Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Microwave Tissue Soldering for Immediate Wound Closure

Wounds can be closed rapidly, without staples, sutures, or tapes.

A novel approach for the immediate sealing of traumatic wounds is under development. A portable microwave generator and handheld antenna are used to seal wounds, binding the edges of the wound together using a biodegradable protein sealant or “solder.” This method could be used for repairing wounds in emergency settings by restoring the wound surface to its original strength within minutes. This technique could also be utilized for sur-gical purposes involving solid visceral organs (i.e., liver, spleen, and kidney) that currently do not respond well to ordinary surgical procedures.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Antennas, Medical equipment and supplies, Adhesives and sealants, Injuries, Radiation, Rescue and emergency vehicles and equipment
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Stress-Driven Selection of Novel Phenotypes

A methodology allows the experimental design of novel peptides and RNAs that have desired properties.

A process has been developed that can confer novel properties, such as metal resistance, to a host bacterium. This same process can also be used to produce RNAs and peptides that have novel properties, such as the ability to bind particular compounds. It is inherent in the method that the peptide or RNA will behave as expected in the target organism. Plasmid-born mini-gene libraries coding for either a population of combinatorial peptides or stable, artificial RNAs carrying random inserts are produced. These libraries, which have no bias towards any biological function, are used to transform the organism of interest and to serve as an initial source of genetic variation for stress-driven evolution.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Biological sciences
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Principles, Techniques, and Applications of Tissue Microfluidics

This technique can be used in the diagnosis of diseases such as cancer.

The principle of tissue microfluidics and its resultant techniques has been applied to cell analysis. Building microfluidics to suit a particular tissue sample would allow the rapid, reliable, inexpensive, highly parallelized, selective extraction of chosen regions of tissue for purposes of further biochemical analysis. Furthermore, the applicability of the techniques ranges beyond the described pathology application. For example, they would also allow the posing and successful answering of new sets of questions in many areas of fundamental research.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Medical, health, and wellness, Research and development
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Robotic Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering and Organ Growth

Biocompatible and biodegradable smart scaffolds could reconfigure their shape and size to accommodate organ development.

The aim of tissue engineering (TE) is to restore tissue and organ functions with minimal host rejection. TE is seen as a future solution to solve the crisis of donor organs for transplant, which faces a shortage expected only to increase in the future. In this innovation, a flexible and configurable scaffold has been conceived that mechanically stresses cells that are seeded on it, stimulating them to increased growth.

Posted in: Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Anatomy, Prostheses and implants, Robotics, Biomaterials, Nanotechnology
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Meet Our Readers: Michael Hudspeth, CAD Designer, Medical Devices

In a new series, the editors of NASA Tech Briefs magazine catch up with everyday engineers about their unique responsibilities and challenges. This week, we highlight fellow reader and CAD designer of medical devices, Michael Hudspeth.

Posted in: Articles, Medical, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Medical equipment and supplies, People and personalities
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Brain Sensing Technology Provides Real-Time Diagnosis

Portable system identifies, assesses, and monitors cerebral abnormalities, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, and sports concussion.

Every 21 seconds, someone suffers a serious brain injury, including stroke, trauma, or concussion. Until now, there has been no way to quickly and reliably diagnose these calamities.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Sensors, Software, Computer software and hardware, Sensors and actuators, Diagnosis, Diseases, Nervous system, Head injuries
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Principles, Techniques, and Applications of Tissue Microfluidics

This technique can be used in the diagnosis of diseases such as cancer.

The principle of tissue microfluidics and its resultant techniques has been applied to cell analysis. Building microfluidics to suit a particular tissue sample would allow the rapid, reliable, inexpensive, highly parallelized, selective extraction of chosen regions of tissue for purposes of further biochemical analysis. Furthermore, the applicability of the techniques ranges beyond the described pathology application. For example, they would also allow the posing and successful answering of new sets of questions in many areas of fundamental research.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Medical, health, and wellness, Research and development
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Technology Eliminates the Need for Pre-Wetting Cartridge Filters

This ePTFE membrane remains hydrophilic even after exposure to steam autoclave cycles and corrosive chemicals.

There has been a long-term need in the filtration industry — particularly for a variety of life science applications — to eliminate the need for pre-wetting cartridge filters with alcohol before sending them to customers. It is not only an expensive, time-consuming process, but it also increases the risk of bacterial contamination.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Bio-Medical, Medical, Bacteria, Medical equipment and supplies, Coatings, colorants, and finishes, Materials properties
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Quantifying Risk in Various Methods of Continuous Monitoring

Medical device companies should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to monitoring critical environments.

Worldwide, there is growing concern about how to protect public safety and increase cooperation among regulatory agencies to audit medical device companies and their suppliers. Regulatory agencies are increasingly looking to global organizations such as the Global Health Task Force (GHTF) to adopt harmonization in regulatory practices. As recent as August 2010, the GHTF made medical device suppliers inclusive of site auditing guidelines. (“A supplier delivering materials, components, or services, that may influence the safety and performance of the product.” GHTF/SG4/N33)

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Imaging, Bio-Medical, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Medical equipment and supplies, Risk management, Risk assessments, Safety regulations and standards
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High-Performance Micro-Porous Fluoropolymer Plastics for Critical Applications

ePTFE, a non-woven, open pore fluoropolymer plastic, is suitable for the critical demands of medical applications and other industries.

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a fully fluorinated polymer with exceptional chemical and physical properties: excellent chemical resistance, high temperature stability, good dielectric and nonstick properties and exceptional resistance to degeneration under severe conditions.

Posted in: Briefs, MDB, Briefs, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Chemicals, Heat resistant materials, Materials properties, Plastics
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