Electronics & Computers

Electron Beam Writer Enables Microfabrication

Integrated electronics could activate prosthetics. The new electron beam writer housed in the cleanroom facility at the Qualcomm Institute, previously the UCSD division of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology, is important for two major areas of research by Shadi Dayeh, PhD, an electrical and computer engineering professor. He is developing next-generation, nanoscale transistors for integrated electronics. At the same time, he is working to develop neural probes that can extract electrical signals from brain cells and transmit the information to a prosthetic device or computer. To achieve this level of signal extraction or manipulation requires tiny sensors spaced very closely together for the highest resolution and signal acquisition. Enter the new electron beam writer. (See Figure 1)

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Biosensors, Optics/Photonics, Electronics & Computers, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Semiconductors & ICs, Briefs, MDB

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Heart Pump with Behind-the-Ear Power Connector

One-third of patients with heart pumps develop infection at abdominal connection. Cardiac surgeons and cardiologists at the University of Maryland Heart Center are part of a multi-center clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of powering heart pumps through a skull-based connector behind the ear. The pumps, called left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), support the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle. LVADs are implanted in the chest and powered with external batteries. Typically, these devices, which are used for patients with severe heart failure, are powered through an electrical cord connected at the abdomen, where potentially deadly infections can develop.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Drug Delivery & Dispensing, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Electronic Components, Power Supplies, Power Management, Power Transmission, Fluid Handling, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Briefs, MDB

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Key Considerations for Integrating Wireless Technology in Medical Devices

Significant opportunities exist to incorporate wireless technology into medical devices. Wireless technology increases the effectiveness of countless every day functions. While some simply are about the convenience factor, like being able to quickly transmit patient records from one hospital to another via email, others have the power to be lifesaving. Medical device manufacturers know that there is significant opportunity to incorporate wireless technology into medical devices. However, design engineers who are extremely knowledgeable about the design of medical devices face a number of challenges in marrying off-the-shelf wireless chipsets with proprietary medical devices in development.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Electronics, Electronic Components, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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Self-Charging Power Cell for Small Devices

A hybrid power cell uses a new technique for electrical charge conversion and storage. Scientists at Georgia Tech say that they have developed a new self-charging power cell technology that directly converts mechanical energy to chemical energy. Then, the power is stored until it is needed to generate electricity. This hybrid generator- storage cell utilizes mechanical energy more efficiently than systems using separate generators and batteries, they say.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Electronics, Batteries, Electronic Components, Power Supplies, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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Lithium Batteries for Medical Applications

Recent advances in lithium technology have increased the variety of commercially available batteries. The element lithium possesses fundamental properties that make it ideal for use as the anode in both primary and rechargeable batteries. Vendors have paired the popular lithium anode with a variety of cathode and electrolyte materials, resulting in the wide choice of different chemistries available today. This article discusses the types of primary lithium batteries commonly used for medical applications and introduces a new type based on recent innovations in materials and manufacturing processes. Information about the basic properties, advantages, and disadvantages are provided for each battery type.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Electronics, Batteries, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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Ultra-Sensitive Biosensor for Medical Diagnostics

This device may enable miniaturization and new point-of-care applications in doctors' offices. Researchers have created an ultrasensitive biosensor that could open up new opportunities for early detection of cancer and “personalized medicine” tailored to the specific biochemistry of individual patients. The device, which could be several hundred times more sensitive than other biosensors, combines the attributes of two distinctly different types of sensors, said Muhammad A. Alam, a Purdue Uni versity professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Electronic Components, Sensors, Medical, Diagnostics, Briefs, MDB

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Functional Electrical Stimulation Technique May Improve Neural Implants

Researchers improve the efficiency of devices that stimulate damaged nerves, reducing potential side effects. Electrical implants that shut down excessive activity in brain cells hold great potential for treating epilepsy and chronic pain. Likewise, devices that enhance neurons’ activity may help restore function to people with nerve damage.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Electronic Components, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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