Nanoscale Surface Plasmonics Sensor With Nanofluidic Control

This sensor has applications in health centers, clinical labs, pharmaceutical firms, drug research labs, and other facilities engaged in biomarker screening. Conventional quantitative protein assays of bodily fluids typically involve multiple steps to obtain desired measurements. Such methods are not well suited for fast and accurate assay measurements in austere environments such as spaceflight and in the aftermath of disasters. Consequently, there is a need for a protein assay technology capable of routinely monitoring proteins in austere environments. For example, there is an immediate need for a urine protein assay to assess astronaut renal health during spaceflight. The disclosed nanoscale surface plasmonics sensor provides a core detection method that can be integrated to a lab-on-chip device that satisfies the unmet need for such a protein assay technology.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Medical, Briefs

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Bulk Moisture and Salinity Sensor

This sensor uses electrodes on the inside of the growth container to measure capacitance and conductance over the enclosed bulk volume. Measurement and feedback control of nutrient solutions in plant root zones is critical to the development of healthy plants in both terrestrial and reduced gravity environments. In addition to the water content, the amount of fertilizer in the nutrient solution is important to plant health. This typically requires a separate set of sensors to accomplish.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Medical, Briefs

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Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Signals Measure Neuronal Activity in the Cortex

This non-invasive monitoring method can be used to evaluate the mental state of people performing critical tasks. Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an emerging optical neuroimaging technology that indirectly measures neuronal activity in the cortex via neurovascular coupling. It quantifies hemoglobin concentration ([Hb]) and thus measures the same hemodynamic response as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), but is portable, non-confining, relatively inexpensive, and is appropriate for long-duration monitoring and use at the bedside. Like fMRI, it is noninvasive and safe for repeated measurements. Patterns of [Hb] changes are used to classify cognitive state. Thus, fNIRS technology offers much potential for application in operational contexts. For instance, the use of fNIRS to detect the mental state of commercial aircraft operators in near real time could allow intelligent flight decks of the future to optimally support human performance in the interest of safety by responding to hazardous mental states of the operator. However, many opportunities remain for improving robustness and reliability. It is desirable to reduce the impact of motion and poor optical coupling of probes to the skin. Such artifacts degrade signal quality and thus cognitive state classification accuracy. Field application calls for further development of algorithms and filters for the automation of bad channel detection and dynamic artifact removal.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Test & Measurement, Imaging & Diagnostics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Briefs, MDB

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Using CT Scanning to Test/Inspect Medical Devices in the Design or Production Phase

CT scanning for test and inspection of medical products continues to grow. The rapid advance of medical technology has created a growing need for ever more precise technologies to measure and inspect medical components. One of the most accurate scanning technologies, and one whose use is growing in the medical equipment community, is CT scanning.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Monitoring & Testing, Optics/Photonics, Inspection Equipment, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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Force Feedback Modulated Joint Control for Prosthetic Ankle

Prosthesis automatically adjusts gait, incline, and heel height. Human gait is an infinitely variable and complex feedback system to maximize efficiency and stability in movement. Typical prosthetic technology utilizes fixed springs to maximize energy return but do nothing to adapt to the variable environment experienced by users. The Magellan microprocessor foot/ankle (MFA) system, developed by Orthocare Innovations, utilizes sophisticated, patented control schemes based on real-time force feedback loops to increase efficiency and optimize a real world gait.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Implants & Prosthetics, Biosensors, Mechanical Components, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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Improved Cell Culture Method for Growing Contracting Skeletal Muscle Models

This method has great potential for biomedical research and medical treatment. An improved method for culturing immature muscle cells (myoblasts) into a mature skeletal muscle overcomes some of the notable limitations of prior culture methods. The development of the method is a major advance in tissue engineering in that, for the first time, a cellbased model spontaneously fuses and differentiates into masses of highly aligned, contracting myotubes. This method enables (1) the construction of improved two-dimensional (monolayer) skeletal muscle test beds; (2) development of contracting three-dimensional tissue models; and (3) improved transplantable tissues for biomedical and regenerative medicine applications. With adaptation, this method also offers potential application for production of other tissue types (i.e., bone and cardiac) from corresponding precursor cells.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Medical, Briefs

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Hand-Based Biometric Analysis

Hand-based biometric analysis systems and techniques provide robust handbased identification and verification. An image of a hand is obtained, which is then segmented into a palm region and separate finger regions. Acquisition of the image is performed without requiring particular orientation or placement restrictions. Segmentation is performed without the use of reference points on the images. Each segment is analyzed by calculating a set of Zernike moment descriptors for the segment.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Medical, Briefs

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