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Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a 3D-printed hydrogel that can move in response to an electrical signal. The material has potential in soft robotics, and could be used as an artificial muscle in prostheses or implants, or even for drug delivery applications. Soft robotics is a thriving area of research, and soft robots have significant potential as medical devices. In this recent contribution to the field, the researchers have developed an electroactive hydrogel that can “walk” underwater and grab objects. However, the material also has potential as an artificial...
In the category of Non-EPO countries, the European Patent Office (EPO) named U.S. Inventor Prof. Esther Sans Takeuchi a finalist for the 2018 European Inventor Award. Sans Takeuchi is being recognized for her work developing a battery that increases the lifespan of implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) fivefold, effectively reducing the need for multiple replacement surgeries. Her contributions not only advanced the field of chemistry through the compact lithium/silver vanadium oxide (Li/SVO) battery, but also increased the acceptance of ICDs beginning in the 1980s. [caption id="attachment_1429912" align="alignright" width="300"] Compact, implantable ICD...
Since the birth of home video game systems in the 1970's, the controller has advanced and evolved just as much as the video games themselves. However, game controllers have always largely catered to players with two hands and normal mobility. To allow more users with limited mobility to enjoy gaming, tech giant Microsoft has introduced a new accessory for the Xbox game system, the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The innovative controller is a black and white rectangle having two round button pads that are programmable and several other buttons. On the...
Biofluids can be a goldmine of valuable information about our health. However, most of them require sharp needles, diuretics, or sappy romance dramas (blood, urine, and tears) to produce in useful quantities. One Cincinnati area startup has developed a device that samples a biofluid that everyone produces continuously while sleeping or awake - sweat! During a recent press tour of the Cincinnati area, we had the opportunity to visit the offices of Eccrine Systems, whose "Sweatronics" technology facilitates the collection and analysis of sweat via a custom-designed wearable. During our...
Pancreatic cancer is notoriously famous for being a merciless killer, but the reality is that our current inability to diagnose it early is what makes it so intractable. Earlier diagnosis would allow therapies to be initiated before the cancer becomes untreatable. Researchers at University of California, San Diego may have just developed a blood test that can indicate whether certain biomarkers that point to pancreatic cancer are present. The test is fast and fairly easy to perform, and may end up providing months of advanced notice while pancreatic cancer is still...
PeraHealth, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, recently won FDA clearance for its PeraTrend clinical surveillance offering, which relies on smart algorithms to predict dangerous oncoming health issues, such as cardiac and pulmonary arrest, while the patient is in the hospital. The algorithms are based on the Rothman Index, a measure of how well a patient is doing, combined with data gathered from the patient's electronic health record. The two are used to calculate risks, help visualize the relevant parameters in a proper context, and help make quick and proper clinical...
As medical implants become more common, more and more people are dying with all kinds of metals within their bodies. Gold, titanium, palladium, silver, and many other metals are frequently found in cardiac implants, neurostimulators, dental implants, and artificial joints. A company called OrthoMetals, based in The Netherlands, is essentially mining these metals from recently deceased bodies around the world. They have developed the necessary technology and partnered with hundreds of crematoria to separate metals from bones and ash that remain after a cremation. The crematoria get a cut of...
Preeclampsia is a frequent and dangerous complication of pregnancy characterized by an abnormally high blood pressure, coupled with signs of damage to the liver, kidneys, and other organs. While there is a fairly easy way to detect signs of preeclampsia, known as the supine pressor test, it requires patients to visit their doctor, something that in many places around the world is not a trivial matter. Scientists at Purdue University have been working on making the supine pressor test, which involves measuring the patient's diastolic blood pressure while in two different...
According to 2010-2012 data from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), 40% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. In all its forms, cancer is known to be a clinically and emotionally challenging disease to manage. Despite the fact that each year 455 men and women per 100,000 patients are diagnosed with cancer (NCI, 2008-2012 data), 1 in 5 cancer patients are still misdiagnosed, further exacerbating the challenges of treatment for clinicians, patients, and their families. Founded in 2011, Precipio Diagnostics out of New Haven, Connecticut is...
Organoids have become a new way of studying the details of how our tissues function and to test potential new drugs in a highly realistic environment. Growing these three dimensional bits of organs from stem cells is not easy, which is why Petri dishes continue to be the standard in cellular culturing. Now researchers at University of Washington and University of Michigan have created a robotic system that grows kidney organoids from pluripotent stem cells with little human intervention. It takes minutes to get the process going and the robot...
Scientists at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have developed a new way of utilizing nanotechnology to detect important biomarkers within the skin using what looks like a simple lotion. Their NanoFlares, which are spherical, programmable nano-scale balls of nucleic acid, have gold cores. These NanoFlares are able to penetrate the skin and meet up with biochemicals within. When the nucleic acids interact with targeted biomarkers, the gold cores are exposed and the become free to fluoresce and therefore to be detected. The researchers published their study in Nature Biomedical Engineering, but have...

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MasSpec Pen Spots Cancer on Surgical Samples

Most people undergoing a tumor excision go in knowing that the entirety of the offending tissue may not be removed successfully. Typically, tumors look just like... May 14th, 2018

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