Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Primers for Amplifying CMV DNA in Body Fluids and Tissue

A novel set of primers enables high-volume, rapid, inexpensive viral diagnostic testing. A novel set of primers has been developed for use in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of cytomegalovirus (CMV). The purpose of this development is to enable faster, more sensitive detection of CMV virus infecting body fluids and tissues.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs


Improved Urine Preservative

This solution combines antibacterial and antioxidant properties. An improved solution for preserving samples of urine has been formulated. This solution preserves a much broader spectrum of analytes in urine than do other urine-preservative solutions here-tofore in use by NASA, and is safe for use by humans. When this solution is used, (1) refrigeration of urine samples is not necessary for preserving them and (2) the solution does not alter the pH values of the samples — two important considerations for collecting and storing urine samples in outer space. By eliminating the need to ship frozen samples, this preservative will enable the collection of urine samples — not only in outer space but also in terrestrial remote settings where it was previously not feasible.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs


Noninvasive Test Detects Cardiovascular Disease

Spinal taps would no longer be necessary. A technique for noninvasive determination of the pressure in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been proposed. This technique would involve two main steps: First, an optical coherence tomographic scanner would be aimed into an eye and used to image the optical disk (see figure). Next, the resulting tomographic imagery would be digitized and processed to determine the thickness of the neural fiber layer, which thickness is known to increase with the CSF pressure.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP


Edge Phantom Measures Sharpness of X-Ray Detectors

The corrected digital image can be used to enable computer-assisted diagnosis.Digital radiography makes use of Xray detectors that yield a radiographic image of the object or patient between the X-ray source and the detector. Tools have been developed to assess the image quality characteristics of radiation images. One tool is an edge phantom, placed between source and detector, to assess the sharpness of the radiation image obtained. The edge-like, spatial step-response of the system resulting from a sudden change in irradiation level, invoked by the phantom, can be used to calculate the modulation transfer function (MTF) in a particular direction. In this way, the sharpness of the detector can be assessed.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Diagnostics


Paracellular Drug Delivery Through Baker’s Yeast Microcapsules

The yeast has the ability to open up the junctions between cells to aid drug delivery. Oral mucosal drug delivery is an alternative method of systemic drug delivery that offers several advantages over both injectable and enteral methods. Since the oral mucosa is highly vascularised, drugs that are absorbed through the oral mucosa directly enter the systemic circulation, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract and first-pass metabolism in the liver. This avoids some of the problems typically experienced with traditional oral medication like analgesics that have to be absorbed by the lining of the stomach or the intestine, either of which they can irritate.

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


Vibrating Quartz Sensor Characterizes Liquid Samples

This technology eliminates the need to run multiple tests to obtain a sample profile. A novel analytical technology characterizes liquids for healthcare applications. As a drop of liquid evaporates on a vibrating quartz sensor, it undergoes distinctive phase changes representing the unique chemical and physical characteristics of the sample. This unique “fingerprint” represents information that is not readily available from any combination of analytical methods currently in use.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs, Patient Monitoring, Sensors


Reducing Field Distortion in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

An unconventional magnetic-field configuration would be used in SQUID MRI. A concept for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that would utilize a relatively weak magnetic field provides for several design features that differ significantly from the corresponding features of conventional MRI systems. Notable among these features are a magnetic- field configuration that reduces (relative to the conventional configuration) distortion and blurring of the image, the use of a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometer as the detector, and an imaging procedure suited for the unconventional field configuration and sensor.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP, Briefs, TSP, Diagnostics


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