PTC Heater Brings Greater Control for Hand-held Medical Devices and Disposables

Point of Care diagnostics devices, whether handheld or single-use, often require a brief application of tightly controlled heat. The disposable nature of these devices requires a low-cost component capable of delivering that heat reliably and safely. Heatron's new PTC heater solution uses a polymer-based heater technology that controls heat to within ±2°C of the target temperature, and reduces unit cost by eliminating sensors and applied controls.

Posted in: White Papers, Briefs, TSP, Electronics & Computers, Thermoelectrics, Medical, Medical equipment and supplies, Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC), Polymers
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High-Quality Tissue Formation Method

This technology could be used in research and development, pharmaceutical development, regenerative medicine, and drug screening and testing.

NASA's Johnson Space Center seeks interested parties for the commercialization of the High Density Spot Seeding (HDSS) method to create 2D and 3D tissue models. This method can potentially be used to develop tissue models for a variety of applications, including wound treatment, therapy, and tissue modeling of skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, nerve, and bone. The HDSS technique has an easy four-step method that does not require expensive reagents, such as specialized serum or growth factors, and compared to traditional methods, HDSS has the potential to yield superior-quality tissue samples.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Anatomy, Biological sciences, Medical equipment and supplies, Forming
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Filtering Molecules with Nanotube Technology

Innovators at NASA's Johnson Space Center have developed a filtration device to eliminate contaminants from water supplies. Originally developed to purify waste-water for reuse aboard the International Space Station, the innovation is applicable to numerous situations on Earth where there is a need to collect potable, medical-grade water from a contaminated water supply. The unique aspect of the technology is its use of acoustics, rather than pressure, to drive water through small-diameter carbon nanotubes. The invention requires less power than conventional filtration systems, and is well-suited to a variety of water processing needs.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Water reclamation, Nanotechnology, Acoustics
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3D Biomimetic Platform

This technology can be used for cell culture and drug discovery.

NASA's Langley Research Center has developed a method and apparatus to be used for cell culture that combines the effects of microgravity and low-dose radiation. The technology has been developed to simulate the effects of microgravity and chronic radiation exposure to cell culture experiments conducted on the International Space Station (ISS).

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Scale models, Biological sciences, Test equipment and instrumentation, Spacecraft
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Automated Behavior and Cohesion Assessment Tools (ABCAT)

An important consideration of long-duration spaceflight operations is interpersonal dynamics that affect crew cohesion and performance. Flight surgeons have stated the need for unobtrusive monitoring to help detect if crews are having difficulties coping with long-duration spaceflight environments.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Human factors, Psychiatry and psychology, Collaboration and partnering, Personnel, Spacecraft
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Algorithm Measures Range of Motion and Applies Eccentric and Concentric Loads During Exercise

Microprocessor-controlled exercise equipment that uses a servomotor has the capability to adjust the applied resistive load based on position, velocity, and acceleration. One method of applying the resistive load consists of applying a greater load during the eccentric phase of the exercise motion (muscles actively lengthening) than during the concentric phase of the motion (muscles actively shortening). This technique, called eccentric overloading, can improve the benefits of a strength training session significantly. Although the exercise device can alternate between concentric and eccentric loading based solely on the direction of the bar movement, this is undesirable for several reasons. First, when the velocity is close to zero, the system would rapidly switch between the eccentric and concentric loads. Second, if the exerciser is unable to complete a lift with the concentric load and wishes to lower the bar, the system would apply the high eccentric load, which is highly undesirable. Thus, it is necessary for the system to know the limits of the movement (range of motion, ROM) so that the system can identify when the user has completed the lift and the eccentric load can be properly applied.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Mathematical models, Computer software and hardware, Medical, health, and wellness, Biomechanics
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Method and Apparatus for Performance Optimization Through Physical Perturbation of Task Elements

This technology can be used in sports psychology, marksmanship training, video gaming, and special forces training.

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed ZONE, an innovative method for improving athletes’ responses to stress, anxiety, and loss of concentration during competition. In the training environment, when the user successfully attains an optimal target state of psychophysiological functioning, the technology informs and/or rewards that user through real-time physical changes in the athletic equipment. For example, in the training setting, a golfer can work toward optimal concentration in the act of putting, leading to improved performance in real situations.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Human machine interface (HMI), Medical, health, and wellness, Reaction and response times, Education, Education and training
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Portable Medical Diagnosis Instrument

Four cutting-edge sensor technologies enable minimally or non-invasive analysis of various biological samples.

NASA has developed a novel technology strategy called “The NASA Analyzer” that would provide comprehensive in-flight medical diagnostic capability in a compact, handheld device for human deep-space missions such as Mars. Key features of the technology include the ability to handle multiple sample types (breath, saliva, blood), and the ability to measure virtually any analyte, including future analytes as they emerge. The device provides both non-invasive and minimally invasive sampling capabilities, which will be required during long-duration exploration missions. Breath and saliva are fully non-invasive and can provide critical health assessment information very rapidly. From small blood samples, information about macromolecular analytes, as well as blood cell counts, can be obtained. The device consists of four cutting-edge technologies integrated into a single, compact medical diagnostic tool with wireless (e.g., smartphone) capability. In addition to space applications, this innovative technology will very likely have important spinoffs in medicine and public health on Earth.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Wireless communication systems, Fluids and secretions, Medical equipment and supplies, Diagnostics, Spacecraft
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A Simplified Production of Organic Compounds Containing High Enantiomer Excesses

NASA has developed a novel approach for producing sugars and sugar acids enriched with one of the two enantiomers of individual compounds. This approach can also be adapted for other compounds, such as amino acids. All objects, including chemical compounds, have mirror images, some of which cannot be superimposed. In the case of chemical compounds, these non-superimposable mirror images are called enantiomers and are widely used in biological processes. NASA’s method produces high enantiomer excesses from simple and relatively inexpensive precursors (formaldehyde and simple salts) and hardware components without the need and expense of using (at some stage) biological sources. Unlike the commercial production of most rare enantiomers, this innovation employs conditions that are extremely common, non-biological, and relatively inexpensive to set up.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Catalysts, Production, Chemicals
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Generation of High-Pressure Oxygen Via Electrochemical Pumping in a Multi-Stage Electrolysis Stack

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a method for producing pure high-pressure oxygen via an electrochemical pumping process through a solid oxide electrolysis (SOE) cell stack. Glenn’s device can either concentrate the oxygen in the ambient atmosphere or extract the oxygen via the chemical reduction of carbon dioxide, water, or any combination of these substances. This solid-state device does not use any moving parts or any extra separation processes to purify the delivered oxygen. Instead, Glenn’s technology relies on a multi-stage stack design and an SOE process that includes an oxygen-ion-conducting ceramic membrane to generate high-pressure oxygen within a compact, noiseless device. This process has great potential for use in medical, industrial, and recreational applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Life support systems, Oxygen equipment
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