As medical researchers and engineers try to shrink diagnostics to fit in a person's pocket, one question is how to easily move and mix small samples of liquid. University of Washington researchers have built and patented a surface that, when shaken, moves drops along certain paths to conduct medical or environmental tests.
The best doctors strive to relieve their patients' burdens. A physician in Houston asked Rice University students to help him do so in the most literal way. A team of bioengineering seniors built a prototype device to literally lift the weight from obese patients who, while undergoing surgical procedures, might otherwise have trouble breathing.
A pill that has long been used to treat HIV has moved one step closer to becoming the first drug approved to prevent healthy people from becoming infected with the virus that causes AIDS. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that Gilead Sciences' Truvada appears to be safe and effective for HIV prevention.
As valuable as X-ray mammography is, it has certain drawbacks, such as exposure to ionizing radiation and the potential for false results. In the first phase of clinical testing is a new imaging device built around the principle of photoacoustics, or light-induced sound, that can detect and visualize breast tumors with a high degree of targetting accuracy.
One exhale and a new device from researchers at Stony Brook University in New York could screen for anything from diabetes to lung cancer. Based on a sensor chip built from electrospun nanowires that can detect minute amounts of chemical compounds, the device has yet to reach clinical trials. But its inventors anticipate the device to someday cost only $20.
An interdisciplinary team of engineers at the University of Arkansas has developed a wireless health-monitoring system that gathers critical patient information, regardless of the patient's location, and communicates that information in real time to a physician, hospital, or the patient herself.
Online crowd-sourcing—in which a task is presented to the public, who respond, for free, with various solutions and suggestions—has been used to evaluate potential consumer products, develop software algorithms, and solve vexing research and development challenges. But diagnosing infectious diseases?
Heart-failure patients may someday get a life-saving charge from technology developed by students at Rice University. A team of seniors designed and built a transcutaneous energy-transfer unit to power a minimally invasive ventricular assist device being created by a Houston company.
Researchers have taken advantage of cells' physical properties to develop a new instrument that slams cells against a wall of fluid and quickly analyzes the physical response, allowing for the identification of cancer and other cell states without expensive chemical tags.
Frustrated by the flimsy, disposable construction of typical trauma shears, Scott Forman, an emergency room physician, teamed up with Sandia National Laboratories engineer Mark Reece to design a better tool. The result is a shear that handle tough materials like Kevlar without having to be thrown away afterward. And it has a few other cool features as well.
Using game theory and market dynamices, Harvard University economist Alvin Roth has helped develop a suite of computer programs that match living kidney donors with recipients. The software comprehensively addresses the common limitations of this complicated process, matching participants with compatible blood types and antibodies.
Development of new therapies for a range of medical conditions, including sports injuries and heart attacks, could depend on a new production-scale microthread extruder developed by a team of graduate students and biomedical engineering faculty at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The microthreads would support tissue regeneration, wound healing, and cell therapy.
With the development of synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have observed, in real time the process of protein phosphorylation—a chemical interaction that controls everything from cell proliferation to differentiation to metabolism—in living cells stimulated by nerve growth factor.
The major form of lactoferrin is an important iron-binding protein secreted into human biofluids such as milk, blood, tears, and saliva. Because it is responsible for most of the host-defense properties, researchers are starting to use lactoferrin as a potential therapeutic protein.
The mitotic spindle is an apparatus that segregates chromosomes during cell division. But following some nanosurgery conducted by Harvard University, its structure may be more complex than the standard textbook picture suggests. Using a femtosecond laser, researchers have shown the true structure of its protein strands.
Varian Medical Systems and Siemens Healthcare announced the signing of a strategic global partnership to provide advanced diagnostic and therapeutic solutions and services for treating cancer with image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery.
A research team at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has solved the puzzle of the skin barrier: They have succeeded in describing the structure and function of the outermost layer of the skin—the stratum corneum—at a molecular level. This could enable large-scale delivery of drugs through the skin, or offer a deeper understanding of skin diseases.
Until the development of a new nanomaterial-based sensor in Germany, the brain’s magnetic field was measurable only under technical laboratory conditions. This prevented the technology’s use in medical applications. The new sensors, however, operate at normal conditions. Neither cooling nor external magnetic bias fields are required.
The shortage of healthy kidneys for transplant is so acute that they can no longer be allowed to be damaged by recipients. Recently in Chicago, in what is believed to be the first documented case of its kind in the U.S., a transplanted kidney that was failing was removed from a patient while he was still alive and given to somebody else.
Researchers at Northwestern University's Department of Radiation Oncology and Argonne National Laboratory recently deployed a new non-destructive X-ray microscopy solution from Xradia to image cryogenically preserved cells and advance studies of intra-cellular biology.
On Tuesday, a team at Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne used a simple head cap to record the brain signals of Mark-Andre Duc, a partial quadriplegic at a hospital about 100 km away. Duc's thoughts, or electrical signals, were decoded almost instantly by a laptop at the hospital, which then relayed them to a foot-tall robot that scooted around the laboratory.
Engineers at the University of Sheffield have developed a method of making medical devices called nerve guidance conduits. Based on laser direct writing, which enables the fabrication of complex structures from computer files via the use of CAD/CAM, the polymer-based material will assist nerves damaged by traumatic accidents to repair naturally.
A team of Rice University students has invented a machine designed to improve the process of correcting bone deformities in children. Typically, bone correction devices are manually operated, which children must remember to use and which introduces the possibility of damaging fragile tissues and nerves. The new automated linear lengthener avoids these risks.
Emerging from research into magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided therapeutics, researchers in the U.K. have built a real “Sonic Screwdriver”, which has been used to lift and spin a free-floating 10-cm rubber puck. It works by virtue of a 1,000-element ultrasound transducer array, strong enough to both levitate and move the puck in water.
Mount Everest has attracted climbers and adventurers for nearly 100 years. Now, a team of U.S. scientists have set up a laboratory at the base of the world’s highest mountain to study the effects of high altitude on humans. A team from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota says it plans to monitor nine climbers attempting to scale Everest to learn more about the physiology of humans at high altitudes in order to help patients with heart conditions and other ailments.