Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Hydrocyclone/Filter for Concentrating Biomarkers From Soil

This apparatus could detect biomarkers or chemical waste in soil. The hydrocyclone- filtration extractor (HFE), now undergoing development, is a simple, robust apparatus for processing large amounts of soil to extract trace amounts of microorganisms, soluble organic compounds, and other biomarkers from soil and to concentrate the extracts in amounts sufficient to enable such traditional assays as cell culturing, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis, and isotope analysis. Originally intended for incorporation into a suite of instruments for detecting signs of life on Mars, the HFE could also be used on Earth for similar purposes, including detecting trace amounts of biomarkers or chemical wastes in soils.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Medical, Soils, Biological sciences, Biomaterials, Test equipment and instrumentation


Carbon-Nanotube-Based Electrodes for Biomedical Applications

Stimuli and responses could be localized to within nanometers. A nanotube array based on vertically aligned nanotubes or carbon nanofibers has been invented for use in localized electrical stimulation and recording of electrical responses in selected regions of an animal body, especially including the brain. There are numerous established, emerging, and potential applications for localized electrical stimulation and/or recording, including treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, and chronic pain, and research on electrochemical effects involved in neurotransmission.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Electrical systems, Biological sciences, Nervous system, Nanomaterials


Using Hyperspectral Imagery To Identify Turfgrass Stresses

Stress maps could enable more-efficient management of large turfgrass fields. The use of a form of remote sensing to aid in the management of large turfgrass fields (e.g. golf courses) has been proposed. A turfgrass field of interest would be surveyed in sunlight by use of an airborne hyperspectral imaging system, then the raw observational data would be preprocessed into hyperspectral reflectance image data. These data would be further processed to identify turfgrass stresses, to determine the spatial distributions of those stresses, and to generate maps showing the spatial distributions.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Imaging and visualization, Remote sensing, Recreational vehicles and equipment


Compact Directional Microwave Antenna for Localized Heating

Heating is concentrated on one side. A directional, catheter-sized cylindrical antenna has been developed for localized delivery of microwave radiation for heating (and thus killing) diseased tissue without excessively heating nearby healthy tissue. By “localized” is meant that the antenna radiates much more in a selected azimuthal direction than in the opposite radial direction, so that it heats tissue much more on one side than it does on the opposite side. This antenna can be inserted using either a catheter or a syringe. A 2.4-mm prototype was tested, although smaller antennas are possible.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Antennas, Diseases, Medical equipment and supplies, Thermal management, Radiation


Improved Measurement of B₂₂ of Macromolecules in a Flow Cell

Invention helps researchers understand conditions that affect protein crystallization.An improved apparatus has been invented for use in determining the osmotic second virial coefficient of macromolecules in solution. In a typical intended application, the macromolecules would be, more specifically, protein molecules, and the protein solution would be pumped through a flow cell to investigate the physical and chemical conditions that affect crystallization of the protein in question.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Biological sciences, Chemicals, Test equipment and instrumentation, Test procedures


Using Light To Treat Mucositis and Help Wounds Heal

Arrays of LEDs would generate biostimulatory radiation. A continuing program of research and development is focusing on the use of controlled illumination by light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to treat mucositis and to accelerate healing of wounds. The basic idea is to illuminate the affected area of a patient with light of an intensity, duration, and wavelength (or combination of wavelengths) chosen to produce a therapeutic effect while generating only a minimal amount of heat.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Light emitting diodes (LEDs), Diseases, Medical equipment and supplies, Radiation


Validating Requirements for Surgical Spinal Implants With Finite Element Analysis

Vertebral body replacement devices require thorough analysis and engineering testing to ensure their safety. When Spinal USA, a manufacturer and distributor of advanced surgical spinal products, designed a new series of spinal implants called vertebral body replacement (VBR) devices, they needed to meet United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for physical laboratory testing in order to obtain approval for use. Designed to be inserted by a surgeon into a patient’s spine during a spinal fusion procedure, the VBR devices required thorough engineering testing to ensure that they were safe and effective. In order to meet the FDA requirements, Spinal USA contracted Saba Metallurgical and Plant Engineering Services (SMPES) to perform finite element analysis (FEA) of the various VBR designs using ALGOR FEA software to virtually predict the behavior of the VBR designs under the required test conditions. Through a combination of computer simulation and physical laboratory tests of prototypes, the VBR devices obtained FDA approval.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Finite element analysis, Prostheses and implants, Surgical procedures, Certification


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