Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Method and Apparatus for Automated Isolation of Nucleic Acids from Small Cell Samples

Advantages include reduced or eliminated use of toxic reagents and operator-independent extraction. RNA isolation is a ubiquitous need, driven by current emphasis on microarrays and miniaturization. With commercial systems requiring 100,000 to 1,000,000 cells for successful isolation, there is a growing need for a small-footprint, easy-to-use device that can harvest nucleic acids from much smaller cell samples (1,000 to 10,000 cells). The process of extraction of RNA from cell cultures is a complex, multi-step one, and requires timed, asynchronous operations with multiple reagents/buffers. An added complexity is the fragility of RNA (subject to degradation) and its reactivity to surface.

Posted in: Automation & Controls, Biosensors, Drug Delivery & Dispensing, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs

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Flexible Sensors Offer View into Epileptic Seizures

Brain activity can be monitored and sampled using minimal amount of wires and electrodes and improving implantable devices. Tapping into the human brain to understand its functions in daily life — as well as its malfunctions in illness — has long been a challenge for researchers. Mapping brain activity requires unwieldy, invasive arrays of electrodes and sensors that can damage tissue while only reading activity in a limited area. A team of researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYUPoly) partnering with researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have devised a streamlined, minimally invasive brain interface that may yield new insights into the causes of brain diseases like epilepsy and could potentially lead to new implantable neuroprosthetic and diagnostic devices.

Posted in: Biosensors, Electronics, Imaging & Diagnostics, Implants & Prosthetics, Monitoring & Testing, Treatment Devices, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs

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Biosensor May Improve Disease Detection

A new biosensor could rapidly and accurately detect early stage disease in very low concentrations. A quick, inexpensive and highly sensitive test that identifies disease markers or other molecules in low-concentration solutions could be the result of a Cornell-developed nanomechanical biosensor, which could potentially help with early stage disease detection.

Posted in: Biosensors, Electronics, Imaging & Diagnostics, Materials / Adhesives / Coatings, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs

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Fingertip-Sized Microscope to Study the Brain and its Diseases

A tiny portable microscope can be used in the lab or in the field for biological research and potentially for medical screening of diseases. A readily portable miniature microscope weighing less than 2 grams and tiny enough to balance on your fingertip has been developed. The scope is designed to see fluorescent markers, such as dyes, commonly used by medical and biological researchers studying the brains of mice.

Posted in: Imaging & Diagnostics, Inspection Equipment, Optics/Photonics, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs

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Silk Microneedles Deliver Controlled-Release Drugs Painlessly

Tiny needles deliver precise amounts of drugs over time without need for refrigeration. Bioengineers have developed a new silk-based microneedle system able to deliver precise amounts of drugs over time and without need for refrigeration. The tiny needles can be fabricated under normal temperature and pressure and from water, so they can be loaded with sensitive biochemical compounds and maintain their activity prior to use. They are also biodegradable and biocompatible.

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

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Beat-to-Beat Blood Pressure Monitor

This invention is applicable to all segments of the blood pressure monitoring market, including ambulatory, home-based, and high-acuity monitoring. This device provides non-invasive beat-to-beat blood pressure measurements and can be worn over the upper arm for prolonged durations. Phase and waveform analyses are performed on filtered proximal and distal photoplethysmographic (PPG) waveforms obtained from the brachial artery. The phase analysis is used primarily for the computation of the mean arterial pressure, while the waveform analysis is used primarily to obtain the pulse pressure. Realtime compliance estimate is used to refine both the mean arterial and pulse pressures to provide the beat-to-beat blood pressure measurement.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Test & Measurement, Briefs, Patient Monitoring, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring

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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 software only 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, Briefs, TSP, Diagnostics, Patient Monitoring

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