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Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a sensor that can rapidly detect a virus in a sample. It can also identify whether the viral particles are still infectious. So far, the researchers have trialed the technology to detect human adenovirus and SARS-CoV-2. It can provide an answer between 30 minutes and two hours and uses DNA aptamers and nanopore technology to detect infectious viral particles. With some people still testing positive for COVID-19 long after their illness has passed, this new approach may help to put minds...Read More
Hyperfine, a company based in St Guilford, Connecticut, created Swoop, a portable MRI scanner. The device received FDA approval as the first bedside MRI scanner in 2020, and a recent study has shown that it can help to accurately spot hemorrhagic stroke, detecting 85 of 88 blood-negative cases (96.6% specificity). Rapid detection is important for successful treatment of strokes, and helps ensure the best outcomes for patients. The device can be wheeled up to a patient’s bed and powered through a standard wall outlet. This is beneficial for critically ill...Read More

September 30th, 2021 by Conn Hastings
A team at Concordia University in Montreal have developed a technique called Laser-Induced Side Transfer (LIST) that allows for bioprinting of neurons. Low energy laser pulses are directed at a capillary containing a cell-laden bioink, resulting in microbubbles that eject a microjet of the ink onto the substrate below. The technique appears to be fairly gentle on the neurons, and most demonstrated full viability when assessed two days later. The researchers hope that the approach could pave the way for neuron-based printed constructs to assist in drug discovery, and disease...Read More

September 29th, 2021 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the University of Freiburg in Germany have developed a chip that can measure antibiotic levels in breath, potentially paving the way for rapid point-of-care antibiotic testing. Attaining the correct levels of antibiotics in the body is crucial to effectively treating infections and avoiding drug side-effects or the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The chip enables rapid and non-invasive antibiotic testing, potentially allowing for personalized drug therapy. Antimicrobial resistance is a growing issue, and owes its proliferation to incorrect antibiotic usage. If administered at too low a dose, resistant microbes...Read More
A group at Duke University engineered an antibiotic delivery system to make the surfaces of orthopedic implants resistant to bacterial infiltration. The technique involves spraying or painting a combination of hydrophilic and hydrophobic polymers, mixed with an antibiotic of choice, onto the surface of the implant. A UV light is then used to cure the coating in place. The coating then releases the antibiotic over a period of 2-3 weeks, helping to reduce the chance of infection. Existing orthopedic implants are at risk of infection, resulting in patient morbidity and...Read More

September 28th, 2021 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the University of Bath in the UK have developed an EEG test for Alzheimer’s disease. The technique involves measuring brain waves using an EEG cap while a person watches a screen with a series of flashing images. Taking just two minutes, the test quantifies a person’s ability to differentiate between images based on whether they have seen one of them previously. Subtle changes in brainwaves tell the researchers when someone remembers an image. The test could enable early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, potentially allowing for early treatment and better...Read More

September 28th, 2021 by Conn Hastings
A team of scientists at Purdue University created a microneedle patch that can deliver oxygen and bactericidal agents to chronic wounds. The bacterial biofilms that form over non-healing wounds, such as foot ulcers, are a formidable barrier to successful treatment. Such wounds are typically hypoxic and the bacteria within them are shielded from antibiotics within the biofilm structure. This latest technology is designed to non-invasively penetrate such biofilms to deliver calcium peroxide, resulting in bactericidal action and oxygen generation within the wound. Chronic wounds are a significant source of suffering...Read More
Eyevensys, a medtech company based in France, has developed the Eyevensys Electrotransfection System, a non-viral transfection system for the treatment of ocular diseases. So far, the firm has demonstrated the safety of the technique in treating noninfectious uveitis and is developing treatments for geographic atrophy, retinitis pigmentosa, and wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The technology delivers DNA plasmids to the ciliary muscle in the eye, leading to long-term production of proteins in the back of the eye for therapeutic benefit. The electricity is delivered in short pulses and helps to...Read More

September 27th, 2021 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at the Shibaura Institute of Technology in Japan have developed a control algorithm for rehabilitation robots that ensures that they move naturally during rehab sessions. The control system accounts for the angles the joints in a human arm naturally make while performing various activities, and won’t let the robot attempt to bend the joints in an unnatural manner. The algorithm reduces the complexity and number of calculations required to ensure safe and acceptable movements for such robots. Restoring movement and function after a stroke can be a challenge and...Read More

September 22nd, 2021 by Conn Hastings
Researchers at Pohang University of Science & Technology in South Korea have developed a handheld photoacoustic device that can locate sentinel lymph nodes near the armpit. The technology could help clinicians to locate the correct lymph node from which to take a biopsy when checking for breast cancer metastases. At present, this process involves using radioactive probes, and so the current system can help patients and healthcare staff to avoid radiation exposure. The lymph system provides a handy highway through the body for metastasizing cancers. Breast cancers and melanoma often...Read More

September 22nd, 2021 by Conn Hastings
A team at MIT has developed a technique to grow organoids, both from healthy and cancerous pancreatic tissue, using a synthetic gel that predictably mimics the pancreatic extracellular environment. Compared with naturally derived materials, the synthetic gel is consistent from batch to batch, meaning that it leads to more reproducible and predictable results when growing organoids. The MIT researchers hope that the technology could advance organoid research, both pancreatic and otherwise. Cancerous pancreatic tissues are not easy to grow and study in the lab, as they lose their cancerous characteristics...Read More

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