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Gastroschisis is a birth defect in which some of the baby's intestines end up outside the body, protruding through a ventral opening near the navel. In developed countries this is a treatable condition that typically requires a series of surgeries and a special bag that holds the intestines in a sterile environment while they slowly descend into the abdomen. In poorly resourced nations, the equipment, including the bag, are often cost prohibitive. Students at Rice University have developed their own bag, made of stitched silicone, that is considerably cheaper to...
Harvard's Wyss Institute researchers are bringing a specific and multiplexed genetic diagnostic technology to market with NuProbe Global, a Boston based company. It addresses the current need to detect rare genetic mutations, which may be present in only a few cells of the body. Current detection techniques using gene amplification are not specific enough and return false positives, and also lack multiplexing capabilities to detect multiple mutations in a single tube. NuProbe Global's technology increased the sensitivity of single point mutations by 100 fold when applied with conventional qPCR and...

April 26th, 2018 by Conn Hastings
Researchers in Japan have developed a tiny optical implant, no bigger than the width of a coin, that could be used to change neural behavior. The researchers can implant the device several centimeters into the body, and then activate it externally using infrared light. The device could make it easier for researchers to identify the role of specific neuro circuits in neurological diseases, helping them to develop new treatments. The field of optogenetics involves activating neurons using light, and this method has helped scientists to learn more about complicated neural...
The month of April is Autism Month. Autism affects 3.5 million families in the United States alone, with each person uniquely on the spectrum. These people commonly experience symptoms related to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity, but more well known is their struggle to decode emotions, to manage transitions and behaviors, eye contact, casual conversation, and so on. Brain Power was founded to address autism through a heads-up wearable computer, in the form of Google Glass, that delivers gamified apps used to motivate and reward users for...
QIAGEN won FDA's OK to introduce its PartoSure test for estimating the risk of spontaneous preterm birth to be used for women that are experiencing symptoms of preterm labor. The test identifies the presence of placental alpha microglobulin-1 (PAMG-1), a pretty good indicator that the fetal membrane has suffered a break. The test has already been available in many countries in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world. It is expected to be available in the U.S. sometime this year. Info page: PartoSure test... Via: QIAGEN...
University of Minnesota researchers have figured out a way of printing electronics on top of skin, even onto hands that are unrestrained and slightly moving. We got a peek at the technology in the Fall of last year, when it was first presented at the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in Vancouver, Canada. Now, though, the full details are out as a study regarding the new printing method was published in journal Advanced Materials. The technology should have important applications for medicine, including body-worn sensors and drug delivery...
Shockwave Medical, out of Freemont California, won European regulatory approval to introduce its Shockwave S4 Peripheral Intravascular Lithotripsy Catheter. The catheter can be used to work on arteries below the knees, shocking them with ultrasound to displace plaque compacted to the vessel walls. The frequency of the ultrasound is tuned to the resonant frequency of calcified plaque, thereby shaking up plaque without doing undue damage to much softer vascular tissue. From Shockwave Medical: IVL has been demonstrated to be a safe and effective treatment for femoropopliteal arteries in the DISRUPT...
MIT researchers have developed a device to keep implanted pancreatic islets oxygenated and alive. The technique involves a replenishable oxygen reservoir and a coating that protects the cells from the immune system. In tests in diabetic rats, the subcutaneous implants kept nearly 90% of the islets alive for up to eight months, and blood glucose levels were within a normal range in most of the treated rats. The technique could provide a long-term treatment option for patients with type 1 diabetes. Transplanting pancreatic islets is a promising approach for treating...
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a wearable device that can non-invasively measure tendon tension when wearers are engaged in physical activity. The technology could help researchers to measure and understand the forces that act on muscles during movement. These data are useful for scientists designing treatments and prostheses for patients with gait disorders. Measuring tendon tension could also indicate whether an injured tendon has healed sufficiently to allow for normal activity. “Currently, wearables can measure our movement, but do not provide information on the muscle forces that...
Terumo is launching in Europe its RelayPro Thoracic Stent-Graft System, initially being released to a limited set of institutions with wider availability expected soon. The device is designed to allow patients with narrower access vessels to benefit from thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) procedures. It's based on the previously available RelayPlus, but with an outer diameter 3 to 4 French narrower, depending on the size of the devices. The RelayPro is available as a bare stent or as a non-bare stent. "By combining the proven stent design and material of RelayPlus...
Peripheral artery disease (PAD), a circulatory condition in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the extremities, is projected to affect over 21 million patients in the United States by 2020. Common treatments include balloon angioplasty, atherectomy, stenting, and bypass, all of which require physicians to use tools which enter the patients arteries in order to address the build up of arterial plaque. In order to guide the physician during these procedures, imaging techniques like fluoroscopy, which use X-rays, help to track the position of medical devices within the patient...

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