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European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), a European intergovernmental research organization, has announced that its scientists have managed to harness the power of optogenetics to guide how cells and tissues grow. They were able to generate different tissue shapes, a capability that may develop into growing tissues for therapeutic applications. Optogenetics is a technology that allows the activity of cells to be activated using beams of light. The cells themselves have to be genetically modified in order to embed genes that make the cells react to light. The researchers effectively mimicked...
Many cancers tumors are actually quite easy to kill, if not for our extremely skeptical immune systems. There are proteins, for example, that are quite toxic to some cancers, but they get broken down rapidly as soon as they are injected into the body. Researchers at Penn State University have now created a way of encapsulating a protein called gelonin, derived from a plant, within a nano-package that stays below the radar of the immune system. This so-called biomimetic nanosystem consists of self-assembled metal-organic framework nanoparticles that hold the cargo, but...
Biopsies are typically the way prostate cancer is identified, but prostate cancers also release circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that are telltale signs of the presence of the disease. Because they're so rare and difficult to separate from whole blood, CTCs remain rarely used for establishing diagnoses. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Scientists have now developed a cheap and easy way to capture CTCs using silica nanowires grown on frosted glass slides and antibodies that make the connection to the cancer cells. The silica nanowires were grown directly on the...
Elekta won European CE Mark approval for its Unity system that combines magnetic resonance imaging with a linear accelerator for highly targeted, real-time radiotherapy. The technology was originally the brainchild of physicists at UMC Utrecht in The Netherlands. Before their research found breakthroughs, it was believed that combining an MRI machine and a particle accelerator was impossible. Fast moving, electrically charged particles are strongly influenced by a powerful magnetic field, so keeping them on track while near an MRI seemed like an impossibility. On our recent visit to UMC Utrecht,...
GI
amg International, a German part of Q3 Medical Devices Limited, an Irish company, won the CE Mark of approval for its ARCHIMEDES Biodegradable Biliary and Pancreatic Stent. The European approval gives the company the green light to introduce the device on the continent, with the clinical indication for placement within blocked biliary and pancreatic ducts. Of note, this is the world's first bioabsorbable biliary and pancreatic stent. Traditionally, such stents, designed to keep the ducts unobstructed, are typically made of plastic or metal. The ARCHIMEDES is made of a number of biodegradable...
Getting children to go through a needle-based immunization can be incredibly frustrating to parents and very scary for the kids. Cheap virtual reality headsets are becoming just the thing to overcome this seemingly perpetual problem and researchers at Florida Atlantic University were looking to prove this out. The group invited a group of kids and their parents to participate in the study. Questions from the Wong–Baker pain scale and McMurtry children's fear scale were asked before and after a regular immunization. Remarkably, almost all of the patients that wore a virtual reality...
We've been hearing a lot about exciting new opportunities to implement blockchain technology to address critical use cases in healthcare. One particular use case that has caught the attention of healthcare organizations seeking to improve workflow bottlenecks is prior authorization. Prior authorization is a process used to determine if a health insurer will cover a procedure, service, or medication. The premise of prior authorization is to control costs of care while improving patient safety. For example, requiring prior authorization for an expensive medication creates an opportunity to identify a generic...
Insulet won FDA clearance for its Omnipod Dash insulin management system. The system relies on a tubeless stick-on insulin pump that can stay hidden and discreet under the skin, controlled wirelessly without even having to lift the bottom of a shirt. The system comes with a smartphone-like device that interfaces with the pump and keeps track of readings and amount of insulin delivered over time. If used along with the CONTOUR NEXT ONE blood glucose reader, the system can keep track of sugar levels and help to adjust the delivery of insulin...
Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Saudi Arabia have developed an electrically conductive hydrogel that can flex, stretch, and self-heal when cut and reattached. The versatile material has potential in a variety of applications including wound healing patches, wearable electronics, and touch-sensitive robotics. The research team developed the new material by combining a water-infused hydrogel with a metal-carbide compound called MXene. The gel can stretch by up to 3400% before returning to its original size, can reattach itself after being cut into pieces, and can adhere...
At this week's Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery conference (CARS 2018) in Berlin, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing in Germany will be showing off their unique software that helps to fix cardiac valves. Designed for minimally invasive procedures, which involve placing special rings that correct native valve anatomy, the software helps to identify the desired approach and predicts the chances of positive outcomes. Using imaging data gathered from MRI, CT scans, or ultrasound, a virtual heart is created in-silico that can be examined in detail, particularly the...
  MDCalc is a 13-year-old medical reference started by two practicing emergency medicine physicians, Dr. Joe Habboushe and Dr. Graham Walker. A recent survey by EB Medicine has shown that MDCalc’s 370+ tools are now used weekly by 65% of U.S. attending physicians and nearly 80% of U.S. residents, which may make it the most broadly used medical reference. It is still owned and run by the physicians who started it, without outside investment or outside corporate influence (just like Medgadget). To better understand how new medical calculators are created...

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