Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Rapid Detection of Herpes Viruses for Clinical Applications

There are eight herpes viruses that infect humans, causing a wide range of diseases resulting in considerable morbidity and associated costs. Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a human herpes virus that causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults. Approximately 1,000,000 new cases of shingles occur each year; post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) follows shingles in 100,000 to 200,000 people annually. PHN is characterized by debilitating, nearly unbearable pain for weeks, months, and even years. The onset of shingles is characterized by pain, followed by the zoster rash, leading to blisters and severe pain. The problem is that in the early stages, shingles can be difficult to diagnose; chickenpox in adults can be equally difficult to diagnose. As a result, both diseases can be misdiagnosed (false positive/negative).

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Data Acquisition, Diagnosis, Diseases, Nervous system
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Detection of Only Viable Bacterial Spores Using a Live/Dead Indicator in Mixed Populations

This technology can be used by the food and pharmaceutical industries to validate sterility and quality.

This method uses a photoaffinity label that recognizes DNA and can be used to distinguish populations of bacterial cells from bacterial spores without the use of heat shocking during conventional culture, and live from dead bacterial spores using molecular-based methods.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Bacteria
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Intravenous Fluid Generation System

This system can be used in remote medical facilities where limitations such as lack of refrigeration may limit the type and volume of medical fluids being stored or transported.

The ability to stabilize and treat patients on exploration missions will depend on access to needed consumables. Intravenous (IV) fluids have been identified as required consumables. A review of the Space Medicine Exploration Medical Condition List (SMEMCL) lists over 400 medical conditions that could present and require treatment during ISS missions.

Posted in: Briefs, Medical, Medical, health, and wellness, Spacecraft
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Plastic Optic Fiber—An Evolving Technology

POF technology has much to offer to the device industry.

Plastic Optic Fiber (POF) is an established, continually evolving technology available since the early 1980s. From the outset, it was a technology not highly visible for years. At times, it was utilized as a media product within another product, attached to a variety of opto-couplers or light sources. Primarily it was intended to transmit information of functional digital data transfer for many sensing concepts and for small form illumination. In addition, the very nature of POF technology brings to engineering many of the attributes of glass fiber optic technology. But, the extensive functions of POF lend themselves to much wider product uses including medical instruments, data control and networks, automotive use, and a host of industrial concepts. At the same time, POF offers low-cost solutions for short-range communications, and a majority of defined illumination requirements.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Lighting, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Materials, Plastics, Inspection Equipment, Medical, Fiber Optics, Optical Components, Optics, Photonics, Robotics, Data acquisition and handling, Fiber optics, Medical equipment and supplies, Plastics
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Electron Beam Writer Enables Microfabrication

Integrated electronics could activate prosthetics.

The new electron beam writer housed in the cleanroom facility at the Qualcomm Institute, previously the UCSD division of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology, is important for two major areas of research by Shadi Dayeh, PhD, an electrical and computer engineering professor. He is developing next-generation, nanoscale transistors for integrated electronics. At the same time, he is working to develop neural probes that can extract electrical signals from brain cells and transmit the information to a prosthetic device or computer. To achieve this level of signal extraction or manipulation requires tiny sensors spaced very closely together for the highest resolution and signal acquisition. Enter the new electron beam writer. (See Figure 1)

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Optics, Photonics, Semiconductors & ICs, Sensors, Semiconductor devices, Sensors and actuators, Nervous system, Prostheses and implants, Fabrication, Nanotechnology
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Enabling Microliquid Chromatography by Microbead Packing of Microchannels

The microbead packing is the critical element required in the success of onchip microfabrication of critical microfluidic components for in-situ analysis and detection of chiral amino acids. In order for microliquid chromatography to occur, there must be a stationary phase medium within the microchannel that interacts with the analytes present within flowing fluid. The stationary phase media are the microbeads packed by the process discussed in this work. The purpose of the microliquid chromatography is to provide a lightweight, low-volume, and lowpower element to separate amino acids and their chiral partners efficiently to understand better the origin of life.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Fluid Handling, Diagnostics, Imaging, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Optics, Photonics, Measuring Instruments, Imaging and visualization, Biological sciences, Biomaterials, Test equipment and instrumentation
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Heart Pump with Behind-the-Ear Power Connector

One-third of patients with heart pumps develop infection at abdominal connection.

Cardiac surgeons and cardiologists at the University of Maryland Heart Center are part of a multi-center clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of powering heart pumps through a skull-based connector behind the ear. The pumps, called left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), support the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle. LVADs are implanted in the chest and powered with external batteries. Typically, these devices, which are used for patients with severe heart failure, are powered through an electrical cord connected at the abdomen, where potentially deadly infections can develop.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics, Power Management, Power Supplies, Fluid Handling, Drug Delivery, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Power Transmission, Connectors and terminals, Cardiovascular system, Medical equipment and supplies
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Sterilization of Bioresorbable Polymers

Sterilization method should be considered during the design phase.

Bioresorbable polymers for medical devices encompass a broad class of materials with two of the more common materials being poly(L-lactic acid) and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid). Some terminal sterilization processes may result in changes in materials properties, thereby significantly impacting the functional behavior of bioresorbable implants. Matching a terminal sterilization method to a bioresorbable implant requires the materials properties of the device to be considered as part of the product development process. Currently, there are several types of terminal sterilization processes in use for these polymers, including gamma radiation, e-beam radiation, and ethylene oxide (EtO). Steri lization with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) gas provides a room-temperature alternative that should be considered for this class of materials.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Coatings & Adhesives, Composites, Materials, Plastics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Nitrogen oxides, Bacteria, Medical equipment and supplies, Materials properties, Polymers
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Laser Marking for ID and Traceability Within the Medical Industry

Laser marking provides easy and effective labeling for medical devices.

The use of lasers to mark surgical instruments has become of greater significance, however, the parameters used in these applications are not always fully appreciated. The medical industry, in particular, has utilized laser technology primarily to mark, weld, and cut medical devices for years. Lasers address the need for microscopic applications: to cut widths measurable in microns, spot welds with heat affected zones barely visible to the unaided eye, and highly resolved biocompatible markings that enable traceability of instruments and implants. In common with other industries, medical devices and pharmaceutical businesses turn to lasers for a one-step, fast, flexible, permanent, and a highly automated marking process.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, FDA Compliance/Regulatory Affairs, Medical, Fiber Optics, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics, Lasers, Medical equipment and supplies, Automation, Identification
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FRET-Aptamer Assays for Bone Marker Assessment, C-Telopeptide, Creatinine, and Vitamin D

Applications include assessment of osteoporosis, and aptamer assays for veterinary analytes, infectious disease, food- and water-borne pathogens, and chemical/biological threats.

Astronauts lose 1.0 to 1.5% of their bone mass per month on long-duration spaceflights. NASA wishes to monitor the bone loss onboard spacecraft to develop nutritional and exercise countermeasures, and make adjustments during long space missions. On Earth, the same technology could be used to monitor osteoporosis and its therapy.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Medical equipment and supplies, Medical, health, and wellness, Chemicals, Spacecraft
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