October 19th, 2020 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a ‘sucker’ to pick up and transfer thin cell or tissue sheets that are intended for therapeutic purposes, such as wound healing or tissue grafting. Inspired by octopus suckers, the device can gently manipulate the delicate sheets without causing damage, and uses heating and a temperature-responsive hydrogel to create suction between the sucker and the sheet. "For the last few decades, cell or tissue sheets have been increasingly used to treat injured or diseased tissues. A crucial aspect of tissue transplantation surgery,...Read More
Researchers at the University of Colorado have developed a new rapid test for sickle cell disease. Their tiny device is less than the size of a quarter, and can provide a result in as little as one minute. The technology uses ultrasound to heat a protein sample and then measures how it dissolves over time to identify the protein responsible for sickle cell disease. Relatively inexpensive and requiring only a simple camera (such as those on a smartphone), a power source and a microscope, the technology could be suitable for...Read More
Researchers at Penn State have developed a supportive gel that allows for printing of complex shapes using cell aggregates. The gel provides a supportive matrix during the printing process, and permits the researchers to place the aggregates wherever they want. This technique could pave the way for printed replacements for tissues and organs. Bioprinting, where cell aggregates, such as organoids, are printed to form complex shapes, holds significant promise for regenerative medicine. Simply printing replacement tissues or organs is a tantalizing idea. However, the process is delicate, and so far,...Read More
Delivering drugs to internal organs and tissues is usually achieved through ingested medications, but these are often diluted and intercepted before enough can reach the intended destination. Targeted delivery is preferred but usually very difficult to accomplish, particularly when there's a lot of fluids and movement. This is the case with the colon, an organ that in many patients would benefit immensely if doctors had a way to place drugs on its interior tissues. Now, engineers at Purdue University have come up with tiny robots, controlled by an external magnetic...Read More
Hydrocephalus patients have an excess of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, which needs to be drained away through a ventricular shunt. However, these shunts regularly fail, with potentially life-threatening results. At present, there isn’t an easy way to check that a shunt is still working, and clinicians typically use brain MRI/CT scans to see if a shunt is still draining correctly. Not only are these imaging procedures inconvenient and expensive, but in the case of CT they may expose a hydrocephalus patient to significant amounts of radiation if regular assessments...Read More

October 13th, 2020 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the University of Leeds in the UK have developed a robotic system that can assist a physician or nurse to perform a colonoscopy. The system uses magnets to guide a probe through the body, and its developers claim that the approach is easier for operators and less painful and uncomfortable for patients. The researchers hope that the system could make colonoscopies more widely available. Colonoscopies are vital in detecting a variety of pathologies, including colorectal cancer. However, they aren’t the most comfortable procedure, and some patients require an...Read More

October 12th, 2020 by Medgadget Editors
Biomedical sensors typically perform their best when they're placed in close proximity to the body. While wearables, such as wrist-worn heart rate monitors, are common these days, they are very limited by where they can be placed on the body, have poor signal quality, and are often uncomfortable to wear for extended periods. Now, researchers from Pennsylvania State University, Harbin Institute of Technology in China, and a few other Chinese institutions have developed a way to print electronic sensors, as well as the accompanying electronics, directly onto the skin without...Read More

October 8th, 2020 by Medgadget Editors
Tinnitus, the sensation of ringing in the ears, is one of the most common medical conditions. Approximately 15% of the population suffers from it, but the nature of this malady makes it difficult to study and find therapeutic options. Now, a multinational collaboration of researchers has shown that a neurostimulation system made by Neuromod Devices Limited, an Irish company, can significantly reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. The technology is based on a finding that stimulating the trigeminal nerve, which scientists believe is related to the auditory system, seems to have...Read More
Butterfly Network, a company out of Guilford, Connecticut, is releasing a new generation of its popular mobile ultrasound device. The new Butterfly iQ+ features better imaging capabilities, improved ergonomics, and longer battery life. Clinicians can utilize the portable, handheld ultrasound in a variety of situations and clinical fields to image the heart, lungs, bladder, and other organs and tissues. It even has Needle Viz technology that aids with imaging a needle during in-plane guided procedures. The entire ultrasound is the size of a conventional transducer and it relies on a...Read More
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a cell culture system to examine the effects of lung motion on breast cancer metastases. The system uses magnets to provide a stretching force on a 3D culture of breast cancer cells, and the researchers hope that the technology could lead to new insights into metastases and how to treat them. The mechanical forces acting on a cell can have significant effects. Certain tissues are in near constant motion, such as the heart and lungs, providing a unique environment for the cells that grow...Read More
Researchers based in China and Switzerland have jointly developed electrically conductive artificial blood vessels that may serve as implants to replace diseased native vessels. The flexible and biodegradable constructs consist of a metal-polymer conductive membrane, and an electric current can be passed through the vessel when it is implanted in the body. The electric stimulation appears to encourage the proliferation and migration of endothelial cells, and may improve the integration of the implanted vessel with the surrounding tissue. It can also be used to deliver gene therapy or drugs into...Read More

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