Tech Briefs

Briefs : Medical
Making Electronic Patches Cheaper and Easier

Epidermal electronics use cut-and-paste method for speed.

A team of engineers, led by assistant professor Nanshu Lu, in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has invented a method for producing inexpensive and high-performing wearable patches that can...

Briefs : Medical
Building the First Total-Body PET Scanner

Device could change how cancer is tracked.

A team of scientists at the University of California, Davis, was awarded a $15.5 million five-year grant, as part of the part of the National Institutes of Health High-Risk, High-Reward Program, to build the world’s first total-body positron emission...

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Surgical Probe Determines Where Tumors End

New tool uses light to image tissue in real time.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Illinois has performed a clinical study comparing a new surgical tool that uses light to ensure that surgeons are completely removing cancerous tumors against traditional...

Briefs : Medical
Lateral Displacement Device for Blood Cell Separation

Device has side microchannels where the particles are separated and collected.

Separation of particles based on size is one of the essential components in biochemical analysis, environmental assays, and industrial and biomedical applications. Filtration is one of the most frequently...

Briefs : Medical
Prosthetic Hand ‘Feels’ Physical Sensations

When DARPA launched the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program in 2006, the state of upper-limb prosthetic technology was far behind lower-limb technology. Advancing upper-limb technology was judged to be a more difficult medical and engineering challenge.

Briefs : Medical
Using Sound Waves to Control Brain Cells

Scientists at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies have developed a new technique, they say, to selectively activate brain, heart, muscle, and other cells using ultrasonic waves. Called sonogenetics, the new method, which uses the same type of sound waves used in medical sonograms, may have advantages...

Briefs : Medical
Implanted Sensor Reads Cancer Therapy Progress

Doctors battling cancer, which kills nearly eight million people each year globally, have many powerful weapons, including various forms of chemotherapy and radiation. But, what they lack is a reliable method to obtain real-time data about how well a particular therapy is working for any given...

Briefs : Medical
New Stent Design Confirms Improved Blood Flow

A vascular surgeon, Patrick Kelly, MD, of Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, SD, had designed a stent graft and knew that his patients with thoracoabdominal aneurysms were doing better with it, but he wanted a better understanding of the mechanics before testing the device more widely in a clinical...

Briefs : Medical
3D and 4K Technology Offer Precise Visualization

Visualization technology for medical usage has advanced rapidly, from analog to digital to high definition to 3D and now 4K. High-quality displays will continue to be invaluable medical tools, whether it’s the enhanced depth of a 3D image, or the increased contrast, resolution and level of...

Briefs : Medical
Regaining Leg Control with Spinal Stimulation

According to a new NIH-funded study, five men with complete motor paralysis were able to voluntarily generate steplike movements using a new technology that non-invasively delivers electrical stimulation to their spinal cords. The technology, called transcutaneous stimulation, delivers electrical...

Briefs : Medical
3D-Printing 10 Materials at Once

A team of computer scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) say that they have created a 3D printer that uses machine vision and 3D scanning to self-correct and directly embed components with up to ten materials at the same time. This, they explain, makes for a better,...

Briefs : Medical
How 3D Printing Can Aid in Brain Surgery

Physicians at Boston Children’s Hospital report that four children with life-threatening cerebrovascular malformations posing surgical challenges have benefited from surgeons having 3D-printed models of their unique brain structures before undergoing high-risk brain procedures.

Briefs : Medical
Calibration System Brings New Accuracy to PET Scanning

A team of scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD, has demonstrated the first calibration system for positron emission tomography (PET) scanners directly tied to national measurement standards. Better calibrations of the machines, they say,...

Briefs : Medical
Live-Cell Microscopy and Traction Force Measurements with Simulated Microgravity “Clinochip”

The deleterious effects of microgravity are undeniable: reduced bone mineral density, muscle atrophy, vascular remodeling, etc. These health issues may derive from both systemic factors, and from direct alterations to intracellular components and in...

Briefs : Communications
Wireless Implant Could Deliver Drugs by Remote Control

A team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis along with colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed a wireless device just the width of a human hair that, they say, can be implanted in the brain to deliver drugs when activated by...

Briefs : Medical
Ensuring Your Medical Device Meets Sterilization Standards Throughout the Supply Chain

Ensuring that device packaging meets specifications.

Considering the complex science and research that goes into developing medical devices, it is important to take time to consider the detailed process and requirements in place for safely delivering...

Briefs : FDA/Regulatory
Smooth Compliance: Considerations for UDI Labeling Initiatives

In September 2013, the FDA announced new regulations for medical device manufacturers known as UDI (Unique Device Identifier) that would require all medical devices to bear a label containing specific information by the year 2020. The regulations were designed to phase in over a...

Briefs : Medical
Silicon Synthesized for Use with Medical Devices

Bonelike silicon improves interaction with soft tissue.

Chemists at the University of Chicago in collaboration with other researchers at Northwestern University have developed the first skeleton-like silicon spicules ever prepared via chemical processes. This approach, they claim, could...

Briefs : Medical
How the Seahorse Tail Could Inspire MedTech

Why does a square structure absorb more force?

Mechanical engineers at Clemson University pondering why the tail of a seahorse is square and how this adds to its strength referred back to research originally conducted at the University of San Diego to find their answer. This led to even more...

Briefs : Medical
Medical Oxygen Concentrator for Microgravity Operation

Only ambient air and DC energy are required to operate the system.

Supplemental oxygen delivery systems are vital to provide a critical life support respiratory function. Whether they are used for patients suffering from lung diseases or other illnesses, to astronauts donning an...

Briefs : Medical
NASA Humanoid Robot Testing Telemedicine

Researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, in collaboration with General Motors and Oceaneering, designed a state-of-the-art, highly dexterous, humanoid robot, Robonaut 2 (R2), and sent it to the International Space Station where it remains, working alongside human astronauts.

Briefs : Wearables
Two-Armed Upper-Body Rehabilitation Robot

Exoskeleton provides precise therapy while tracking data.

A team of engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a first-of-its kind, two-armed, robotic rehabilitation exoskeleton that, they say, could provide a new method of high-quality, data-driven therapy to patients...

Briefs : Materials
Gold Standard for Implantable Electrodes?

Gold coating could reduce scarring.

A team of scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, working with other researchers at the University of California, Davis, say that covering an implantable neural electrode with nanoporous gold could eliminate the risk of scar...

Briefs : Medical
Material with Controllable Surface Textures Created

3D printed material features controllable surface textures.

A team of mechanical engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has developed a way of making soft materials, using a 3D printer, with surface textures that can be controlled at will to be smooth, ridged, or bumpy. It...

Briefs : Medical
Measuring Conductivity with Ultrasensitivity

Researchers at Rice University’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) say they have uncovered a new way to make ultrasensitive conductivity measurements at optical frequencies on high-speed nanoscale electronic components. They linked pairs of puck-shaped metal nanodisks with metallic nanowires and...

Briefs : Medical
Kirigami Art Could Enable Stretchy Conductors

Folded paper design inspired flexible electronics.

Kirigami, the Japanese art of folding and paper cutting, has inspired a team of engineers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, to create flexible, stretchable electronics. They say that future electronics will be able to be rolled up,...

Briefs : Medical
Advanced-Capabilities Medical Suction Device

This technology presents a means to cleanly contain bodily fluids in environments ranging from microgravity to Earth gravity with no release of infectious agents.

NASA has long recognized the difficulty in providing emergency medical care to astronauts in space. Many aspects of space travel...

Briefs : Medical
Inkjet-Printed Metal for Soft Robotics

New approach could create very flexible electronic circuitry.

New research being done at Purdue University demonstrates that inkjet-printing technology can be used to mass-produce electronic circuits made of liquid-metal alloys that may be used for “soft robots” and flexible electronics. These...

Briefs : Medical
FDA Draft Guidance for Adaptive Designs

The FDA is seeking comments of a new draft guidance that it recently issued for industry called “Adaptive Designs for Medical Device Clinical Studies.” An “adaptive design” for a medical device clinical study is defined as a clinical trial design that allows for prospectively planned modifications...

Briefs : Medical
Students Create Inexpensive Motorized Wheelchair

Creating a custom wheelchair for siblings with neuromuscular disease.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a debilitating neuromuscular disease. It involves motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, which affects walking, eating, and breathing. SMA is the number one genetic cause of death in...

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