Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Molecular Technique to Reduce PCR Bias for Deeper Understanding of Microbial Diversity

This technique has applications in medical manufacturing, food processing, and municipal water treatment. Current planetary protection policies require that spacecraft targeted to sensitive solar system bodies be assembled and readied for launch in controlled cleanroom environments. A better understanding of the distribution and frequency at which high-risk contaminant microbes are encountered on spacecraft surfaces would significantly aid in assessing the threat of forward contamination. However, despite a growing understanding of the diverse microbial populations present in cleanrooms, less abundant microbial populations are probably not adequately taken into account due to technological limitations. This novel approach encompasses a wide spectrum of microbial species and will represent the true picture of spacecraft cleanroom-associated microbial diversity.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP

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Improved Whole-Blood-Staining Device

Additional applications have been identified. Dramatic improvements have been made in NASA’s Whole Blood Staining Device (WBSD) since it was last described in “Whole-Blood- Staining Device,” NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 23, No. 10 (October 1999), page 64. The new system has a longer shelf life, a simpler and more effective operational procedure, improved interface with instrumentation, and shorter processing time. More specifically, the improvements have targeted bag and locking clip materials, sampling ports, and air pocket prevention.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs

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Magnetic Responsive Hydrogel Material Delivery System

Magnetic nanoparticles can be used as contrasting agents in MRIs, and as a drug delivery mechanism. Interest in the design of new drug delivery systems focuses on releasing the drug at a controlled rate and desired time. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have shown great potential for use in biomedicine due to their ability to get close to biological entities such as cells, viruses, proteins, and genes with heating ability when exposed to a time-varying magnetic field. Superparamagnetic MNPs with proven biocompatibility have attracted attention as drug carriers in hyperthermia therapy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a contrasting agent, tissue repair, immunoassay, and cell separation procedures.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Drug Delivery & Fluid Handling

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Compact Green Disk Laser for Therapy Systems

This diode-pumped, thin-disk laser is designed for applications in ophthamology, dematology, and endoscopy The JenLas® D2.mini 5/8 W, recently introduced to the U.S. market, offers an output power of up to 8 Watts. Lasers of the JenLas D2 product line work in continuous wave mode, emitting green laser light at 532 nm. The infrared laser light is converted into green laser light by an intracavity frequency doubling crystal. The new laser is a multi-mode system.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Surgical Robotics/Instruments, Lasers & Laser Systems

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Implantable Prosthetic Interface Securely Integrates With Bone and Soft Tissue

This technique merges tissue engineering and medical imaging to directly implant a prosthetic interface. A main limitation in deployment of prosthetic technology is the integration of the prosthetic device into the body. Using current procedures, effective prosthetic integration often requires 18 months and multiple surgeries. A new technique involves merging tissue engineering and medical imaging technology to directly implant a prosthetic interface that will rapidly and securely integrate with surrounding bone and soft tissue. Through controlled placement of appropriate cells, signaling factors, and scaffold materials, this process will enable the generation of multi-component implants that include a prosthetic interface.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Implants & Prosthetics

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Light Source Enables Endoscope Miniaturization

This work will explore an illumination system's potential to miniaturize traditional endoscopes by shrinking the size of the channel used to deliver light. Physical space constraints continue to impact advanced procedures such as single-incision laparoscopic surgery, robotic-assisted surgery, and other minimally invasive surgical procedures. Additional functionality and instruments are being squeezed through the smallest incisions possible. Available space continues to tighten with the migration of larger diameter, three-dimensional, high-definition endoscopic imaging systems into minimally invasive procedures. Fortunately, a significant portion of the endoscope, the light delivery channel, can be reduced in size, thereby allowing the space to be used for other purposes, or for shrinking the endoscope itself.1

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Diagnostics, Fiber Optics

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Wireless Tags Quickly Provide Details About Orthopedic Implants

A non-invasive system employing radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology is designed to give physicians easy access to information about implants and patients. Radio-frequency technology that uses human tissue instead of air as a conduit for radio waves is the basis of the first electronic “tag” system designed to track and monitor orthopedic implants. A 2009 RAND Corporation (Europe) technical report found that RFID technology offers several advantages to medical care in such areas as wireless data transfer and patient/object identification, and as a sensor.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Implants & Prosthetics, Orthopedics

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