced the Thermal Earring, a wireless wearable that continuously monitors a user’s earlobe temperature. In a study of six users, the earring outperformed a smartwatch at sensing skin temperature during periods of rest.
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Briefs: Design
Part 1 of this article looks at the general structure, design variants, and system design of ultrasonic medical handpieces. In a future issue, Part 2 will examine driver design, special applications, drive electronics, and failure mechanisms.
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Briefs: Materials
Some people do not go the dentist out of fear, thereby risking a worsening of untreated tooth damage. However, some dental practices offer patients a gentle alternative: The Wand – STA System from Milestone Scientific.
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Briefs: Medical
Creating robots from flexible materials allows them to contort in unique ways, handle delicate objects, and explore places that other robots cannot. More rigid robots would be crushed by the deep ocean’s pressure or could damage sensitive tissues in the human body, for example.
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Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Researchers have used a soft, wearable robot to help a person living with Parkinson’s walk without freezing. The robotic garment, worn around the hips and thighs, gives a gentle push to the hips as the leg swings, helping the patient achieve a longer stride.
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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The work could lead to better infection control in many common surgeries, such as hip and knee replacements, that are performed daily around the world. Bacterial colonization of the implants is one of the leading causes of their failure and bad outcomes after surgery.
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Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Developing assistive robots is a challenging research area, especially when integrating these systems into human environments such as homes and hospitals. To tackle these challenges, the Human-Machine Interaction & Innovation (HMI2) Lab at Santa Clara University is creating a versatile intelligent robot.
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Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical parametric oscillator (OPO) lasers test optical fibers and components to characterize the spectral response of optical components. Now, these tunable pulsed lasers are being used to facilitate a range of tests at different wavelengths to qualify and quantify the performance of optical components such as fiber optic strands, filters, lenses, and coated mirrors.
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Briefs: Materials
The process of manufacturing high-quality and reliable balloon catheters is critical to a number of advanced medical treatments for patients including balloon angioplasty, stent and drug delivery, transcatheter aortic valve implantation, atherectomy, renal denervation, and laser balloon angioplasty.
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Briefs: Wearables
Parag Chitnis, PhD, of George Mason University led a team that developed a wearable ultrasound system that can produce clinically relevant information about muscle function during dynamic physical activity.
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Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
As the demand for smaller, less intrusive — sometimes even wearable — products grow, engineers must meet these expectations without compromising on pump system performance.
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Ask the Expert

Ralph Bright on the Power of Power Cords
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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.

Inside Story

Inside Story: Validating Your Sterilization Process
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To find out more about sterile product development and registration, MDB recently spoke with Elizabeth Sydnor, Director of Microbiology of Eurofins Medical Device Testing (Lancaster, PA). Read the interview.

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