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Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability around the world. In the United States alone, nearly 800,00 people suffer from a stroke each year. Many of those who are lucky to survive continue to live with various long-term physical disabilities, including upper limb motor impairment. Studies have shown that early motor rehabilitation is one of the most important factors to help minimize disability and regain function after a stroke. This rehabilitation period usually includes multiple intensive and highly repetitive exercises designed to help the brain rewire itself and...
  Researchers working in Australia, France, Switzerland, and Germany have developed two new techniques that may expand the capabilities of X-ray imaging in clinical and pre-clinical applications. One of the new technologies is designed to reduce the radiation dose delivered during mammographies and other X-ray imaging procedures, while the other technique can provide 3D X-ray scans of fragile biological samples using only one exposure. [caption id="attachment_1446735" align="alignright" width="431"] 3D reconstruction of a gold nanostructure shows the acquired image (yellow) compared to a simulated phantom of the object (semi-transparent red). Scale bar:...
Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a “virtually indestructible” solar-powered UV sensor. Described as the world’s smallest wearable, the battery-free device is thinner than a credit card and smaller than an M&M candy, but can warn people about UV over-exposure and help clinicians to optimize dosing during light therapy. Not knowing of Northwestern's role in this technology, we recently covered the now available sensor when it was released as a L’Oreal product through Apple stores. Light therapy has numerous applications, including blue light therapy for jaundiced newborns and UV therapy...
Orthopedic implants used to repair damaged and diseased bones and joints typically have a complex structure below the surface that helps native tissues grow into and secure the implants. In addition to this, surface treatments are often applied to even further improve the effectiveness of the implants. These surface treatments, just as the name implies, apply mostly to the surface of the object and don't do much on the complex insides where tissues eventually penetrate. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films (IST) in Braunschweig, Germany have developed...
Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine have developed a molecular sensor that can spot metastatic cancer cells and measure how likely they're to spread through the body. “Although there are many ways to detect metastasis once it has occurred, there has been nothing available to ‘see’ or ‘measure’ the potential of a tumor cell to metastasize in the future," said Pradipta Ghosh, MD, UC San Diego School of Medicine professor and director of the university's Center for Network Medicine and senior author of a new study appearing in...
Hip replacements often lead to one leg ending up a little longer than the other, requiring patients to wear special shoes and causing long-term discomfort. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in Chemnitz, Germany have developed a system to be able to make hip implants very accurate. The team use an optical tool to measure the length of of patients' legs before the surgery and a specially developed hip implant that can be made longer or shorter. Pre-operative software lets the researchers adjust the length...
French researchers at CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique ), Aix-Marseille University, and Sorbonne University have managed to teach a prosthetic arm to decode and replicate the movements of an amputee's phantom limb. Most people who lose a limb still feel its presence and can "move" it long after amputation. These phantom limbs are often a problem for patients, making it difficult to adjust to prostheses. But the French researchers decided to take advantage of this phenomenon and use it to drive a powered prosthetic arm. The team noted...
Precision OS is a provider of virtual reality (VR) orthopedic surgical education and pre-operative planning software based in Vancouver, Canada. This software allows for surgeons and trainees to practice simulated medical procedures by providing an immersive and realistic form of deliberate surgical practice that offers critical surgical metrics with haptic feedback. Very recently, the company secured $2.3 million in Series A funding that was led by Swiss investment fund AO Invest, and several other undisclosed investors. Precision OS has been nominated for the Technology Impact Awards, was a semi-finalist at...
Elekta, the Swedish manufacturer of radiotherapy devices, won FDA clearance for the world's first high-field MRI/linac system. The Elekta Unity combines a 1.5 Tesla MRI scanner with a linear particle accelerator, a feat that was previously thought impossible. This is because the electrons coming out of an accelerator, being electrons, have a charge, and a strong magnetic field will make the electron beam bend. Scientists at UMC Utrecht, a major clinical research center in The Netherlands, had some novel ideas and built the first prototype years ago. This convinced Elekta to work...
Luma Therapeutics, based outside of San Francisco, CA, is releasing its new illuvinate system for treatment of plaque psoriasis, an irritating skin condition. The device delivers ultraviolet light, within a narrow spectrum, to the skin using a powerful-stick on LED array, as well as humidification to soothe the area. Patients who are prescribed the system, either by their dermatologist or through Luma's telemedicine partner, are expected to use the device once a day on their inflamed problem spots. The system works to limit inflammation, rebuild healthy cellular structure, and hydrate...
There are many tools that allow disabled people to operate wheelchairs, including joysticks and blow tubes, but a new partnership between HOOBOX Robotics, a Brazilian company, and Intel, the chip maker, has resulted in a wheelchair controlled exclusively by face gestures. The Wheelie, as the device is called, has a camera that constantly monitors the user's face and when certain gestures, such as a smile or a raise of an eyebrow, trigger different actions by the wheelchair. Since there are obvious issues, such as inadvertent gestures, that must be considered,...

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