Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, and the Medical University of Graz, Austria have developed an electrical pump that can precisely deliver chemotherapeutic drugs into the brain. The technology is conceived as being implantable into brain tumor resection sites to deliver localized chemotherapy over extended periods. It is hoped that this approach can prevent tumor recurrence. Unfortunately, brain tumor recurrence following surgical resection is all too common. It is difficult to remove all traces of the tumor without causing significant damage to healthy brain tissue, and therefore recurrence is inevitable for...Read More

April 19th, 2021 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed an ultrasound-powered implantable sensor that can measure oxygen levels in tissues deep within the body and transmit these data to an external device. The technology could be useful in monitoring transplant viability or oxygen exposure in preterm infants. It also has potential to be adapted to measure other biochemical markers, such as carbon dioxide concentrations or pH levels. Oxygen is crucial for living tissues, and poor oxygenation leads to cell death. This process forms the basis for various pathological phenomena, but...Read More
Researchers at the University of Texas and EnLiSense, a Texas startup, have developed a skin sweat sensor that can measure cytokine levels continuously for up to 168 hours. The technology has been adapted so that it can detect cytokines involved in the deadly cytokine storms that occur in patients with COVID-19 and other illnesses, such as influenza. The researchers hope that it might serve as an early warning system for an impending storm, allowing early treatment. Cytokine storms involve a massive release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to intense inflammation that...Read More
Medtronic won FDA de novo clearance for its GI Genius endoscopy technology that can spot suspicious lesions during routine colonoscopy exams. The system works with any video colonoscope and can even process pre-recorded colonoscopies. Even highly experienced gastroenterologists can miss a polyp while navigating through the colon. Computer vision technology can carefully process the entirety of every video frame to spot any irregularities associated with polyps. According to Medtronic, "the GI Genius module has demonstrated a 14% absolute increase in ADR [adenoma detection rate] compared to colonoscopy alone for both...Read More
Researchers at the Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH) in South Korea have developed a hydrogel patch system that allows for sophisticated sequential release of growth factors that stimulate angiogenesis. The sequential cascade of growth factors mimics the natural process in the body and the researchers hope that the technology could provide regenerative efficacy in ischemic disease, such as myocardial infarction. Ischemic disease poses a huge chronic burden on patients and healthcare providers. Treatments that can help to restore blood flow to ischemic tissue represent a promising way to...Read More
Researchers at Penn Medicine have developed a wearable sleeve that provides rapid pulsatile compression, and aims to mimic the compression our calf muscles experience during walking. The technology, being commercialized by Osciflex, a spin out from Penn Medicine, is intended to prevent deep vein thrombosis in patients who are bed-bound for long periods of time. Deep vein thrombosis tends to affect those that are not very mobile, so getting out of bed to stretch one's legs is a challenge, making the condition tricky to prevent. At present, mechanical cuffs that...Read More
Researchers at the Nagoya Institute of Technology in Japan have developed a device that can diagnose and help to correct postural instability leading to back pain. The technique involves using vibration to stimulate sensory receptors that help the brain to perceive the position of the body in space, which is known as proprioception. The approach is based on the hypothesis that poor proprioception leads to postural instability and subsequent lower back pain.    Lower back pain is a very common affliction, particularly among older people, and can often seem unavoidable....Read More

April 12th, 2021 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University have developed a way to deliver therapeutic mRNA to the brain, in this case to produce brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which can protect neurons from ischemia. The researchers hope that the treatment could help patients who have suffered a stroke to achieve better outcomes by reducing cell death. mRNA is enjoying a moment in the spotlight, with two of the most effective COVID-19 vaccines using it to produce an immune response against the virus. However, mRNA has significant therapeutic potential beyond vaccination,...Read More

April 12th, 2021 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at McGill University in Canada have developed bioinspired sutures that mimic the structure of human tendons. The gel-covered sutures are slippery and tough, reducing the damage caused by conventional sutures when used on soft tissues. Interestingly, the gel surface of the sutures may allow for advanced applications such as drug delivery, infection prevention, or even near-infrared imaging to aid suture placement and removal during minimally invasive surgery. Suturing to close wounds and aid healing is an old technique, with centuries of history, but in all that time sutures haven’t...Read More
Researchers at MIT and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have developed a 3D-printed microfluidic bioreactor that can be used to culture and study brain organoids. The tiny self-organizing nodules of brain tissue are very useful in studying neurological disease and the effects of drugs. However, the bioreactors used to grow brain organoids can be bulky and costly, and do not always allow for easy viewing of the organoids as they grow. This latest technology aims to provide a low-cost organoid bioreactor using the benefits of 3D printing and microfluidics....Read More
Researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany have developed an implantable biosensor that can measure concentrations of various biomarkers and drugs in the body. Unlike many implantable devices, the sensor can reside in place under the skin for many months without being rejected by the body or losing its functionality. The system uses receptor-studded gold nanoparticles that change color when an analyte of interest binds to them. The researchers can detect this color change non-invasively from outside the body. The technique could lead to long-term biosensing technologies. Implantable...Read More

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