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Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a wearable device that can non-invasively measure tendon tension when wearers are engaged in physical activity. The technology could help researchers to measure and understand the forces that act on muscles during movement. These data are useful for scientists designing treatments and prostheses for patients with gait disorders. Measuring tendon tension could also indicate whether an injured tendon has healed sufficiently to allow for normal activity. “Currently, wearables can measure our movement, but do not provide information on the muscle forces that...
Terumo is launching in Europe its RelayPro Thoracic Stent-Graft System, initially being released to a limited set of institutions with wider availability expected soon. The device is designed to allow patients with narrower access vessels to benefit from thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) procedures. It's based on the previously available RelayPlus, but with an outer diameter 3 to 4 French narrower, depending on the size of the devices. The RelayPro is available as a bare stent or as a non-bare stent. "By combining the proven stent design and material of RelayPlus...
Peripheral artery disease (PAD), a circulatory condition in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the extremities, is projected to affect over 21 million patients in the United States by 2020. Common treatments include balloon angioplasty, atherectomy, stenting, and bypass, all of which require physicians to use tools which enter the patients arteries in order to address the build up of arterial plaque. In order to guide the physician during these procedures, imaging techniques like fluoroscopy, which use X-rays, help to track the position of medical devices within the patient...
Varian won FDA clearance for its Calypso Anchored Beacon transponder for lung stereotactic body radiotherapy procedures. The device is positioned within a narrow airway close to or even on the tumor to be targeted. During radiotherapy procedures involving a Varian linear particle accelerator, the system tracks the motion of the transponder and adjusts the beam's targeting 25 times per second. The device holds onto the airway using five fork-like anchors and it emits electromagnetic signals that the tracking panel on the Calypso console uses to keep an eye on the...
Most brain related diseases are identified through the symptoms that patients experience. Real, direct testing may be on the horizon thanks to researchers at Washington University in St. Louis who have been looking at whether functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI), a new technique that maps outs the interconnectedness of the brain, may help spot unusual patterns and therefore disease. The team focused on spotting "fundamental differences" in the wiring of the brains of individual human volunteers. “This is a step toward realizing the clinical promise of functional connectivity MRI,” in a statement said...
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have developed new technology to investigate the relationship between vision and foot placement during walking. The devices include an eye tracker and a motion-tracking suit that record gaze and full-body kinematics as a wearer navigates various terrains. The insights provided by the technology could help researchers to understand what is going on in the brain during walking. This technology could assist them in developing new prosthetics, robots, and new treatments for diseases that affect mobility, such as Parkinson’s. Walking requires precise coordination...
Pacemakers have gotten so small that they can now reside inside the heart itself. This avoids reliance on electric leads that snake from the implant to the interior of the heart, which come with a number of potential problems. On the other hand, advanced multi-site sensing leads are able to provide considerably more nuanced monitoring of the heart than a pacemaker attached to one spot in the heart. Students at Rice University are working on overcoming this limitation by developing a very different approach. They are working on tiny, grain...
Getting pregnant is not always as easy as our sex education teachers promised it would be. It can be stressful, frustrating, and heart wrenching. One of the key factors to a successful conception is timing intercourse during the woman’s fertile window – a period of time that includes the five days prior to ovulation and up to 24 hours after ovulation. In order for a woman to determine her fertile window, she needs to be able to pinpoint when she ovulates. Although many signs and symptoms can indicate ovulation, such...
Graphene, the material that consists of a one atom thick layer of carbons, is so impressive that its development was awarded a Nobel Prize in physics. To add to its abilities, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden used it to create microscopic spikes that kill bacteria upon contact. Because our native cells are generally much bigger than bacterial cells, the same spikes, working as a bed of nails, don't seem to damage human tissue. The technology surely has incredible potential for preventing the growth of bacterial infections on...
Angel Medical Systems, based in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, won FDA approval for its AngelMed Guardian implantable device that may help detect oncoming heart attacks before they even happen. It looks like a pacemaker and it monitors for ST segment changes, an ECG sign of ischemia. When it detects sustained ST segment changes, the implant sends a signal to an external device that then warns the patient to seek medical care. The hope is that early detection will lead to many heart attacks avoided, or at least whose effects would...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a new orthopedic material for fixing bones that's made out of spider silk, itself one of the world's strongest natural materials. While silk fibroin, the protein in silk that gives it strength, is already in use in sutures and other medical devices, this is the first time it was made into an extremely tough polymer composite. The new material, a combination of silk and  polylactic acid, a biocompatible plastic,  has impressive mechanical characteristics that are siumilar to metal. But, since there's no metal, there aren't...

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