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Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique to create tiny microrobots with interlocking polymer and metal parts that can be controlled using magnetic fields. The magnetic metal components can move within the polymer frame, providing locomotion, and the tiny bots are small enough to traverse blood vessels, potentially functioning as vehicles to deliver drugs or help with surgical procedures. Microscopic images of examples of two-​component micromachines. (Photograph: Alcântara et al. Nature Communications 2020) Developing microrobots that can traverse the body and perform therapeutic activities, such as drug delivery or...Read More
Dassault Systèmes’ annual Science in The Age of Experience Conference has become one of my favorite conferences. It is a platform for thoughtful and innovative discussion centered around how science affects so many aspects of our lives, as well as an intermingling of distinguished scientists, engineers, and other professionals from all walks of life and disciplines. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year the conference could only take place virtually. However, I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to grab some time with one of the main...Read More

November 24th, 2020 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the Terasaki Institute in Los Angeles have developed a prototype of a contact lens that can assist with tear sampling for diagnostic purposes, and to also improve tear flow to potentially prevent dry eye disease. The hydrogel lens contains microchannels through which tears can travel and testing chambers where electrochemical and colorimetric tests can assess sodium levels and pH, respectively. Tears are a promising source for biomarkers, as they often contain levels of various analytes that are similar to those found in the blood. Examples of clinically relevant...Read More

November 23rd, 2020 by Medgadget Editors
Physical models of organs and tissues have many uses in clinical medicine, particularly when preparing for challenging surgeries. Naturally, the heart is commonly modeled using 3D printing to most closely mimic the nuances of unique patient anatomies. This is useful when preparing for procedures such as mitral valve repairs, but typically this is accomplished using printers that lay down layers of hard plastic or rubber that mostly only replicate the shape of the heart. The elasticity, on the other hand, is very much unlike that of real human hearts. A...Read More

November 19th, 2020 by Medgadget Editors
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SafKan Health, a firm based in Tucson, Arizona, won FDA clearance and is about to release its OtoSet automated ear cleaning system. Designed to address impacted earwax, which affects millions of people and often causes hearing loss, the OtoSet is a pair of headphones with irrigation and suction tips on the inside. These spray water onto the walls of the ear canal, rather than directly toward the ear drum, and suck out the residue at the same time. The residue is collected into a built-in container that is disposable and...Read More

November 18th, 2020 by Medgadget Editors
Medical Microinstruments (MMI), a company based outside of Pisa, Italy, won the European CE Mark of approval for its Symani robotic surgical system. The product provides 7-20X scaling of hand movements, automatically removing tremors to allow for safe microsurgical and supermicrosurgical procedures. It is hoped that this impressive new device can help to improve how free-flap reconstructions, replantations, peripheral nerve repairs and lymphatic surgery are performed. Surgeons operate on the Symani via its console that includes a built-in chair, manipulators, and a series of foot switches. The system relies on...Read More
Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute have developed a way to deliver immune-stimulating agents to lung metastases. Their system involves nanoparticles loaded with an immune-stimulating agent that are attached to red blood cells. When injected into the blood stream, the red blood cells shed the nanoparticles as they squeeze through the narrow capillaries of the lungs, provoking immune cells to attack the tumors. The EASI system delivers ImmunoBait particles into the cells that line the lungs’ blood vessels, where they release their chemokine payload. This action stimulates the body’s immune system...Read More

November 16th, 2020 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at Penn State have developed an implantable device that coils around the bladder to detect when the bladder is full and assist with emptying it by contracting on-demand. The device is intended to treat underactive bladder, a condition in which incomplete bladder emptying leads to irregular and uncomfortable urination. "Researchers have been interested in studying urinary control for a while because a lot of diseases and conditions are related to this," said Larry Cheng, a researcher involved in the study. "There are two conditions in particular that researchers have...Read More

November 13th, 2020 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at Cornell University have developed stretchable sensors that can detect sensations such as strain, pressure, and bending, much like human skin. Deformation is measured through changes in optical paths within the flexible fiber optic sensors. By providing a sense of ‘touch’, the sensors could provide additional functionality for medical soft robots or prostheses and also be useful in measuring forces in physical therapy and sports medicine. Allowing machines to physically feel and explore their environment by mimicking the tactile sensation of skin is an active area of research at...Read More

November 12th, 2020 by Medgadget Editors
GE Healthcare won FDA clearance for its SIGNA 7.0T MRI scanner, currently the most powerful device available for clinical applications. A high end scanner's magnetic field typically tops out at 3 Tesla, but the new device goes all the way up to 7 Tesla to provide an unprecedented look at highly detailed anatomy. Certainly intended for neurological applications, the SIGNA 7.0T should also be useful for imaging of metabolism, function, and of joints that can't be properly seen with even a 3 Tesla device. Besides clinical use, the same scanner...Read More
Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern, with some predictions suggesting that routine surgery could be unacceptably risky in a future where many antibiotics have become obsolete. Part of the problem lies in the time it takes clinicians to diagnose an antibiotic-resistant infection. Current techniques involve lab technicians culturing a bacterial sample until it can be analyzed for drug resistance. The whole process takes days, and by the time the test provides an answer, a patient could be dead from sepsis. To address this, clinicians typically administer broad-spectrum antibiotics in an...Read More

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Medicine

Cardiology

Highly Realistic 3D Printed Human Hearts

Physical models of organs and tissues have many uses in clinical medicine, particularly when preparing for challenging surgeries. Naturally, the heart is commonly... November 23rd, 2020

Surgery

Highly Realistic 3D Printed Human Hearts

Physical models of organs and tissues have many uses in clinical medicine, particularly when preparing for challenging surgeries. Naturally, the heart is commonly... November 23rd, 2020

Emergency Medicine

Radiology

FDA Clears Most Powerful Clinical MRI

GE Healthcare won FDA clearance for its SIGNA 7.0T MRI scanner, currently the most powerful device available for clinical applications. A high end scanner's... November 12th, 2020

Anesthesiology

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