October 23rd, 2023 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at MIT have developed an enhanced mRNA vaccine system that can elicit a greater immune response at lower doses. The vaccine technology is so potent that it may be useful for intranasal COVID-19 vaccines. This would have the benefit of localized immunity in the nasal mucus membranes that could kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus before it enters the body. The system includes an mRNA strand that encodes the viral spike protein, as with earlier generations of such vaccines, but in this case the strand also encodes for an immune protein...Read More

October 19th, 2023 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have developed a lateral flow assay that can detect bacterial toxins from Porphyromonas gingivalis, the causative bacteria for gingivitis. The technology could make it easier and faster to identify early-stage gingivitis, which can lead to periodontitis and eventual tooth loss, as well as contributing to a variety of other diseases such as stroke and heart disease. The lateral flow assay requires a small saliva sample, and can provide results very quickly, but does require the saliva sample to be pre-treated with potato starch to...Read More
Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a sensor that can monitor transplanted organs for signs of rejection. Patients who receive transplants require immunosuppressive medication to ensure that their body does not reject the transplanted tissue, but this can still happen, sometimes years after the initial transplant. Current methods to monitor for immune rejection involve taking biopsies or monitoring blood markers, but these techniques are invasive and blood markers may not show up until the rejection has already progressed somewhat. This new sensor is thin and flexible and is designed to...Read More

October 19th, 2023 by Conn Hastings
Scientists at Purdue University have developed a microRNA therapy designed to slow tumor growth. The technology takes advantage of the tendency of several cancer types to express an excess of surface receptors that bind folate (vitamin B9) and draw it into the cell interior. By attaching the microRNA strand to a folate molecule, the researchers could target it to cancer cells. This targeting specificity is advantageous in reducing the potential for side-effects elsewhere in the body, and in reducing the required dose to achieve a tangible anti-cancer effect. The researchers...Read More
Researchers at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom have developed a shape-shifting ball that can inflate and deflate in response to someone’s breath. The idea is an advancement of many techniques designed to help people de-stress and manage their mental health, which all focus on awareness of the breath. For instance, mindfulness meditation often requires people to focus on their own breath, which can help to reduce anxiety and stress, but maintaining this focus is difficult. The ball, which the researchers call the Physical Artefact for Well-being Support...Read More
Arsenal Medical, a medtech company based in Massachusetts, has developed Neocast, an embolic biomaterial designed for catheter-mediated embolization procedures. Conventional materials for embolization can have several limitations, including a lack of radiopacity, catheter clogging, catheter entrapment at the delivery site, solvent-mediated pain at the delivery site, and they can even cause sparking of electrocautery tools. Neocast is solvent-free, avoiding delivery site pain, and functions with a unique shear-thinning action that allows deep vessel penetration. The material flows with the blood to embolize distal vessels first, providing more complete embolization. Neocast...Read More
Scientists at the University of Galway in Ireland and MIT have collaborated to create a soft robotic implant that can work to fight fibrotic encapsulation and deliver drugs despite the presence of fibrous scar tissue. The device, which the researchers have termed the FibroSensing Dynamic Soft Reservoir (FSDSR), is designed to reside in the body for extended periods and deliver drugs. However, the immune system typically recognizes such medical implants as foreign, and walls them off with a thick layer of fibrous scar tissue, limiting drug diffusion and leading to...Read More

October 11th, 2023 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a technique to make saliva collection for diagnostic purposes a little less disgusting and a little more fun and pleasant. Saliva collection often acts as a less invasive alternative than throat swabs in the detection of a variety of pathogens, such as that causing streptococcal soar throat (strep throat). However, manually collecting the right amount of saliva is pretty gross. In an effort to streamline this process, and make it more appealing to both adults and children, these researchers have developed a...Read More
CraniUS, a medtech company based in Baltimore, has developed the NeuroPASS drug delivery system. The technology is designed to deliver drugs to the brain, and it can bypass the blood-brain barrier. This layer of specialized endothelium significantly restricts which drug molecules can enter the brain, normally greatly limiting treatment options for patients with brain-based disease. The NeuroPASS device is implanted into the skull, where it sits under the scalp. The device inserts catheters into the brain tissue which allow for controlled infusions of drug when required. The implant can be...Read More

September 29th, 2023 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at Pohang University of Science & Technology in South Korea have developed a durable strain sensor that can detect complex body movements. The technology will be useful for patients undergoing physical rehabilitation, allowing physical therapists to assess their movements in significant detail and measure progress. Conventional strain sensors are often affected by heat and humidity, making them less durable as a wearable, and they typically detect only biaxial strain, providing less detail than these new sensors. The new technology uses computer vision, whereby an algorithm reviews digital images of...Read More
Researchers at Oxford University have developed a tiny battery that can power small implantable devices, such as drug delivery technologies. The new battery is inspired by the ionic gradients that electric eels use to generate electricity. It involves tiny droplets of a conductive hydrogel that are placed near each other. Each droplet has a different ionic concentration, meaning that ions will flow from high concentration droplets to low concentration droplets. When the researchers connect electrodes to this chain of droplets they can harness the energy generated by this ion gradient...Read More

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Eko’s Newest CORE 500 Stethoscope: A Review

Arriving in two boxes reminiscent of Apple product packaging – one for the chest piece (the part that contacts the body), and another for the detachable earpiece... October 31st, 2023


Emergency Medicine

Eko’s Newest CORE 500 Stethoscope: A Review

Arriving in two boxes reminiscent of Apple product packaging – one for the chest piece (the part that contacts the body), and another for the detachable earpiece... October 31st, 2023



Smartphone Camera Measures Blood Oxygen

At the University of Washington a research team has developed a smartphone system that can measure blood oxygen levels. The technology uses the camera and flash of... September 21st, 2022