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Cold plasma is a popular topic of research at Purdue University, including as a potential tool for killing cancer cells. It's cold in the sense that only the electrons within the material are heated up to thousands of degrees, while the rest of the gaseous substance remains near room temperature. Now researchers at Purdue University have created a system for using cold plasma to sterilize medical equipment in a safe, efficient, and practical way. The limitation to using it previously in a medical setting was that cold plasma is typically produced...
While rigid neural interfaces can read brain activity and stimulate it quite well, these devices end up damaging the soft brain tissue they come in contact with. Moreover, the body ends up attacking these implants and forming protective layers around them that quickly degrade the electrodes. "Imagine you have a bowl of Jell-O, and you insert a rigid plastic fork into the bowl and move it around," said Carnegie Mellon's Christopher J. Bettinger. "It's going to damage the Jell-O, producing defects and irreversible structural changes. That situation is analogous to...
Dental aligners, also known as retainers, are plastic devices that are used to slow adjust the position of the teeth. They've become extremely popular, but they require frequent changes because bacteria is known to make a home within the devices' many small curves. Now a team of Korean researchers have developed a coating that can be applied to clear overlay appliances, a more general term for aligners, that keeps bacteria off of their surfaces. The polysaccharide-based material is a polymer sheet coated with glucol and layers of carboxymethylcellulose and chitosan....
British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the United Kingdom will invest heavily into artificial intelligence technology to improve healthcare. The details are not clear, but UK's National Health Service has been compiling data on millions of patients for many years and it may prove to be a great resource to train artificial intelligence systems to spot diseases and to do the epidemiologic analysis. The Guardian newspaper published some interesting thoughts from its readers regarding this news, some of which raise interesting points that need to be considered. Read...
Cultured groups of neurons and even brain organoids are now routine in neuroscience research, and yet the connections between individual neurons that materialize are effectively random. In order to be able to setup tightly controlled experiments in which the neuronal networks are precisely designed, a scientist needs a method to connect individual neurons together. Now researchers at University of Tokyo have done just that, wiring pairs of neurons together so that they "talk" to each other. From the study abstract in journal Micromachines: Here, we describe a method for controlling...
CERENOVUS, a Johnson & Johnson company that was built by combining Pulsar Vascular, Neuravi, and Codman Neuro's neurological business, won FDA clearance for the EMBOTRAP II Revascularization Device. The stent retriever is used to pull blood clots from the brain, restoring blood flow and hopefully preventing the terrible consequences of a stroke. The device, intended to be used within eight hours of initial stroke symptoms, is designed to apply as little pressure on the clot as possible in an attempt to avoid breaking it up into smaller parts, while confidently...
MC10, out of Lexington, Massachusetts, landed FDA clearance for its new BioStamp nPoint biometric data acquisition system. Based on the BioStampRC, it is stuck to the patient's body and can then continuously record parameters such as the heart rate, step count, and movements during sleep. It's intended for monitoring of patients, but also for clinical studies that need to keep a close eye on patient vitals. The system comes with a smartphone for the patient that has a matching app to guide users on how to apply the sensor, do...
Teleflex is releasing in Europe its TrapLiner, a guide extension catheter and guidewire trap, that makes sure the guidewire stays in place and doesn't move forward during catheter exchanges. This simplifies catheter exchanges in many cases, leading to faster completion of complex procedures. According to the company, "the TrapLiner® Catheter is intended for use in conjunction with guide catheters to access discrete regions of the coronary and/or peripheral vasculature, to facilitate placement of interventional devices, and to facilitate the exchange of an interventional device while maintaining the position of a...
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...

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Britain to Invest Heavily in AI for Medicine

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the United Kingdom will invest heavily into artificial intelligence technology to improve healthcare. The details... May 24th, 2018

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