December 1st, 2021 by Alice Ferng
Whether in front of the computer or TV, driving on long commutes, or attending a sporting event, the average person spends more than 12 hours a day sitting. This can take a serious toll on your body in a variety of ways, but muscle and joint pain can be the most immediately apparent. Sitting all day can lead to long term consequences, many of which affect the lower back, hips, and knees. We had the opportunity to review a few devices that target these areas to help avoid tissue damage,...Read More
BioDevek, a medtech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has developed a biomaterial adhesive that acts to seal internal wounds and incisions. The material is designed to be sprayed through a catheter, and the primary application for the technology so far is to act as a sealant following colonic polyp resection. At present, following polyp resection, surgeons can use polyp clips to seal the resection site, which can hamper wound healing, or use no sealant at all, leading to an open wound that comes with a risk of bleeding or other...Read More

November 30th, 2021 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute created a microfluidic chip that mimics the airway of patients with cystic fibrosis. By including lung airway cells from cystic fibrosis patients within the device, the team was able to reproduce many of the hallmarks of the disease, including a thick mucus layer, inflammation, and bacterial growth. The chip could provide the first advanced preclinical testing platform for cystic fibrosis treatments and increase our understanding of the disease. This image shows how neutrophils (fluorescing in green) that were added to the blood channel have attached...Read More
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed an ultrashort-pulse laser that can kill multidrug-resistant bacteria and their spores, and without damaging human cells. The laser works by vibrating and breaking protein structures within the bacterial cell, resulting in biochemical disruption and eventual death. The researchers hope that the technique could prove useful in decontaminating wounds and blood products. Killing multidrug-resistant bacteria is no mean feat, as many of the common antibiotics we use are no longer effective against them. General antibacterial strategies that could kill...Read More

November 24th, 2021 by Conn Hastings
Engineers and orthopedic specialists at the University of Arizona built an ultra-thin wireless sensor that is designed to monitor bone health over long periods of time. The battery-free device is intended to measure a variety of physiological parameters, such as temperature and bone strain, and could be useful for patients with osteoporosis or to monitor healing and guide rehabilitation after a fracture. The device is affixed to the bone surface using a calcium adhesive, which encourages the bone to grow and fuse with the device surface for long-term implantation. At...Read More

November 23rd, 2021 by Conn Hastings
Scientists at Johns Hopkins used a combination of molecular labeling and imaging techniques to create a three-dimensional map of the blood vessels in the mouse skull. Their approach also reveals niches where stem cell populations lurk, which could help researchers to understand how blood vessels and cells behave in various states of disease or injury. The researchers are interested in tissue engineering to replace lost bone, and their new methodology could allow them to understand how interventions to repair bone defects in the skull, such as biomaterial implants, are working....Read More

November 22nd, 2021 by Conn Hastings
At the University of Virginia researchers developed a new bioprinting technique based on voxels. Voxels are 3D cubes that form basic building blocks in computer graphics, similar to what pixels are for 2D, and have been popularized by games such as Minecraft. The new technique involves printing discrete spherical blobs of bioink (as the voxels) within a supportive matrix that then swell to merge together, forming a porous structure. Sticky bioinks can be difficult to handle and print predictably, but this new technique helps to address this issue.     Bioprinting...Read More
Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China, working with outside collaborators, have developed shape-shifting microrobots that are designed to be guided to a target area in the body using magnets, and then release a drug cargo in response to the local environment. The application that the researchers have pursued involves guiding the microrobots to a solid tumor using magnets outside the body, and then the tumor’s naturally acidic microenvironment stimulates a shape change, resulting in the local release of a chemotherapy drug.   Researchers are devising a...Read More
Researchers at the University of Connecticut have developed a highly sensitive imaging sensor that can rapidly and accurately monitor bacterial growth. The technique involves shining laser light through a bacterial sample and taking images at multiple orientations, before reconstructing the diffracted light patterns, to produce a 3D image of the bacterial colony. These 3D images provide significant detail about the growth and characteristics of bacteria, and could be very helpful in rapidly identifying which antibiotics are most effective at killing them. Determining antibiotic susceptibility is a laborious process. A bacterial...Read More
Delivering drugs to the brain remains a challenge due to the blood-brain barrier, a specialized endothelial layer that is highly selective in what it permits into the neural tissue beyond. At the University of Texas at Dallas, researchers have developed a technique that allows therapeutics to cross the blood-brain barrier, potentially allowing for new treatments for brain tumors and other conditions affecting the brain. The method involves administering gold nanoparticles into the blood stream and then activating them using transcranial laser illumination to cause temporary openings in the tight junctions...Read More

November 17th, 2021 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the University of Utah engineered a wearable fabric that can function as a biosensor, measuring electrical activity of muscles. The technology could be useful for physical rehabilitation, allowing clinicians and physical therapists to monitor patients' progress. The fabric contains a network of silver flakes and gold nanoparticles that provide conductivity and allow electrical signals to be measured in high fidelity using a portable electromyography (EMG) device.   Physical rehabilitation is a cornerstone of recovery from a variety of illnesses and injuries, but obtaining hard EMG data on muscle...Read More

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Airway Chip as Benchtop Model of Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute created a microfluidic chip that mimics the airway of patients with cystic fibrosis. By including lung airway cells from cystic... November 30th, 2021



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