Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

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. Eradi cation 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 radiation-based 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: Monitoring & Testing, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs

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Porcupine Quills Aid Device Design

Understanding the mechanisms behind quill penetration and extraction could help engineers design better medical devices. Once a porcupine’s quill penetrates your skin, it’s very difficult to remove. That’s the inspiration behind research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, to develop new types of adhesives, needles, and other medical devices.

Posted in: Drug Delivery & Dispensing, Materials / Adhesives / Coatings, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs

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

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Medicine Delivery Device With Integrated Sterilization and Detection

This automated medicine delivery device would ensure that patients receive medication on schedule and at the right dosage level. Sterile delivery devices can be created by integrating a medicine delivery instrument with surfaces that are coated with germicidal and anti-fouling material. This requires that a large surface-area template be developed within a constrained volume to ensure good contact between the delivered medicine and the germicidal material. Both of these can be integrated using JPL-developed silicon nanotip or cryo-etch black silicon technologies with atomic layer deposition (ALD) coating of specific germicidal layers.

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

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Less-Invasive Ventricular Assist Device for Late-Stage Heart Failure

First full-support mini cardiac pump FDA approved as bridge to cardiac transplantation. The first full-support, miniaturized ventricular assist device designed to be placed in the pericardial space, was approved by the FDA in late November. HeartWare International, Inc., Framingham, MA, an innovator of less invasive, miniaturized circulatory support technologies to treat advanced heart failure, said that its Ventricular Assist System was approved as a bridge to cardiac transplantation in patients who are at risk of death from refractory end-stage left ventricular heart failure.

Posted in: Implants & Prosthetics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Mechanical Components, Treatment Devices, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Drug Delivery & Fluid Handling

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Integrating Electrical Systems into 3D Mechanical Models

Real-time integration of 2D schematics and 3D models allows mechanical and electrical teams to better collaborate and deliver more accurate designs. Product development teams are under increasing pressure to engineer more complex products that combine numerous electrical systems within a single design, including visual interfaces, power systems, logic controllers, complex wiring and harnesses. Simplifying the design of these electro-mechanical systems using intelligent design tools, and a shared, comprehensive parts database, medical device designers are able to achieve significant cost savings. These savings are multiplied when this electrical design work is done in perfect synchronization with the mechanical and industrial design teams using a shared data model.

Posted in: Electronics, Software, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Electronic Design Automation (EDA), Mathematical/Scientific Software, Optical Design Software, Simulation Software

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Defibrillator Setting Change Leads to Health Gains

Survival climbs, risk of unnecessary shocks plummets A new study at the University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester, NY, shows that defibrillators, which are designed to detect and correct dangerous heart rhythms, can be programmed to help users live longer, better lives, than they currently do.

Posted in: Implants & Prosthetics, Monitoring & Testing, Treatment Devices, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Implants & Prosthetics, Patient Monitoring

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