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Injectable “smart sponge” hold promise for controlled drug delivery

July 17, 2013 10:18 am | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a drug delivery technique for diabetes treatment in which a sponge-like material surrounds an insulin core. The sponge expands and contracts in response to blood sugar levels to release insulin as needed. The technique could also be used for targeted drug delivery to cancer cells.

Steering stem cells with magnets

July 16, 2013 2:43 pm | News | Comments

By feeding stem cells tiny particles made of magnetized iron oxide, scientists at Emory Univ. and Georgia Tech have used magnets to attract the cells to a particular location in the body after intravenous injection. The method could become a tool for directing stem cells’ healing powers to treat conditions such as heart disease or vascular disease.

High-tech gadgets monitor seniors' safety at home

July 15, 2013 9:51 am | by Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Research is growing with high-tech gadgets that promise new safety nets for seniors determined to live on their own for as long as possible. Motion sensors on the wall and a monitor under the mattress one day might automatically alert loved ones to early signs of trouble well before an elderly loved one gets sick or suffers a fall.

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Orthocare Innovations wins 2013 R&D 100 Award

July 11, 2013 9:25 am | News | Comments

Orthocare Innovations has received a 2013 R&D 100 Award for its Magellan microprocessor foot ankle system. Magellan brings a novel approach to lower limb prosthetics by mimicking key features of the human ankle that are essential to normal gait. Magellan offers active ankle function using microprocessor computer control combined with advanced, microhydraulic technology.

The story behind the 3-D-printed splint that saved an infant’s life

July 11, 2013 7:57 am | News | Comments

Half a millennium after Johannes Gutenberg printed the Bible, researchers printed a 3-D splint that saved the life of an infant born with severe tracheobronchomalacia, a birth defect that causes the airway to collapse. While similar surgeries have been performed using tissue donations and windpipes created from stem cells, this is the first time 3-D printing has been used to treat tracheobronchomalacia—at least in a human.

Nanofiber mesh fights cancerous tumors

July 3, 2013 9:20 am | News | Comments

A research team at the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan has developed a new nanofiber mesh which is capable of simultaneously performing thermotherapy and chemotherapy of tumors. Using this new mesh, the team succeeded in efficiently inducing natural death of epithelial cancer cells.

Hospitals seek high-tech help for hand hygiene

June 28, 2013 12:19 pm | by Jim Salter, Associated Press | News | Comments

Hospitals have fretted for years over how to make sure doctors, nurses and staff keep their hands clean, but with only limited success. Now, some are turning to technology—beepers, buzzers, lights and tracking systems that remind workers to sanitize, and chart those who don't.

Researchers put chemistry lab on paper to detect low-quality medicine

June 28, 2013 9:38 am | News | Comments

Marya Lieberman, assoc. prof. of chemistry and biochemistry at the Univ. of Notre Dame, and her collaborators have recently published results that show the effectiveness of an inexpensive paper test card that could fundamentally change the balance of power between pharmaceutical buyers and sellers in the developing world.

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Spinach and nanodiamond?

June 25, 2013 7:10 am | News | Comments

Comic book hero Popeye swears by it. And so do generations of parents who “spoil” their children with spinach. But too much iron content in the blood can indicate acute inflammatory responses, which makes it an important medical diagnostic agent. Using nanoscale diamonds which feature defects, researchers in Europe have developed a new, sensitive biosensor for determination of iron content.

Device detects disease with a drop of blood

June 24, 2013 9:47 am | News | Comments

A research team at New Jersey Institute of Technology have created a carbon nanotube-based device to noninvasively and quickly detect mobile single cells with the potential to maintain a high degree of spatial resolution. This prototype lab-on-a-chip could someday enable a physician to detect disease or virus from just one drop of liquid, including blood.

Doctors make progress toward 'artificial pancreas'

June 22, 2013 11:02 am | by MARILYNN MARCHIONE - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Doctors are reporting a major step toward an "artificial pancreas," a device that would constantly monitor blood sugar in people with diabetes and automatically supply insulin as needed. A key component of such a system—an insulin pump programmed to shut down if blood-sugar dips too low while people are sleeping—worked as intended in a three-month study of 247 patients.

Light, nanoprobes detect early signs of infection

June 21, 2013 8:00 am | News | Comments

Duke Univ. biomedical engineers and genome researchers have developed a proof-of-principle approach using light to detect infections before patients show symptoms. The approach was demonstrated in human samples, and researchers are now developing the technique for placement on a chip, which could provide fast, simple and reliable information about a patient. A diagnostic device based on this chip also could be made portable.

Seeing the human pulse

June 20, 2013 11:01 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new algorithm that can accurately measure the heart rates of people depicted in ordinary digital video by analyzing imperceptibly small head movements that accompany the rush of blood caused by the heart’s contractions.

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A way to detect new viruses

June 17, 2013 2:14 pm | News | Comments

In recently published research, St. Louis Univ. researchers describe a technology that can detect new, previously unknown viruses. The technique offers the potential to screen patients for viruses even when doctors have not identified a particular virus as the likely source of an infection. In the new approach, scientists use blood serum as a biological source to categorize and discover viruses.

To ease shortage of organs, grow them in a lab?

June 17, 2013 9:13 am | by Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Growing lungs and other organs for transplant is still in the future, but scientists are working toward that goal. In North Carolina, a 3-D printer builds prototype kidneys. In several labs, scientists study how to build on the internal scaffolding of hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys of people and pigs to make custom-made implants. Solid organs like lungs or livers are still too difficult, but simpler body parts are now being made.

Testing method promising for spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis

June 14, 2013 7:49 am | News | Comments

A medical test previously developed to measure a toxin found in tobacco smokers has been adapted to measure the same toxin in people suffering from spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, offering a potential tool to reduce symptoms. The toxin, called acrolein, is produced in the body after nerve cells are injured, triggering a cascade of biochemical events thought to worsen the injury's severity.

Research identifies scent of melanoma

June 13, 2013 6:00 pm | News | Comments

Melanoma is a tumor that is responsible for approximately 75% of skin cancer deaths. According to new research, odors from human skin cells can be used to identify melanoma. The method, which uses gas chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques, takes advantage of the fact that human skin produces numerous airborne chemical molecules known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, many of which are odorous.

Why the shape of nanoparticles matters

June 10, 2013 4:13 pm | News | Comments

A new study involving researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Center and the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that the shape of nanoparticles can enhance drug targeting. The study found that rod-shaped nanoparticles—or nanorods—as opposed to spherical nanoparticles, appear to adhere more effectively to the surface of endothelial cells that line the inside of blood vessels.

Researchers move closer to low-cost, implantable electronics

June 10, 2013 1:37 pm | News | Comments

New technology under development at Ohio State Univ. is paving the way for low-cost electronic devices that work in direct contact with living tissue inside the body. The first planned use of the technology is a sensor that will detect the very early stages of organ transplant rejection.

Surgeons implant bioengineered vein

June 6, 2013 2:19 pm | News | Comments

In a first-of-its-kind operation in the United States, a team of doctors at Duke University Hospital helped create a bioengineered blood vessel and transplanted it into the arm of a patient with end-stage kidney disease. The procedure was the first U.S. clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of the bioengineered blood vein.

From Legos to Medical Devices

June 6, 2013 11:38 am | by Lindsay Hock | Articles | Comments

In seventh grade, now 25-year-old Nikolai Begg, 2013 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winner, was assigned a general project for English class where he had to pick a topic and write a report. That year, in life science class he took a great interest in this field, choosing to write his report on surgical robots. Able to interview surgeons using surgical robots and engineers designing them, Begg discovered an incredible field.

Researchers integrate origami and engineering

June 4, 2013 1:31 pm | News | Comments

The quintessential piece of origami might be a decorative paper crane, but in the hands of an interdisciplinary Univ. of Pennsylvania research team, it could lead to a drug-delivery device, an emergency shelter or even a space station. Collaborating with researchers at Cornell Univ., the Penn team will share in a $2 million, four-year grant from the NSF’s Div. of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation.

Biochemists develop new technology to transfer DNA into cells

June 3, 2013 1:34 pm | News | Comments

On any given day, Jason Atkins and Mohit Patel can be found toiling away inside a chemical biology laboratory at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. And they love every minute of it. The researchers recently developed new technology to transfer DNA into cells. The development is an inexpensive and non-toxic method to help DNA cross the cell membrane so that cells can be modified.

Improving the safety of the nation's blood supply

June 3, 2013 12:23 pm | News | Comments

A six-year collaboration between industry and the University of Wisconsin-Madison RFID Lab has achieved a major milestone with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearing the first RFID-enabled solution to improve the safety and efficiency of the nation's blood supply.

New method mass produces high-quality DNA

June 3, 2013 9:55 am | News | Comments

A new method of manufacturing short, single-stranded DNA molecules uses enzymatic production methods to create a system that not only improves the quality of the manufactured oligonucleotides but that also makes it possible to scale up production using bacteria in order to produce large amounts of DNA copies cheaply.

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