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New users of advanced prosthetic devices have to undergo tedious training routines in order for the computer that controls the given prosthesis to understand the wishes of the user. Sensors are used to measure the electrical activity of the muscles use to signal a prosthetic to move, but these signals change drastically depending on the user's posture and orientation, amount of sweat formed between the skin and the sensors, and even the time of day. Now researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill...
Avinger, based in Redwood City, California, just announced receiving FDA clearance for its next generation Pantheris Lumivascular atherectomy system. The product simultaneously provides intravascular imaging to allow surgeons to see the site of the disease and a tool to remove the built up plaque from within the targeted vessel. According to the company, the latest iteration of the Pantheris devices includes "a simplified single balloon system for both apposition of the device and occlusion of blood flow, a stiffer shaft for increased pushability, a reinforced nosecone with the option for more tissue...
Some computational problems are so inherently difficult that conventional computers, including large supercomputers, can take years to solve them. One such problem has been encountered by researchers at Case Western Reserve University, who have developed a way to improve and speed up the detection of tumors on MRI scans and improve MRIs in many other ways. Their technique, known as magnetic resonance fingerprinting, which was featured in Nature a few years ago, can significantly increase the amount of useful information that MRI scans provide. But, to take full advantage of this...
Inari Medical of Irvine, California won the first FDA clearance for a thrombectomy device to be used for treatment of pulmonary embolisms. The FlowTriever went through a clinical study involving 106 patients with acute pulmonary embolism and RV/LV (right ventricular/left ventricular) ratio of at least 0.9 that were treated using the device instead of commonly used clot busters. According to the company, "the mean RV/LV ratio in the study decreased from a baseline of 1.53 to 1.15 at 48 hours postprocedure, a difference of 0.39 (p<0.0001). The study also demonstrated excellent safety...
  Purdue University is reporting on a new method of targeting cancer cells, developed by scientists in its Nuclear Engineering department. Dubbed PLASMAT, the technique combines cold atmospheric plasma, an ionized gas that brings with it active oxygen or nitrogen species, and either laser-based or electric-based way of opening the membranes of cells. The combined beam, which is near room temperature, effectively shoots killer molecules into the targeted cells and kills only the cells in its path. Nearby cells remain completely unharmed, and ones on the periphery of the beam...
While most of us would prefer to take our medications orally, many kinds of drugs, such as biologics, must be injected. Biologics themselves, however, are often difficult to inject, as the effective dose is often large and the biologic is often viscous, requiring significant force and injection time to administer, meaning more discomfort. Patients needing these complex molecules typically must visit a clinic to have these biologics administered intravenously by a clinician. On our recent visit to the Cincinnati area, we visited a startup called Enable Injections that has developed...
Being deaf while raising a child can be a serious challenge, in part because it's impossible to know when your child is crying and to understand what that crying is supposed to imply. Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles have now developed software that listens to a baby's crying and interprets it based on a few clues that parents with healthy hearing have learned to focus on. “For example, if a cry has a long period of silence, it’s more likely that the baby is fussy," says Ariana Anderson,...
Clinicial researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh have developed an artificial intelligence software for identifying and quantifying small vessel disease, a frequent cause of dementia and stroke in older people, from CT scans. The investigators have already tested the software at Imperial's Charing Cross Hospital, demonstrating that the technology rivals that of MRI scans coupled with specialized clinicians in spotting and measuring small vessel disease. Because CT scans are used, which are considerably faster to perform than MRI scans, and that the assessment may not need...
KARL STORZ is releasing its PDD (photodynamic diagnostics) Blue Light Flexible Video Cystoscopy in the United States for detection of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. The news is a result of the FDA's regulatory green light that allows the company's Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview to also be useful with the KARL STORZ PDD Blue Light Flexible Video Cystoscope. The regulatory approval includes an indication for use of Cysview repeatedly on the same patient to spot Carcinoma in Situ, a difficult bladder cancer to diagnose. Of note, Cysview, an optical imaging compound that's injected and fluoresces...
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...

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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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