Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Medical Oxygen Concentrator for Microgravity Operation

Only ambient air and DC energy are required to operate the system. John H. Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio Supplemental oxygen delivery systems are vital to provide a critical life support respiratory function. Whether they are used for patients suffering from lung diseases or other illnesses, or astronauts donning an oxygen mask during a toxic spill or fire on a spacecraft, lightweight and portable oxygen delivery systems are in high demand. A lightweight portable oxygen concentrator was developed that can produce 1 to 6 lpm of pulse oxygen in a noiseless system that can be worn on the user’s hip or in a shoulder sling.

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

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Lateral Displacement Device for Blood Cell Separation

This device has side microchannels where the particles are separated and collected. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Separation of particles based on size is one of the essential components in biochemical analysis, environmental assays, and industrial and biomedical applications. Filtration is one of the most frequently used techniques to separate particles. A mechanical filter can be used to remove, filter, or collect particles. This filtering and collection of particles can be used for sampling of particles, chemical detection, and/or biological cell analysis.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Particulate matter (PM), Medical equipment and supplies, Biomaterials, Particulate filters, Test equipment and instrumentation

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Using a Blood Clot in Microfluidic Valving Applications

This type of valve is satisfactory for most microfluidic applications for on-chip blood analysis. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas The lack of reliable microvalves impedes many lab-on-a-chip applications for blood analysis. On the other hand, blood clotting — the formation of solid blood aggregate to stop bleeding — provides a natural valving mechanism. It is therefore very attractive to use this mechanism for microfluidic control when blood is available. In fact, the blood clot has many interesting mechanical properties. For example, the fibrin fibers in blood clots have extensibility as high as 330% and an elastic modulus around 8 MPa. However, the study of implementing blood clots as an engineering material, especially in the MEMS area, is lacking.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Cardiovascular system, Fluids and secretions, Medical, health, and wellness, Valves

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Drug-Encapsulated Prosthetic Enhancement

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas This invention places a drug delivery system inside a prosthetic implant to circumvent the physical issues encountered after fitting the implant. Implants being relatively large in size would be able to house the drug-carrying device inside them without compromising the structural integrity or the functionality of the prostheses. Capsules containing multiple reservoirs filled with different drugs could be released simultaneously. This application could further be extended to using such drug-carrying capsules in cardiovascular stents through which slow and sustained release of drugs could be achieved to prevent inflammation in the short term, and restenosis in the long term. Once the capsule has drained out, the drug inside will remain in the implant and can be considered a part of the implant for the future. The implant reservoir may also be refilled via minor surgery until needed.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Prostheses and implants, Pharmaceuticals

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Portable Resting State Detection System Using Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia The ability to distinguish between high and low levels of task engagement is important for detecting and preventing performance decrements during safety-critical operational tasks in the real world. Examples of such tasks include commercial aviation, monitoring for air traffic control, executing spacewalks, performing surgery, and driving. Since accident-causing errors can be made even by skilled professionals, the ability to monitor cognitive state measures for low levels of task engagement in real time could be useful for developing an “early warning system” for detecting and preventing performance errors before they occur.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Sensors and actuators, Reaction and response times, Personnel, Risk management

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4 Steps In Selecting Fluid Connectors For Medical Device And Equipment Applications

With so many risks and options for connecting tubing in medical applications, it is important to have a simple and repeatable strategy for selecting the best connector solution. The process requires a thorough analysis of the application in order to ensure connectors will be compatible with the physical, chemical and biological environment, and be easy to use and help prevent misconnections—whether the application involves connecting air lines for a blood pressure cuff, connecting reagent supplies to a blood analyzer or making critical connections between a patient and heart-lung machine.

Posted in: MDB, White Papers, White Papers, Medical

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Creating A New Category - Peelable FEP Heat Shrink Technology

Perhaps a controversial reference but relevant nevertheless, Machiavelli once noted that there is nothing more difficult “than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things”1 this certainly speaks to the challenge facing innovators as they create a “new category”, especially in a space that has been static for some time. Junkosha, a Japanese technology company, have a rich history of firsts, which have leveraged their core competencies in fluoropolymers and demanding wire and cable applications. This white paper outlines the experiences of one such first – Junflon Peelable FEP Heat Shrink.

Posted in: MDB, White Papers, Medical

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