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Today's batteries are full of limitations that make it a challenge to use them inside the body to power medical devices. They are rigid and are typically made of toxic materials, are difficult to recharge once implanted, and have a lifetime that requires replacement. Researchers at the University of Fribourg, University of Michigan, and University of California San Diego have teamed up to develop an electric eel-inspired power source that would remain inside the body, completely alleviating the need to use batteries. In an electric eel, special cells called electrocytes are...
Edwards Lifesciences won European approval to introduce its brand new CENTERA transcatheter aortic valve prosthesis. The self-expanding stent comes attached to the delivery instrument, a major improvement over other valves that have to be squeezed, inserted, and attached to the catheter before they can be used. Moreover, a motor-powered handle helps with releasing the valve once it is positioned. It can be repositioned and removed, if necessary, the same way it came in. The implant is indicated for severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis patients for whom open-heart surgery would not be...
Taking pills can be easy to forget and factors such as unpleasant side effects can significantly contribute to missed doses. This is especially true for serious diseases with complicated and prolonged regimens, often leading to decreased patient adherence at a time when staying on a drug regimen is especially important. AdhereTech currently helps patients around the world with its adherence programs. The company’s smart pill bottle and underlying software detect compliance with medications, alerts patients when they miss a dose, and can directly notify the patients’ specialty pharmacy if it...
Researchers at the Harvard Wyss Institute have developed a way to effectively culture donor intestinal cells in an organ-on-a-chip device. The technique opens the door to developing personalized medicines for intestinal conditions. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="422"] A series of confocal microscopy sections taken through the intestinal epithelial and vascular channels of the primary Small Intestine-on-a-Chip visualizes first the surface of epithelial villi-like structures (in red) and nuclei (in blue) of small intestinal epithelial cells in the intestinal channel, and then cell-cell contacts (in green) of intestinal endothelial cells in the...
Researchers from Arizona State University and National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a remarkable new way of killing tumors. They've developed robot-like nanoscale devices that cling to the walls of tumor vessels, release a clotting agent, and block the tumor from receiving nutrients. These nanorobots, which consist of sheets made of strings of DNA, have DNA aptamers that target a protein produced only by certain tumor types. The sheets are rolled up into cylinders and thrombin, the clotting enzyme, is attached to the...
Researchers at the Sloan Kettering Institute and the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York have developed a machine learning approach to design personalized nanoparticle therapies for cancer. Personalized cancer therapies aim to provide a treatment that is tailored to the genetic makeup of a patient’s tumor. They can still cause side effects, however, when they accumulate in certain off-target tissues. Nanoparticles can help to increase drug accumulation in the tumor, and reduce off-target tissue exposure, helping to increase drug effectiveness and reduce side effects. This research...
BewellConnect recently unveiled their new pelvic floor muscle trainer to help women with related issues, including post-partum complications and incontinence. The MyPeriTens device is both an electrical nerve stimulator and electrical muscle stimulator that is controlled through a smartphone app, allowing women to have precise control over the intensity and nature of the electrical signals delivered. The smartphone app has a number of routines built in that the woman can perform on her own, or with assistance of a physical therapist. Each routine can be selected to run at the...
Cheap, high-quality specialized sensors can be difficult to create for a number of reasons, because of a reliance on expensive materials, complicated functionality, or inherent reliability issues. Researchers at University of Washington have been working on developing mechanical movement sensors that are so cheap that they can be thrown away after every use. The main structural material of the team's sensors is paper towels that are infused with carbon nanotubes. By spraying a water-based solution containing carbon tubes onto the paper, the researchers had a cheap way of creating the material....
A good deal of the field of nanomedicine is focused on delivering drugs to specific sites within the body, such as specific organs or cancer tumors. While many nanomedicines have well developed targeting mechanisms, they often are best delivered a small amount at a time. Yet, continuous slow-release of nanomedicines has typically required the use of polymer matrix implants that don't degrade very gracefully. Now researchers at Northwestern University have developed an unusual new liquid material that, after being injected, assembles into a gel containing drug nanocarriers that can then release...
For most people, meal time is something to look forward to. But for the millions of people with hand tremors and irregular hand movements caused by Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, spinal cord injuries, or just old age, using utensils can turn an enjoyable meal into a frustrating experience. Liftware hopes to resolve that frustration. The company’s two products, Liftware Steady and Liftware Level, are both specialized eating utensils consisting of a handle and a detachable utensil head (available in soup spoon, normal spoon, fork, or spork options). Liftware Steady’s handle...
A new company called Connexion Health is releasing its Connexion walk-in body analysis system. The kiosk includes the Fusionetics+ app, which is powered by software developed by Fusionetics, a company that develops performance enhancing technology for athletic teams. Other apps designed to assess and promote different physical qualities, are also provided and others can be added at a later time. Additionally, hardware components can be added to expand the capabilities of the Connexion. The user simply enters the device and begins performing different movement routines. Cameras watch the movements and...

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