Medical

3D Scanning for Post-Mastectomy Custom Breast Prosthesis

Creating a custom breast prosthesis that feels and looks more natural can be accomplished. Breast cancer is a terrible affliction that affects approximately one in eight women in the US. In 2012, nearly a quarter- million cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women. Due to the progress of medicine and associated treatment, the death rate associated with breast cancer has been declining since the 1990s to approximately 1 in 36 cases. At this time, there are more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone. Different procedures can be attempted in order to treat and cure a cancer but the more advanced cases will sometimes need to undergo a complete mastectomy (a procedure in which a breast is removed entirely). A mastectomy is a rather radical procedure and some women may experience a post-surgical trauma due to the lifestyle disruption following the surgery.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Imaging & Diagnostics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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Developing Physiologic Models for Emergency Medical Procedures Under Microgravity

Several technological enhancements have been made to METI’s commercial Emergency Care Simulator (ECS) with regard to how microgravity affects human physiology. The ECS uses both a softwareonly lung simulation, and an integrated mannequin lung that uses a physical lung bag for creating chest excursions, and a digital simulation of lung mechanics and gas exchange. METI’s patient simulators incorporate models of human physiology that simulate lung and chest wall mechanics, as well as pulmonary gas exchange.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Software, Imaging & Diagnostics, 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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‘Soft X-Ray’ Detector Could Improve Breast Cancer Imaging

New X-ray technology minimizes harmful exposure and allows better breast imaging. While clear imaging is extremely important in diagnosing breast cancer from mammograms, there is also concern about exposing the patient to too much radiation from repeated X-rays. But that may soon change, says Krishna Mandal, an associate professor of electrical engineering at the University of South Carolina (USC), Columbia, who led the team that built a new type of Xray detector that offers tremendous potential in breast cancer detection and treatment.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Imaging & Diagnostics, Monitoring & Testing, Imaging, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, Briefs, MDB

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VA Developing New Heat- Enhanced Pulse Ox Device

Probe improves accuracy in reading blood oxygen saturation levels in patients who are harder to read due to low core temperature. Pulse oximetry has gained widespread clinical acceptance as a standard patient vital sign measurement because it can give clinicians an early warning of low arterial blood oxygen saturation levels, or hypoxemia. Conventional pulse oximetry is subject to technological limitations that reduce its effectiveness and the quality of patient care. To mitigate the limitations of current technologies, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has developed a novel device that provides reliable pulse oximetry measurements of oxygen saturation and heart rate in patients with low body temperature due to vasoconstriction and low blood perfusion.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Imaging & Diagnostics, Monitoring & Testing, Electronics, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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Wideband Single-Crystal Transducer for Bone Characterization

These transducers have uses in medical ultrasound imaging and room-temperature ultrasonic flow meters. The microgravity conditions of space travel result in unique physiological demands on the human body. In particular, the absence of the continual mechanical stresses on the skeletal system that are present on Earth cause the bones to decalcify. Trabecular structure decreases in thickness and increases in spacing, resulting in decreased bone strength and increased risk of injury. Thus, monitoring bone health is a high priority for long-term space travel. A single probe covering all frequency bands of interest would be ideal for such measurements, and this would also minimize storage space and eliminate the complexity of integrating multiple probes.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Medical, Briefs

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Extreme Ionizing-Radiation-Resistant Bacterium

Deinococcus phoenicis sp. nov. can be used as an indicator for sterilization processes in food, aerospace, medical, and pharmaceutical applications. There is a growing concern that desiccation and extreme radiation-resistant, non-spore-forming microorganisms associated with spacecraft surfaces can withstand space environmental conditions and subsequent proliferation on another solar body. Such forward contamination would jeopardize future life detection or sample return technologies. The prime focus of NASA’s planetary protection efforts is the development of strategies for inactivating resistance-bearing microorganisms. Eradication techniques can be designed to target resistance-conferring microbial populations by first identifying and understanding their physiologic and biochemical capabilities that confers its elevated tolerance (as is being studied in Deinococcus phoenicis, as a result of this description). Furthermore, hospitals, food, and government agencies frequently use biological indicators to ensure the efficacy of a wide range of radiationbased sterilization processes. Due to their resistance to a variety of perturbations, the non-spore forming D. phoenicis may be a more appropriate biological indicator than those currently in use.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Medical, Briefs

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